We reproduce a condensed statement of the FLTI on the role played by the leadership of the Metal Workers Union and CSP-Conlutas, led by the PSTU-LIT (Morenoists) in the 'surrender agreement' signed between General Motors management and the workers of San Jose Dos Campos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
BRAZIL: IN GENERAL MOTORS OF SAN JOSE DOS CAMPOS:
SUSPENSIONS, LAYOFFS, INCREASE OF THE LABOUR SHIFT, REDUCTION OF WAGES ARE IMPOSED AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY BOSSES GUARANTEED THEIR SUPER PROFITS
THE LEADERSHIP OF THE METAL WORKER UNION AND CSP-CONLUTAS, LED BY PSTU-LIT MUST WITHDRAW THEIR SIGNATURE FROM THIS "AGREEMENT"
Rank and File Assembly of the organizations that are part of Conlutas and all the worker organizations of CUT and other union central to repudiate, disregard and fight against this “agreement”! Emergency Congress right now of CSP-Conluta! The world crisis has entered into Brazil and MERCOSUR. The terrible attack against workers and the poor people by Dilma in Brazil and Cristina K in Argentina on behalf of Obama and the transnationals, this is how they testified.
In General Motors of San Jose dos Campos the bosses launched a terrible attack based on the blackmail, threating with the closure of the factory and the assembly sectors to imposed layoffs, suspensions, decrease of wages and finish of the conquests. After GM, only in 2011 in the plants of Brazil, will get as net super profit 7.6 millions of dolards!
Unfortunatly, the leader of the Metal Worker Union of San Jose dos Campos led by PSTU-LIT* echoed this blackmail and from August of last year allowed more than 500 volunteer retirements, these are disguised layoffs under the cover of “PDV” (Plan of Volunteer Dismissals, initial Spanish), so after January 26th, 2013 ended up signing an “agreement” under the exuce that “it was the only thing possible”. This is that PSTU-LIT says to the working class that “the only thing “possible” is to surrender in front of the bosses without fighting.
Thus, a real “sliding scale of wages and shift hours”… but the other way around! was imposed. This is a sliding scale of suspensions, layoffs and reduction of wages, where the company keep their rate of profit and in this way increase of productivity with less workers, increasing the rate of surplus value and with reduction of salary almost 50%. It is about... the same agreement signed by the UAW of AFL-CIO in GM Detroit in USA in 2008, with catastrophic consequences for the US exploited, the continent ones and at world level, with millions of layoffs, work flexibility, so on.
We reproduce some main points of the agreement signed:
-Investment of R$ 500 millions given to the areas of Powertrain (motors and transmissions), stamping and $10, during 2013 and 2017. -Production of Classics until December, with 750 workers. After that period there will be a new negotiation. -The ones that are in lay-off (suspensions), will have the extention of the process for two months. After that, if the company dismisses, it will have to pay a fine of three wages. The worker will choose to leave immediately and received five wages, beside the labour rights. -Discussion between GM and the union on the ways of anticipation retirement for whom will be close to be retired. -The shift days which allow two extra hours per day and extraordinary work on Saturday, alternatively. There could be able to have leaves until 12 days per year, which will be given back later. -Guarantee of the employment level until December 2013 in MVA (Assembly of Cars) and December 2014 for the rest of the plant of San Jose dos Campos. -Cut in the clause on the employment level in the area of use of materials, from 1203 to 900 employers. -Guarantee of new/extention of the agreement of differentiation shift of work (6 X1, rotative shifts and Sunday work paying extra hours and a free day during the week), this is for two years. -The agreement will last two years.
(Source: Metal Worker Union of San Jose dos Campos and Region)
Since the imperialist bosses started with the blackmail of the closure plan and launched the “Volunteer of Dismissals Plan” (PDV, initials in Spanish), what was posed was to call one and a thousand time, from CSP-Conlutas, to set up a Fighting Committee of all the auto factories, metal factories and steel factories in the country, where they could expressed all the worker organizations and all the workers with their demands, to fight as a single fist, because the demands of GM were the ones of the entire worker movement to fight against the dismissals, flexibilization, so on. In this way, fighting against and attacking the private property of the capitalist with the methods of the working class, calling to occupy the plant facing the first dismissals, setting to produce under worker control and fighting for everything, this was the only way to conquer however it is the most elemental demand. Thus, the workers of GM could have conquered better condition to fight.
