A meeting of five Trade Unions’ Federations decided to call a general strike on December 21 & 22. This is the second motion of this kind taken against the Horacio Cartes government’s economic plan, and its anti-union, anti-social measures.

Although this resolution took a long time to pass (ou to be moved), due to the hesitation of some federations’ leaders, and to the treason of others, its success is necessary for the working people.

It is the most relevant political task for all activists (ou members) of the working class’organizations, no matter their diversity or their different banners.

 

By: PT – Paraguay

 

Although this resolution took a long to come, due to hesitation of some federations’ leaders, and the treason of others, its success is necessary for the working people.

It is the most relevant political task of all militants of the working people’s movement, in all its diversity and with all its different flags.

It is a task of prime-importance, because we come from one of the darkest periods in social movement history, becoming victims of the violent attacks of Cartes’ government to life quality, organization and struggles.

As a matter of fact, working people’s movement has been target of severe strokes. These attacks have been intesified, became systematic, and uncontrollable voracious since Cartes’ administration, as a continuation of dictator Federico Franco.

We could mention an endless list of policies and facts, which proof categorically that the model Cartes pretends to deepen is a paradise country for minorities and a living hell for the wide majority of the people. But working people will not stand this subjugation. Bus drivers of line 49 appealed to crucifixion for over 130 days, in protest for violation of basic rights to organization. Endless days, weeks, months of suffering and pain standing for union freedom. They were mocked, neglected, criminalized and abused, but they stood firm, and they got a victory.

 

Crucifixion and students’ spring

Beyond the debate of crucifixion as a method of struggle, what we cannot silence is those anonymous workers put their life and their families’ at risk to get what they deserve by right: to be organized in a labour union. And they achieved a victory, despite Minister of Work, Guillermo Sosa, swearing there would be no labour union allowed in the sector. He had to swallow his own words.

But this struggle, which started back in July, crossed a political fact of vital importance, which allowed them to catch their breath, and brought enthusiasm back to the social movement: democratic students’ spring revived and renewed hopes and struggle will of the social movement as a whole.

This encouraged different union sectors, which managed to call for a Transportation Workers’ Congress, who voted a 48 hs. strike. And the transportation strike became a huge general strike, which is a very important victory in itself. Government, companies, daily users of transportation and the media “came down to earth”, to realize there was an almost full paralization of the country. For hours, there were no buses at all on the streets. Not even one.

 

A new labour leadership emerged in transportation sector, which is crushing the bones and flesh of old union leadership, who have been immersed in a corruption and treason swamp for several years now. This strike was a great forge for building a new leadership, and burn  off the old one, whose extintion can only help and favour workers’ and labour movement.

Bus drivers’ strike first, and the unwavering general strike of 21st & 22nd, was born out of the holes left by nails in crucifixed workers’ hands; out of the blanched bear backs due to months of postration; out of their sacrifice and courage to defende a right, a fair cause; and it was also born out the example of students’ struggle in the National University, irradiating to all society

Some federations, initially hesitating, had no chance but to join the call for general strike. The successful transportation strike left some of those leaderships ‘holding in check’. Bus drivers showed we have tools to stop the country and raise our voices to be heard and respected.

Labor Unions’ Federations Meeting, in the framework of a Congress, opened the channel to a general strike, which in turn can be a channel itself for different sectors to mobilize, to make their voice to be heard, to become stronger and reafirm the new political moment we are living, which is more favourable to our demands and to achieve what we claim for.

 

Victory of the strike, despite the treason of some

Leaders of CUT [United Workers’ Central], CNT [National Workers’ Central] and CGT [General Workers’ Central] have abandoned principles, ethics, morals and any kind of shame, and moved to the side of those who over-exploit workers, violate workers’ right with impunity, and attempt to destroy their organizations.

They clearly exposed they are wore off, allied to the government, unscrupulous deserters, who betrayed the strike from Mburuvicha Róga, Cartes’ house. These are federations who should be completely abandoned by workers and unions who found nothing there but corruption and betrayal.

 

General strike puts workers’ and unions under the great responsibility of being the vanguard of the struggle, an indispensable rol. Multiple social sectors join together, and we need to drive the strike democratically, with classist loyalty. A great, victorius general strike becomes a necessity to hit the government and open the possibility of going from resistance to the conquer of demands of wide majorities, to stop them from surrendering our country and destroying means and public services.

Current leaderships have a great challenge ahead: to not betray the strike in “round tables”, which are the preferred method of the government and companies, as they are useless. There is no other way to victory than brave workers’ struggle.