We have just received the news that the meeting the trade union bureaucracy of UTA had called on September 2nd with the aim of expelling the shop stewards representing the Buenos Aires Metro workers has been suspended. This is the result of the intervention of the authorities of the Ministry of Labour. We cannot fool ourselves. The reason for the intervention of the Ministry of Labour in this conflict is not because they are worried about trade union democracy or respect for workers' rights. The real reason is that they were afraid of the united response of the Buenos Aires metro workers against these attacks on the part of the mafia-like bureaucracy of the UTA and the impact this would have on other sections of workers.
This is clearly a victory, but it is only the first round in the battle. The unity of the workers in support of their stewards has been the key for this victory. When the current shop stewards were elected they received 82% of the votes for their militant trade unionism programme. The threat of expelling the shop stewards from the union UTA comes precisely weeks before new shop stewards elections are due, and it is aimed at preventing them from standing again.
We need to remain vigilant. The comrades of the Socialist Current El Militante have participated in the campaign with our modest forces. We think that in order to strengthen the position a number of steps should be take: 1) a massive campaign of publicity of the reasons for this conflict in working class areas, amongst commuters, etc 2) a demonstration in support of the shop stewards committee involveing other trade union organisations 3) the organisation of a trade union left wing within the UTA, the CGT and the CTA
We appeal to all our supporters to continue with the solidarity campaign.
This is the statement from the shop stewards committee:
Buenos Aires, August 31st, 2008
Statement on the suspension of the UTA congress
The Shop Stewards Committee of the Buenos Aires Metro workers cancels the measures it had announced, as the Ministry of Labour has suspended the UTA congress which was to take place on September 2nd.
The workers remain in a state of alert and mobilisation
For democracy and trade union freedom!
Shop stewards elections to be called when they are due and in a legal and democratic way
We appeal to the Executive of the UTA to rethink their position
An injury to one is an injury to all