The administrator imposed by the judge in Cipla and Interfibra, Rainoldo Uessler, called the workers of Flasko (who had previously decided to expel him from the factory) at midnight and threatened them. He shouted: "If I cannot get the Federal Police, I will get the Army and the Navy and I will crush you!". "Do not dare go out in the streets". This is a serious threat since, as we know, the administrator only managed to destroy the workers' administration in Cipla and Interfibra with a brutal intervention of 150 heavily armed Federal Police on May 31st (see Brazil: Federal Police invade occupied factory CIPLA).
But the workers at Flasko remain firm in their defence of workers' control. "These threats will not paralyse our struggle, but we must be careful because the aim of the intervention by the administrator is to establish a regime of terror in the factories, as is the case in Cipla, where armed security guards patrol the shop floor."
Apart from threats, the administrator is also attempting to sabotage the normal functioning of Flasko. Through joint administrative procedures which existed between Flasko and Cipla, he is trying to prevent operations at Flasko, by contacting clients and suppliers to ask them to stop sales, purchases and deliveries, through a campaign of lies and slanders.
The workers are also under pressure from the CPFL, the electricity company, which has not accepted their proposal of an agreement to pay their outstanding bills, has stopped negotiating with them and is threatening to cut off electricity supply at any time.
The Sao Paulo Committee for the end of the intervention against Occupied Factories has already called a rally in Brasilia on July 5th coinciding with an attempt to reopen talks with the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the workers of Flasko have denounced the administrator Rainoldo Uessler for abusing his powers in trying to dismiss the Factory Committee at Flasko, from where he was expelled by the workers (see Flasko workers expel the administrator for the second time). The lawyer of the Occupied Factories movement, Francisco Lessa, has warned that the actions of the administrator can only have effect in Cipla, for now, since the intervention was decreed as a result of legal action by the National Social Security Institute against Cipla, and therefore the administrator has no powers in any other company.
Furthermore, the lawyer said, the responsibility in this case is not just that of the administrator, but also of the judge that authorised the intervention, since he allowed all sorts of arbitrary practices to take place, including more than 40 dismissals without any legally valid reason.
"If Federal Judge, Francisco de Souza, doesn't stop immediately these illegal actions of the administrator, next week he will be denounced in front of the Federal Justice Department for complicity in illegal actions" said lawyer Francisco Lessa.
The workers of the occupied factories have received support from the 5th National Congress of the Movement of Landless Peasants, which took place in Brasilia on June 11 to 15, with more than 17,000 delegates. The Congress delegates passed a motion repudiating "the violent action of the Federal Police sent by the Federal Government, which ... in a violent action expelled the Administration Council of the factories CIPLA and INTERFIBRAS, made up of 43 members which were receiving total wages of R$70,000 a month, and in an authoritarian fashion appointed an administrator with a wage of R$87,000 a month". The Congress of the MST "repudiated the action of the Federal Police, which brings back authoritarian and repressive practices which remind those of the military dictatorship. We demand the immediate devolution of the factories to workers' control, and that all necessary support and finance is given for them to be able to continue to operate".
A motion of support for the occupied factories was also passed by the National Executive Committee of the CUT trade union confederation on June 21: "The National Executive Committee of the CUT declares its support to the strategy of struggle of the comrades from the Occupied Factories - Cipla, Interfibra, Flasko and Flakepet - factories which were under the control of the workers, but which suffered an intervention imposed by the Federal Justice on the 20th. We would like to report that the CUT has enquired about this case with ministers of the Lula government, so that there is no violence and that a line of negotiation is sought that guarantees the rights of the workers.
Keep sending messages of protest to:
Minister Tarso Genro
Fax : (61) 3322-6817 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Welfare Luiz Marinho
Minister of Labour Carlos Lupi
Presidente da República
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Juiz Federal Titular: Dr. LEONARDO CASTANHO MENDES
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Also to your Embassy/Consulate. To find your local address please click on this link: http://www.mre.gov.br/ingles/endereco/embaixadas.asp
With copies and messages of Solidarity to:
Serge Goulart, Coordinator of the Occupied Factories movement: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- VIDEO - Flasko workers expel the administrator for the second time (June 22, 2007)
- Picture gallery of the rally of the 13th
- Brazil: Cipla workers struggle to regain control of the factory as the campaign spreads (June 18, 2007)
- Report of pickets in Vienna, Brussels and Frankfurt in solidarity with CIPLA workers (June 13, 2007)
- Protest outside Brazilian Embassies in Europe in support of Cipla and Interfibras workers (June 12, 2007)
- Letter to the international labour movement by Serge Goulart (June 7, 2007)
- Appeal by Alan Woods on behalf of Cipla workers (Brazil) (June 6, 2007)
- Press statement by Rafael Prata, Communications advisor for Flasko, a company under workers’ control (June 4, 2007)
- What the CIPLA workers had achieved – a report from a Spanish comrade visiting the occupied factories in Brazil (June 1, 2007)
- Brazil: Federal Police invade occupied factory CIPLA (May 31, 2007)