Written by PSTU – Brazil
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:59
Workers prepare for a National Day of Strikes and Protests, next Friday.
The time is coming. Across the country, the preparation for the National Day of Strikes and Protests is progressing, towards the General Strike. On Friday, civil servants, public transport workers, dockers, the working class, construction sites workers, universities, businesses and high schools workers in several cities will stop working. The meeting held by the Unions Centrals that organize the day (CSP-Conlutas, CUT, CTB, Nova Central, UGT and Intersindical) on the last day 22 showed there is a great commitment to the 29th.
The Centrals are directing their organizations to seek unity in the states for common industrial actions. It is important to bring unions or social movements not affiliated to any of the Centrals to the stoppage, or those affiliated to the Centrals that did not adhere to the 29th, as is the case of Força Sindical. “There is a general indignation against the PT government’s attacks and a lot of willingness to fight,” claims Luiz Carlos “Mancha” Prates, a member of CSP-Conlutas.
“It is important to continue and strengthen the mobilization of workers and the common agendas of the Centrals for the rejection of the outsourcing bill, against the Provisional Acts 664 and 665 and the budget cuts (fiscal adjustment). They are common points that enable a great day of strikes, towards the General strike,” adds Mancha.
Workers will not pay for the crisis
The day of strikes and demonstrations was approved in a meeting between the Unions Centrals held on May 6, which also included in the agenda the fight against the two provisional acts sent by the president Dilma Rousseff (PT) to the National Congress, which cut labor and social security benefits, the bill of outsourcing, the fiscal adjustment in defense of rights and democracy. Since then the measures taken by the Congress and the government only reinforce the need for a strong mobilization towards a General Strike.
The House of Representatives, which had already approved the Bill of outsourcing, also approved the Provisional Acts attacking unemployment insurance and death benefits, among other rights. This “evil package” is now in the Senate. The government Dilma, in turn, issued a mega cut of US$ 23 billion in the budget, including social areas. More than half of the cuts focus on housing, health, and education.
Only the Education office will undergo a cut of US$ 3 billion, so the “Educator Motherland” slogan of Dilma government is a fake. It’s one of the hardest hit sectors by the austerity plan. The Ministry of Cities, responsible for the program “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” (My House, My Life – the main housing program of the government), will be cut by US$ 5.7 billion. The Health office will lose another US$ 3.9 billion. All this to meet the primary surplus goal, the economy made by the government to pay interest on public debt to the bankers.
In the same week that the Federal Government announced the billionaire cut in the budget, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB), speaker of the House of Representatives, approved the building of a complex in the House to shelter large offices and shops. The mall approved by Members should cost something around US$ 330 million. An absurd evidence that the Representatives represent the interests of banks and large companies, in addition to their own. A hard slap in the face of workers and the population.
In the states, workers struggle against the adjustments applied by the state governments of PT, PSDB, PMDB, among others. The struggle of high school teachers remains strong, as in Paraná, São Paulo, Pernambuco and Pará states.
Outrage is growing and explains the strong support for the National Day of Strikes and Protests on the 29th.
Towards the General Strike
While workers suffer layoffs (100,000 jobs were extinguished in April, the worst figure since 1992), increasing inflation, attacks on their rights inflicted by the National Congress and the Dilma government, the IMF praises the austerity measures and its Managing Director, Ms. Christine Lagarde, says she “welcomed the government’s ambitious fiscal adjustment plan to bring the primary surplus to the announced targets of 1.2 percent of GDP in 2015 and at least 2 percent of GDP in 2016 and 2017.” Governments and employers want the working class to pay for the effects of the economic crisis. It is in the streets and workplaces that this battle will be set.
On the 29th, we will build a great day of struggles, towards a general strike to defeat these attacks by the PT government, the PMDB (allied to PT in office), and the right-wing opposition headed by the PSDB.