Zanon leader on European tour
Raúl Godoy, one of the leaders of the Zanon ceramic factory under workers’ control in Argentina, is currently visiting several European countries. Godoy, who is also an elected member of the provincial parliament in Neuquén for the Workers’ Left Front and a former general secretary of the provincial Ceramic Workers’ Union, is speaking at a series of workers’ meetings.
In France, he brought greetings from the Zanon workers to an assembly of Peugeot workers who are waging a bitter strike against layoffs. In the Spanish State, he spoke to more than 200 workers from the Barcelona CGT trade union confederation. Details of his tour, including photos and videos, can be found at:
On May 13th, Godoy visited the PSA factory at Aulnay-Sous-Bois, where 200 workers are about to start their fifth month on strike. It was a rousing internationalist meeting which was able to establish a profound dialogue between Zanon and those at PSA who ‘fight like lions’.
Godoy’s greetings to the workers’ assembly
Good morning, brothers and sisters. I bring greetings from Argentina to your heroic struggle. The Zanon workers, who have been occupying their factory for more than ten years and have put it to work, welcome your fight.
The same situation, the same crisis is being discussed all over the world – wherever capitalists say they have a crisis. But they always want workers to pay for the crisis. What kind of crisis is Peugeot suffering from? They are rolling in money thanks to your hard work. Their accomplices are the judiciary and governments that protect exploitation. But you are not alone either. Solidarity comes from many parts of the world.
We have the greatest respect for the struggle you are carrying out and for the assembly as a way of reaching decisions. We know that comrades from many places have visited you to express their solidarity. We won’t limit our solidarity to words, but will commit ourselves to putting our support into practice in Argentina or wherever we are. We will demand that governments take on the responsibility of providing jobs for all. When a bank or a financial institution is in crisis there are millions of Euros available to save them. Stop subsidising capitalists! Support the strikers and the strike fund to win this fight!
I have been a ceramic worker for 20 years. In Zanon we went through the same situation that you have here today, but we got a lot of support from other workers, and instead of us being thrown out by the boss, the boss was thrown out by us. It’s been ten years since we took over the factory.
This is not an easy fight. We must demand that the trade union leaders support the strike effectively, because this is a test case. When the Zanon boss said that he had to close because of the crisis, we asked him to show us how much he had earned by exploiting us. Following that, support for our struggle grew, and when they wanted to evict us from the factory a lot of people gathered around the plant in solidarity and there was a strike throughout the province. That’s what helped us to win.
I take the responsibility of spreading news of your struggle in Argentina and elsewhere in order to gain international support. But however this fight ends, I am sure we will meet again because this is just a battle in the war to make the capitalists pay for the crisis.
May 16, 2013
Translated by Nicolas Bona