Unfortunatly, the leadership of PSTU-LIT chose to keep the problem of GM workers in the plant of San José dos Campos and to make a campaign so that Dilma makes a “law against dismissals”. This generates fake expectations that Dilma could resolve the problems of the workers, and in this way they prevented the workers to identify their enemies,the government partner of the slave bosses and the transnational company, from their allies, the workers of the country and even the world starting with the auto workers from Detroit in USA up to Rosario in Argentina.
The leadership of Metal Worker Union of San José dos Campos, led by PSTU-LIT, must withdraw right now its signature form this “Surrender-Agreement” which goes against the interest of the workers. The worker rank and file and their fighting organizations of the entire Brazil must repudiate, not recognize and reject immediately this Surrender-Agreement and call to break with it, preparing a great fight for all the demands of the workers, poor peasants and militant students, otherwise, we will all end up being dismissed workers of the GM or producing under slave conditions.
We cannot allow it any more, the leadership of PSTU-LIT/Conlutas put all its force at the disposal of this Surrender Agreement, as current that speaks in the name of socialism and as a trade union who claimed to be militant, to sign an agreement that pelega (lackey) bureaucracy of CUT or Force Sindical or CTB would not have the authority to impose. This surrender agreement only strengthened "Social Pact" regime with which the imperialist monopolies guaranteed the plunder with the super exploitation of the workers.
To prevent that the Surrender Agreement signed in GM to to take effect in the whole labor movement, it is time to stand up:
- Not recognition of the agreement with the GM of layoffs, wage cuts and increased working hours!
- Down with the Social Pact!
- Hands the bosses and the state off the labor organizations!
- No trust in the Ministry of slave Labour!
- Enough of making the workers submit to the Ministry of Labour, the legislature, the judiciary and other boss institutions!
- Enough with impotent policies that subordinate the working class to their executioners!
- Enough that the bosses guarantee their profits at the expense of poverty, unemployment and hunger of the workers and their families!
- The Brazilian working class must fight to retake the path of the 70s-80s, with factory committees and strike commands that shook imperialism and the lackey bourgeoisie!
Under this perspective it was and is raised today for all the workers’ assemblies to move motions:
- Stop the layoffs and unemployment! Immediate reinstatement of all the dismissed workers under the PDV blackmail!
- Sliding scale of salaries and working hours!
- That the crisis be paid by the capitalists!
- Reduction of the working day, without salary reduction, so as to put all available hands to produce!
- Minimum, living salary of R$4,000 for everybody, indexed according to the cost of living, measured by workers’ organizations!
That is to say, 180 degrees opposed to the policy defended by Zé María and the PSTU-LIT. In his report Zé María, last candidate for presidency for the PSTU and current national leader of the CSP-Conlutas, on January 29th said:
“Agreement in the GM prevents factory from closing, but the struggle against the attacks continues”, states: “It was the only possible agreement, under the existent balance of power. It isn’t the agreement that we wanted to do. The extension of the suspensions for two more months guarantees that there aren’t any more dismissals now, but it doesn’t prevent the assemble from firing this fellow workers within 60 days (with the exception of the injured and the workers who are nearing retirement), paying a fee of 3 salaries for each one. It was the best we could get, thanks to the mobilization of the workers, the resistance from the union and the support we received from several entities in Brazil and other countries. So, we got to prevent the closure of the factory, but the fight against the layoffs of the workers that are now suspended isn’t over yet”.
