We are publishing here an appeal we have received from the workers at IMPA, an occupied factory in Argentina, against their possible eviction. We ask all our readers to circulate it widely and to make sure that resolutions are sent and signed by as many trade unionists, workers and students as possible.
On Monday August 10, the workers at IMPA (Industria Metalúrgica y Plástica de Argentina), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, met in assembly and decided to resist the eviction threat issued by judge Hector Vitale. The judge alleges the inconstitutionality of law nº 2969/08 by the Buenos Aires parliament which in January 2009 decreed the expropriation of this metal industry which had been occupied by the workers since 1998 in defence of their jobs and livelihoods.
The IMPA workers in their press release denounce the fact that judge Hector Vitale has direct economic interests in the sale of the site where the factory is located which would result from the eviction of the workers.
There are currently 63 workers at IMPA, 150 students attending Adult Secondary Education lessons, a free health care clinic for the people of the Almagro neighbourhood, as well as hundreds of youth participating in a cultural centre based in the factory. IMPA is not “just an occupied factory working under workers control, IMPA is a space recovered by our people, IMPA for us is like our country” as the workers say.
IMPA has also become one of the symbols of the whole occupied factories movement in Argentina, being part of the National Movement of Occupied Factories (MNER) and having participated actively in the organisation of both the 1st and 2nd Latin American Gatherings of Worker-Recovered Factories in Venezuela. At a time when the economic crisis is reactivating the factory occupation movement in Argentina and throughout Latin America, it is clear that the ruling class wants to put an end to one of its most outstanding representatives, so that it does not become an inspiration and an example for other workers to follow.
We appeal to all trade union activists and left wing organisations around the world to take up the defence of IMPA and to organise solidarity actions (a model resolution can be found below).
As the workers of IMPA say in their press release: “While we organise the resistance, we will continue doing what we know best, the workers working, the teachers teaching, the students studying, the doctors providing health care and the culture workers creating culture.
For our People and for our Country
Free or Dead, never Slaves!”
Los abajo firmantes rechazamos la decisión del Sr. Juez Héctor Vitale de declarar la inconstitucionalidad de la Ley 2069/08 dictada por la Legislatura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires a favor de los trabajadores de la fábrica recuperada IMPA.
Esta ley habilitó la expropiación del inmueble donde está ubicada la fábrica para garantizar la continuidad de las fuentes de trabajo de 70 familias; además del Bachillerato para Adultos gratuito con título oficial, y un Centro de Salud gratuito para los vecinos del barrio, que funcionan en las instalaciones de la fábrica IMPA.
La empresa IMPA fue recuperada por sus trabajadores en el año 1998 y desde entonces a través de la lucha y el compromiso de los trabajadores y otros actores sociales, continúa defendiendo el trabajo, la cultura, la educación y la dignidad.
Con la decisión del Sr. Juez Héctor Vitale, queda libre el camino para que la fábrica pueda ser desalojada violentamente por la policía en cualquier momento y el inmueble pueda ser vendido para satisfacer intereses económicos e inmobiliarios ajenos a los trabajadores de IMPA y a los habitantes de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Por eso, exigimos al Sr. Juez Héctor Vitale a que dé marcha atrás en su decisión y nos solidarizamos con los trabajadores de IMPA y con cuantas acciones y medidas decidan llevar a cabo sus trabajadores para defender la fábrica y la continuidad de las fuentes de trabajo.
We reject the decision taken by Judge Hector Vitale to declare the unconstitutionality of Law 2069/08 of the Buenos Aires Legislature in favour of the workers at IMPA, the recovered factory.
That Law allow for the expropriation of the site where the factory is located so that the source of income of 70 families would be guaranteed, as well as the continuation of the Adult Secondary Education course, and the free health care centre which operate within the installations of the factory.
IMPA was recovered by its workers in 1998, and they have since then through struggle defended jobs, culture, education and dignity, together with other social actors.
The decision of judge Hector Vitale opens the door for the police to violently evict the factory at any time, so that the site can be sold off in order to satisfy economic interests alien to those of the IMPA workers and those of the citizens of Buenos Aires.
We demand from Judge Hector Vitale the retraction of his decision and we express our solidarity with the workers of IMPA in any actions they decide to take in defence of the factory and the continuation of their jobs.
Juzgado de 1ª Instancia en lo Comercial Nº4: Sr. Juez Héctor Vitale.