In this interview (in Spanish), Serge Goulart, the national coordinator of the Occupied Factories Movement in Brazil gives an overview of the latest situation of the struggle against the decision of the Lula government to organise a judicial-police intervention against CIPLA and Interfibra and the attacks on the workers at Flaskó.
He explains how on Wednesday, June 27th, the electricity CPFL company cut off electricity supply to the workers in Flaskó. The workers at Flaskó had been paying all their electricity bills to the recently privatised company CPFL and were even negotiating the payment of outstanding bills which had been left by the former owners, before the factory was occupied by the workers, of which they had already paid more than R$ 300,000. For a week, employees of CPFL pretended to be carrying out work in the electrical system, but in reality they were installing an electronic switch to allow them to cut off supply without having to go to the company itself and face the workers' wrath. So, at 5.55pm on June 25, power was cut from the company without prior warning, which could have caused damage to some of the machines that were on at that time.
Serge described the situation of extreme repression at CIPLA and INTERFIBRA, with armed guards patrolling the shop floor. Nevertheless, he explained, workers at Interfibra had already expressed their willingness to go out on strike to demand the reinstatement of the Factory Council and the expulsion of the imposed administrator. Discussions were taking place amongst CIPLA workers in order to coordinate these actions. This was made more difficult by the fact that the Factory Council members had been served an order by the judge banning them from an area of one square kilometre around the factory, under threat of arrest and jailing.
Serge Goulart also explained in the interview, carried out by members of the FRETECO in Venezuela, how the Venezuelan government had expressed its solidarity with the workers of the occupied factories in Brazil in their struggle against government intervention. At discussions which took place during the First Latin American Gathering of Workers in Occupied Factories in Caracas (http://www.marxist.com/gathering-worker-factories021105.htm), the state-owned Venezuelan petrochemical company Pequiven signed an agreement to supply cheap raw materials to Cipla and Interfibra, the Brazilian plastics occupied factories. Now the Venezuelan authorities have announced that since the agreement was reached with factories that were under workers' control, this would not apply as long as the factories were under the administration of the judge, backed by police repression. Serge correctly stressed that this was an important gesture of international solidarity on the part of revolutionary Venezuela. He added that the other reason for his presence in Venezuela was to deal with the arrangements for the calling of the 2nd Latin American Gathering of Worker Occupied Factories, which will take place in October this year.
Serge also explained how the solidarity for the Occupied Factories movement and against the imposition of an administrator in Cipla and Interfibra had been growing, with the recent resolutions passed by the country's main trade union confederation CUT and the Landless Peasants Movement, MST. Support had also arrived from the Peruvian trade union confederation CGTP and from the Uruguayan PIT-CNT. He thanked all those who had been involved in the international solidarity campaign, describing their actions, and particularly the pickets of the embassies, as "pure oxygen".
Please send letters demanding the reconnection of electricity to Flaskó to:
Gerência da CPFL - Campinas
A/C Carlos Alcântara
Depto Comercial da CPFL - Campinas
A/C Airton Rosek
Presidência da República
A/C presidente Luís Inácio Lula da Silva
Ministério de Minas e Energia
A/C ministro Silas Rondeau
Esplanada dos Ministérios Bloco "U" CEP:70.065-900 Fone:(61)3319-5555 Brasília-DF