On the other hand, this is how Luiz Moan, director of GM in Brazil, celebrated the signed agreement:
“I end the day satisfied. Today (Saturday) is the anniversary of GM in Brazil, 88 years, and I made a joke that I should receive a gift, but the ones who are receiving it are Brazil and the society. I can say that we from GM try to revert the already taken decision (of stopping the Classic production) according to the orders we receive (...) Classic is the higher cost of production, but we decided to contribute to the dialogue with the union. Keeping this level of relationship was essential. We hope that in future periods we will be able to keep this level, so that we can defend jobs and investment, and who knows, get successive negotiations, with the GM having here not 7,5 thousands employees, but figures we already had, near 13 thousands”. (Web page of the Época magazine, Business section, 01-27-2013)
The PSTU-LIT in the leadership of the union and the CSP-Conlutas –who lead and influence more than 3 million workers throughout the country- hasn’t called any serious struggle, or called an emergency meeting to the ELAC (Latin American and Caribbean Workers’ Meeting) to prepare a great unified struggle beyond any border, from Detroit, USA, to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
They just organized a mobilization towards the San José Dos Campos town hall to tell the mayor and traders to pressure GM since the economy of the city would be paralysed with all the dismissed workers... What a shame! As if the traders and the petty bourgeoisie lived of what “the workers consume” and not the surplus value that the bosses rip from the working class, and as if the middle classes pressuring the mayors could stop the savage attack of the automotive imperialist monopoly...
Suppose the union leadership called for a Struggle Committee and the entire automotive and iron and steel worker movement to send delegates to that Committee, to all the workers whether they belong to the CUT or Conlutas to send delegates there to struggle to stop the layoffs, suspensions and salary decrease, and that thousands of delegates gathered in a struggle Committee to raise a single tender of demands. Suppose all this had been done and afterwards the conditions hadn’t been enough to defeat the bosses’ attack.
When the Bolsheviks after the seizure of power in October 1917, keeping the enormous distance from all analogy, signed the peace with the German imperialism in Brest Litovsky in 1918 at the end of World War I, before the German proletariat uprising, the first thing they did was to call the North American and European working class to revolt against that pact, absolutely favorable to the Junkers. The PSTU-LIT, of course, is in opposition with this revolutionary policy. Not only they did the not make a serious call for struggle or devoted all their forces to prepare, in the unions they lead, the conditions for the victory, but also in the defeat they don’t tell the truth to the workers: that this agreement is against the workers and the entire working class has to repudiate it, and revolt against that agreement and never sign a similar agreement, and that as soon as the GM workers get in better conditions they must break that agreement. The PSTU-LIT and the CSP-Conlutas leadership instead of preparing the conditions to struggle, they devoted themselves to pose that there were no conditions and that we had to accept the attack and barely restrain it. Thus, they do nothing but to apply the recipe of the union bureaucracies from the North American AFL-CIO, the Spanish UGT, the French CGT, the Greek Stalinist union bureaucracy, etc.
To prevent this defeat the working class must stand up as it did in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
WE MUST SET UP AGAIN THE STRIKE COMMITTEES AND THE UNIFIED STRUGGLE COMMANDS OF ALL THE INDUSTRIES IN THE COUNTRY!
The fact is that under these conditions of the bosses’ attack in every line against the working class and the exploited from Brazil and worldwide, the time has arrived for the working class to weigh again in the political scene, to unify its ranks and guarantee the worker counter-offensive to stop the attack.
Until yesterday, to save the capitalism in ruins, it was the Union Force and the CUT the ones that signed those agreements, while the Conlutas leadership pressured from outside to get “something more”, restraining left-wing movements that were breaking up with the bureaucracy. With this kind of “agreements”, like the one signed in the GM, the Conlutas will end up being another treacherous trade union, spokesman of the bosses’ interests, a worn photocopy of the CUT. We can’t allow that!
For that reason every union from the CSP-Conlutas, every worker organization from Brazil, Latin America and the world who doesn’t call to condemn this Surrender Act signed in the GM in San José dos Campos, which is a true class collaboration agreement like the AFL-CIO did in Detroit in 2008-2009, will never be able to speak again in the name of the interests of the working class and socialism worldwide.
Committee for the Refoundation of the 4th International, from Sao Paulo Brazil Member of the International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction.
February 14th, 2013.
* PSTU-LIT: Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores-Unificado. Morenista current that in the 80s was called Convergencia Socialista, which became internal tendency of Partido de los Trabajadores (PT) after founding in 1980, until they split in the foundation congress of PSTU in 1994. It is the strongest section of the Liga Internacional de los Trabajadores (LIT).
** CSP-Conlutas: Central Sindical y Popular -Conlutas, one of the so many worker central union of Brazil, this one was born in 2005 under the name of Conlutas talking a split process of worker layers with the lacley bureucracy of CUT and PT, at that time in the gocernemt from 2002.