The workers’ strikes movement initiated in this border city with the United States in January of this year is leading the way for the rest of the Mexican working class and the rest of the world.
Arising from the bases of maquiladora factories from several industrial centers, it put pressure on and exceeded the trade union charros of the CTM and won a 20% salary increase and an annual bonus of 32 thousand pesos for most of the 90 thousand workers, in a city of almost one million inhabitants. From this struggle , the movement also acquired its name that’s already making history: Movimiento 20-32.
The bosses class, their managers and their governments, which still own the factories and dominate the municipality, the state and the country – and control mass media – hate this result and its protagonists. That is why they have ordered an increasingly violent repression, which has claimed one death and dozens of wounded. And since February they started an attack that has a more lethal social effect: they dismissed almost five thousand working men and women , among whom are many active strike leaders , and who are the main potential threat to the sold out union charros and a fundamental factor for the construction of a New Independent Union in Matamoros that defends the workers and not the companies.
Bosses and governments counterattack President AMLO simulates – with difficulty , of course – not intervening in this strong class confrontation. He tries to appear impartial and apart from this serious conflict that already has and will have more replicas throughout the country. But his stealth was not enough to prevent CTM Secretary General and PRI senator , decrepit union charro, Carlos Aceves Del Olmo, from affirming that “The CTM will flourish with the Fourth Transformation” …
And that explains his relationship with AMLO: “Because of the size of our organization, because of the importance of the CTM, I have already had three meetings with him and he has been very kind” … And he assured that “President López Obrador has more interests in engaging in a dialogue with the CTM that with other political organizations “. (El Universal 02/24/19). And, after a private meeting with AMLO, he publicly declared that he is in charge of finishing, as soon and however possible with the strikes in Matamoros: “Two days ago, I was talking with President López Port … López Mat … López Obrador … Sorry, with President López Obrador … One is used to so many years of … I am PRI … I said to the president, very kindly and we made several commitments that we are going to fulfill … In what remains of this week and the next one the Matamoros problem will be over, there can’t be more of those. ” (Millennium 03/14/19)
It is evident that with this “presidential assignment” to the CTM, the bosses of the 5 companies that still maintained the conflict, governor Cabeza de Vaca of Tamaulipas and their state police understood that they could harden their positions and repression. The first to understand that message was Coca-Cola, whose managers broke into the company with extreme violence, seriously wounding striking workers and their families.
Or the violence from state police against picketing workers in Mecalux and Avances Cientificos, with many workers injured and arrested. They managed to be liberated by the firm action and tenacious resistance of hundreds of working men and women, led by Lawyer Susana Prieto. Armed riot police also charged against striking workers at FluxMetals, which has been on strike since February 6. It was a wise decision by the workers to retreat after seeing that they were outnumbered 4 to 1. Employer and police repression takes advantage of a relative reflux in the struggles, which is not because the workers are defeated or forget that everything achieved was by mobilization, but by wear and fatigue after three months of hard class battles. No one has the right to reproach them or to belittle the conquered.
The 20-32 movement continues making history Although the conjuncture of struggle is defensive, the movement is alive and proudly maintains its political independence from the bosses, their governments and their parties. 20-32 is the vanguard of the workers’ struggle throughout the country. That is why before state congress elections in Tamaulipas, convened for June 2, the thousands of workers in Matamoros strongly repudiate all parties of the regime, including that of President AMLO. And so the initiative arose not only to reject the bosses’ parties and their candidates, but also to nominate independent workers candidates to face the bosses in the political arena as well.
That is to say, to dispute the representation of the workers and poor people, even in a foreign and hostile terrain to the workers, the bosses state institutions terrain. Although the deadline for registering independent candidates has already expired, at the general assembly held on Sunday, April 7, that initiative was approved with enthusiasm. The slogans at that moment and in the subsequent demonstration to the local Ministry of Labor speak for themselves: “Fight, fight until winning! Fight to bring workers to power!” While in some industrial parks hundreds of workers and neighbors are still mobilized in support to face the repression, factories have already started to postulate some candidates. It was agreed to ensure that both men and women would be represented.
The workers of Matamoros have learned a lot from this hard experience with those rotten “institutions” of the employer state. That is why it did not surprise anyone that from the day after the general assembly the panic of the 4T regime was exposed in the face of this challenge of the working class to the bourgeois parties and their “democracy” for the rich, with their deceitful electoral regulations . Urged by fright the INE( National electoral institution) went out to say: “that it discards the option of candidates without registration” and that “the candidates of the 20-32 movement will be able to register until the next elections and only by that route” …
The INE came to recognize that ” the unregistered can get more votes than all of the parties, but their representation will be invalid. ” And mass media journalists came out to “explain” that this attempt by the workers “has no validity”, because deadlines have already been closed and if they wish to nominate independent candidates, they will have an opportunity in the next election. But what these bureaucrats and charlatans can’t hide or change for this election is that the current ballots have printed – in addition to all registered candidates – a special box to record the name of unregistered candidates.
That is to say, no matter how hard they try to confuse the workers, to dissuade them or to demoralize them, they will not be able to prevent the “unregistered” workers candidates of the 20/32 Movement from being written in on the ballot by the voters. And they cannot prevent those votes from being counted. Because those votes are not considered null. And that will show that the workers repudiate the parties of the bosses’ regime and will not vote for their executioners. And that the working class and the exploited and oppressed repudiate this false “democracy of the bosses”. And that they can have their own and genuine political representation, different and opposed to that of their exploiters and repressors.
Time will tell if this independent political experience of our class helps mature, not only union organization, but the construction of a true working class party that develops throughout the country, from “North to South and East to West ” that with the method of mobilization and democratic decisions accomplishes the true social Transformation that the working people of Mexico need.
Translated by Blas