JULY 5TH, 2017
On June 30, the heavy weights of the Brazilian working class stopped and demonstrated from South to North of the country, despite the betrayal by the heads of the main federations.
On the 29, the eve of the General Strike, the leaders of the UGT, Força Sindical, and the CUT (and to a lesser extent, the CTB) “pulled the rug” of the Strike. They were already planning on dismantling the strike since June 21 and 23, but they couldn’t because of the base reaction, the crisis in their own rank, and file and the pressure of CSP-Conlutas.
On the 29 and 30, they surpassed the “paralysis-mode”, did not hesitate, and went out dismantling the strike through press statements –like in the case of Força and UGT-, or simply un-calling the actions, even at the expense of their own wearing process. Among metal workers of the ABC, the Union of the CUT called for the general strike until two days ago, and at the moment of the strike they just carried out a small action, even at the expense of its own corrosion among the base.
They forced the cancellation of the strike just after the approval of the labor reform at the Senate’s Committee of Constitution and Justice (CCJ), which took place simultaneously with the refusal by the SJC to Janot’s request of imprisoning Aécio Neves (PSDB) and his separating him from office; as well as with the freedom of Rocha Loures (PMDB), “the guy of the 500k bag,” friend of Temer. On the 30, to the astonishment of some, Lula made a statement to the press supporting Temer against Janot: “If the Attorney General of the Republic has a denounce against the President, he has to prove that,” as if Joesley [Batista] conversation recorded, and Temer’s friend being caught with a suitcase of $500k were not proof enough. He even added: “if the Attorney General is not speaking the truth, he has to be punished”.
If there were still doubts on the “super-agreement” [acordão] between the PT-PMDB-PSDB and others (including the SJC), those doubts were responded with the news that -coordinated by Lula- the lawyers of the PT, PSDB, and PMDB (so, of Temer, Dilma, Lula, and Aécio) led a common action against the Lava Jato.
So, the main leaders of the biggest federations (UGT, Força, and CUT) and the PT, PSDB, PMDB, DEM, PCdoB, and Solidariedade (of Paulinho da Força) are together in a two-way super-agreement: the operation to save the corrupt ones (including Temer, the guy of the 500k bag, etc.), and in the negotiation of the labor reform, where they have no problem in betraying the working class in exchange for maintaining the indecent Union fee.
Strong Day of Struggles and Stoppages across the country, and General Strike in some states
After pulling the rug of the Strike, especially on Metropolitan São Paulo region, the press, the bosses, and the leaderships of the Federations tried to diminish the true impact of the stoppage along the country, and they even attempted to blame the base for dismantling the strike where they did not call for strike or betrayed it.
But, some heavy weights of the working class maintained the strike, and the mobilization was felt across the country.
In several cities and states, there was a general strike in fact. Oil workers, electricians, postal workers, bank workers, federal public workers and teachers stopped. In some expressive points of Brazil, big metal, chemical, textile, food, and cement factories also stopped. In São José dos Campos, there was a 24 h stoppage carried by metal, chemical and food workers, besides transportation, banks, etc. Metal and chemical workers also stopped in Sorocaba (SP). Still in São Paulo, longshoremen stopped at the Baixada Santista.
Metal workers stopped in Paraná and Minas Gerais; and also the meat industry in Belo Horizonte; the factory Alpargatas [shoes] in Paraíba; the factory Guararapes, in Rio Grande do Norte; the construction industry in Belém and Fortaleza; bus drivers in several cities (in Recife, where part of the Union leadership called to go to work, the pickets stopped the busses because the base supported the strike and wanted to stop). Also, the metro workers stopped in several cities, like in Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte. In Belém do Pará, Fortaleza, and Sergipe, it was a General Strike in practice.
The truth is that June 30 could have been bigger than April 28 if it was for the rank and file disposal to struggle.
Those negotiating with the government under the table and prioritizing the electoral campaign transvested as “Broad Front for Direct Elections now”, after all, only tried to dismantle the existing struggles and blame the base for a weak mobilization. To carry a General Strike despite most leaderships being against it, it is necessary to have more than disposal to struggle: it is necessary to achieve a superior stage of mobilization and organization. The strong stoppage by the working class on the 30, with demonstrations and confronting the dismantling by most Union leaderships, shows that the class has the disposal to struggle, it is not defeated, and it is capable of moving a lot forward in action, organization, and consciousness.
It is important to make this balance because we need to take lessons from it. We need to move forward in the base organization and accumulate forces to surpass the leadership that avoids its responsibility. The working class, workers, and popular and youth movements, are moving forward and learning from each day of struggle. On the 30, they accumulated a new experience.