The COB and the FSTMB must stop their servile collaboration with the government and regain working class independence.
The 1st of May is expressing the situation of lack of protection for the workers regarding their leadership. The workers can neither speak out nor have an organization that defend their rights and fight for their demands, since the upper leadership of their main organization (COB – Bolivian Worker’s Union) have chosen a position of collaboration with Evo Morales and the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) in the implementation of the anti-workers, anti-popular policies that only favor the employers, the landowners and the transnationals.
A mining Bill that weakens state owned enterprises is passing in the Congress, making possible the delivery of our mineral wealth to the transnationals and cooperative bosses. A law that puts locks on the nationalization of mines, which criminalizes the struggle of the workers and the people. All this has the complicity of COB’s and FSTMB (Bolivian Miner Workers Union’s Federation) leadership.
The COB’s leaders have accepted a ridiculous salary increase, which didn’t compensate sufficiently the loss in the purchasing power of wages over the past year. No more stable jobs have been created. About 80% of the working population works in the informal sector, without benefits nor unions and starvation wages.
The quality of state education, where our kids study, is at stake by the intended imposition of a new school curriculum that aims at implement in the medium-term the reduction of teachers, the reduction of teaching hours and the merge of classrooms.
Labor rights and union rights have been trampled, with fraudulent suits filed against workers and union members and the government intervention against social organizations that don´t agree with the MAS.
All this amid a complicit silence of the main leaders of the COB and FSTMB who tread heavily on the principles of the working class independence and have just joined in the chorus of ministers and the government. Meanwhile, the profits of banks, agribusiness, the mining companies and of transnational oil companies have grown at the expense of increasing poverty.
Given the above, it is urgent to demand, from the rank and file, that the leaders break their partnership with the government in order to regain the independence of the working class.
Published in Lucha Socialista No 33, May-July 2014