Out with their accomplices from the Trade Unions

The former president of the Republic, Isabel Perón, had to face the court a few days ago. Cafiero and Ruckauf, well-known politicians in the Justicialista party are free on parole. These are momentous events for the workers.

Treble A and days of crime

In 1968, after a popular insurrection in the city of Cordoba, known as Cordobazo, Argentine workers were fighting for their rights all over the country. The Onganía/Lanusse dictatorship had fallen down and a new brood of fighters was hatching out in the factories, challenging the old trade union leaders, such as the late Lorenzo Miguel and many other, who are still leading the unions.

In the middle of the 1973-1976 Perón administration – clandestine bands started gathering to attack workers’ and students’ activists and leftwing militants. These bands were financed by some of the big business, organised from inside the government, especially from the Ministry of Social Action directed by the sinister López Rega  – consisting of military men, policemen in active service, mafias from trade unions and paid delinquents.

These band used to act from cars without patent plates, they would go and drag our comrades from their homes of meet them when they were leaving their jobs, they would kidnap them and torture them and, as often as not, murder them. The victims were given away by their employers or by the treacherous trade union leaders. 1600 murders were committed in those days anticipating the crimes of the forthcoming dictatorship. At that time our party was Socialist Workers’ Party and several of the casualties were our comrades, workers murdered for fighting for their rights. Most of the murdered ones were Peronists, betrayed and given away by their own leaders.

Then the dictatorship came. The same union leaders who had formed the Treble A became friends of the military administration and so they continued leading the unions.


Why does it all emerge now?


In the years immediately after the dictatorship, radicals, Peronists and trade union leaders signed up a pact: you could speak of the crimes of the dictatorship but not of those of the treble A. That is why they were not exposed during any of the administrations that followed and the culprits were not judged.

At present, the struggle of the people for having the murderers of the dictatorship punished advanced ostensibly. Laws such us “Forgiveness”, “Due Obedience” and “Full Stop” were annulled, the Justice admitted the figure of genocide, that is to say that there was a systematic plan to kidnap, disappear and murder tens of thousands. This was not initiative of the present-day administration, the one that still stubbornly refuses to derogate the decree granting indult signed by Menem, but to popular struggle and to the effort of organisations of Human Rights. It was this situation that opened the gates to make headway towards the punishment of all the murderers, including the analysis, trial and punishment of those liable for the crimes of the Treble A.

The reaction of all the politicians and union leaders was to defend the former president and conceal the past. Duhalde offered to defend Isabel. The Union hierarchy, many of them occupying the offices ever since those days, rushed out to hide behind the figure of Peron, claiming against the campaign against the formers president. Actually, when they say, “Stop mucking around with Peron” what they mean is “Do not muck up with us”. Even from radicalism itself they reject the trial against the Treble A and even the Kirchner administration came out to say that they had nothing to do with encouraging these trials.

They are all washing their hands and trying to conceal this period of the life of the country.


All the truth and punishment for the Treble A murderers


It is of momentous importance for the workers that the events of those years be thoroughly seen into and the murderers punished. We have to know the lists of the members of the treble A and we shall see that many of them are now at the head of trade unions.

They took part in the Treble A in order to seek protection against those new fighters that wanted to oust them form the trade unions and to recover those institutions for the workers. And they would do exactly the same thing once more if they had to defend their privileges.

In Santa Cruz, the oil union was accused of forming armed bands to persecute fighters. Jose Rodrigues, present national leader of the engineers of SMATA, is accused of complicity with the dictatorship to murder activists from car factories.

The events of San Vicente, where bands of delinquent tried to settle the account of their power at gunpoint, are just another example. The above are just evidence that in the trade unions that yield to the employers, there are still heir to the position of the murders of the treble A.

From the factories and grassroots of the unions a new brood of fighters is cropping up and, together with their workmates, the summon to assemblies so that all decisions should be taken by all the workers. These are the railway workers, metro workers, workers in hospitals and schools. They are still a minority, but they represent the future of the working class.

It is necessary to defend these struggles and these new representatives and shop stewards. It is necessary to fight for new leaders in the trade unions, leaders who would comply with their workmates and not the employers or the successive administrations. And as part of this struggle, it is necessary to evict from the unions all the murderers of workers who were part of the treble A and today act the part of workers’ leaders.


Let us take the struggle for the truth into our own hands


We cannot trust justice to be consistent to the end. Just as it was with the dictatorship, the truth will only advance if based on the struggle of the toiling masses.

This is something we have to discuss in every factory, in every place of work.

* Call for an independent commission with respected figures of the working class, Human Rights, personalities of science and art together with relatives of victims of the treble A in order to seek clarification.

* Demand that government give an impulse to the research. Not doing that would be complicity with treble A.

* Demand that files be opened all the intelligence services and lists of the Treble A be published.

* To jail with all the murderers, members of that organisation

* Call for commission formed in each union with grassroots comrades of those days to reconstruct the facts and expose collaboration with Treble A and dictatorship.

* Out with the members and accomplices of Treble A from all the trade unions. 

* Truth and justice as defence of our future struggles.



FOS – Workers Socialist Front – Argentina