In the early afternoon of today, Friday, March 14th, news arrived of the attack by the National Guard against the workers of SIDOR, which has resulted in dozens of workers being arrested and injured. The Revolutionary Marxist Current (CMR) wishes to express its solidarity with the struggle of the workers and condemns the repression carried out by the National Guard. We demand the immediate release of all those arrested and the removal and trial of those responsible for this attack against the SIDOR workers.
This repression takes place at a crucial juncture of the struggle when the Ministry of Labour was attempting to organise a ballot within the company with the aim of breaking the strike. The attitude of the Ministry of Labour has been extremely negative in this conflict as well as in many others around the country. The Ministry of Labour should be helping the struggle of the workers for the nationalisation of SIDOR, instead of mediating with Argentinean multinational Termiun, which has received massive profits by exploiting the workers of SIDOR and others who are contracted out.
No conciliation is possible between the interests of the workers and those of employers, be they national or foreign. There is no third way between capitalism and socialism. This was the road that lead to defeat and disaster in Chile and Nicaragua. The attitude of the Minister of Labour Rivero is seriously undermining the support and trust of the working class in the government of president Chavez. The government must radically change its policy towards the workers. President Chavez in 2007 raised the idea of nationalising SIDOR and now should pass from words to actions.
The struggle of the SIDOR workers is an example for the whole of the Venezuelan working class. In order to succeed it must spread and win the support of the majority of the population and of the Bolivarian revolutionary movement. The strike movement should spread, to the rest of the workers and communities, with the demand of nationalisation under workers' control as the only way forward to solve the conflict. The only way to satisfy the wage demands and the improvements in working conditions is through the nationalisation of SIDOR and of all those companies in crisis, working below capacity, whose owners sabotage the economy, create shortages and go against the constitution by violating workers' rights. The factories must be placed under workers' control.
The nationalisation of SIDOR should be the first step towards the nationalisation of the monopolies and the means of production under the control of the workers and the communities, the only possible way of building socialism in Venezuela. The ruling class is unable to develop the country's productive apparatus and fulfil the needs of the people. It is a parasitical class. Only the working class, in an alliance with the communities and the peasants, can put into practice the endogenous development of the country, producing on the basis of social need, not private profit.
The Bolivarian government should continue the road towards nationalisation which started in 2005 with the expropriation of Venepal and the CNV, and in 2007 with the nationalisation of the Orinoco Belt, CANTV and Electricidad de Caracas. The Bolivarian government must pass from words to deeds in eradicating capitalism and building socialism.
The CMR issues an appeal to the UNT unions and the different currents within it to leave to one side past differences and to organise a national emergency conference of the UNT with the aim of unifying the struggles of the working class around the struggle against economic sabotage and shortages. Such a conference should call for a national day of action of factory occupations to demand that the national government nationalises under workers' control all companies in crisis, closed down or in conflict, such as SIDOR and hundreds of others. Such a conference should also call for the setting up of factory councils as the basis for workers' control over production. These factory councils, together with the UNT trade unions should become the backbone for the new revolutionary state that the Bolivarian revolution needs in order to march towards socialism.
Caracas, March 14, 2008
Read the original in Spanish.