While we were closing this issue [of Opiniao Socialista], the truckers’ strike reached its third day, showing amazing strength. It was highly supported, for confronting the rise of the fuel price and the Temer government, the most unpopular government in the history of the country. Stopping the circulation of goods has economic consequences: factories are stopping due to lack of parts, and there is a possibility of general good shortage – depending on how much the strike lasts.
By PSTU – Brazil.
The strike puts Temer government in check, forcing the Congress to move ignoring the Ministry of Finance. It was like this that they defeated the Cide [tax on fuel]. However, it does not lower the current prices much, lowering only 1,5% the price of fuel and 2% the price of Diesel in contrast with a 15% price rise.
The rise is due to the policy of the privatization of Petrobras. The government tries to privatize and denationalize the refine, selling only crude oil outside the country. Four refineries are the target for privatization. Serving this policy, the leadership of the company –PSDB- established a policy of daily readjustment depending on the currency variation and international prices.
The truckers’ strike is not the only one. Metal workers from Mercedes Benz, in the ABC Region [industrial pole in Great Sao Paulo] are also on strike, as well as bus drivers in Salvador [Bahia] and teachers in several cities. The truckers’ strike is a trigger in the middle of the general workers’ and popular sectors’ dissatisfaction and discontent.
We need to surround this strike with solidarity and demand the Unions to drive support campaigns. In addition, we need to establish a common mobilization agenda and unify the struggles.
A struggle agenda
The country’s situation goes from bad to worst. The economy is declining against, unlike what the government says, shattering the past forecast of growth. Unemployment only increases, according to new statistics by the IBGE [Brazilian Institue of Geography and Statistics].
Bankers and great companies are getting profits while loading the crisis on our shoulders and delivering and subordinating the country to the multinationals more and more. While they wait for elections in midst of a major crisis and division, the dominant class and candidates (even those who claim to be opposition) do not resign the adjustment against the ones below.
It is shocking how almost all presidential candidates, from Lula to Alckmin, from Ciro Gomes to Bolsonaro, defend (openly or disguised) a Social Security reform when more than 80% of the population rejects it.
The broad front policy, now organized around the Free Lula movement, not only ties workers’ organizations to a class collaboration block, to a political project of defense of the reissued program of the former PT governments, as it represents a blockage of the struggles. It takes out of focus the strategic needs, as well as immediate necessities and possibilities of action.
It is necessary to build an agenda of demands for the unify mobilization to be defended by unions and the movement, that supports and unifies the current struggles and confronts the bosses and the government. An agenda in defense of the work shift reduction without wage cuts; the reduction of the fuel price, and the defense of a 100% national Petrobras under workers’ control. Also, for the revocation of the labor reform and the defense of collective contracts, against the privatizations (of Petrobras refineries, of the Eletrobras, etc.). Against any Social Security reform (and we warn any future government that if they even attempt to attack the retirements, Brazil will stop), for housing and agrarian reform, and against the criminalization of social movements.
It is necessary to demand a stand by the class organizations that, to it, need to act in defense of workers independently from the bosses and with a social mobilization policy.
A socialist project
In the workers’ struggles in defense of their rights and demands, we will continue to call for a rebellion and defending a socialist project. To change this situation once and for all, avoid the delivery of our country, end unemployment, violence, corruption, and guarantee dignified living conditions for the majority, we need to take down the ones “above” (bankers and great national and multinational companies) and conquer a socialist workers’ government that rules through popular councils.
Originally published in Opiniao Socialista n.° 555, May 23.