Venezuela: to the workers of SIDOR that kicked out the union bureaucrats in Gate 3

By Gustavo Martinez Rubio – Marea Socialista

Last Monday, May 15, news came out about an episode that took place at SIDOR’s Gate 3, in which the workers of the aforementioned company literally kicked out some bureaucrats of the so-called Central Socialista Bolivariana de Trabajadores (CSBT) when they were trying to carry out an act of their usual proselytism. (See video at the end of the article).

On Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook … videos and images of the relevant incident, which reflects the genuine weariness of the Sidorista rank and file workers, but which obviously coincides with the feelings of the absolute majority of the working class, were sent everywhere.

It is therefore imperative to share some considerations, first of all directed to the Sidor workers, but also to the rest of the workers at the national level.

No more union/political bureaucracies! And more workers’ democracy

More workers’ democracy because what they did, when they threw out the union bureaucrats of the CSBT, was an exercise of demonstration of collective strength and by the rank and file, all to the beat of shouts or the highlighting of slogans that articulate demands nested in the bosom of the working class: Get out! Thieves! They stole our wages! What the workers were shouting at the bureaucrats can be heard perfectly well.

And more workers’ democracy because such action should have a correspondence with greater quality on the part of the comrades themselves and not remain merely reactive. The protagonism that can be seen to confront and get rid of the bureaucrats must also be demonstrated in subsequent steps aimed at organizing this weariness and giving it the perspective of greater struggle and mobilization.

It is necessary to recover the workers’ assemblies to discuss a plan of struggle that immediately unites the workers of SIDOR and that is also capable of putting this conflict on the streets with a leadership chosen and recognized by all to avoid the opportunism of political operators who act within our struggles but who move and propose lines of action that lead to other interests of the bosses. There are plenty examples of this.

There are not only the CSBT bureaucrats. There are many more

There are many more because there is not only one leadership and there is not only one boss. It is true, for example, that Memorandum 2792 was signed by the most important union members of the CSBT, but just as true is the fact that the private sector has taken advantage of this nefarious document and has applied it ad nauseam against its workers. If not, just ask the workers of La Polar, La Regional, Plumrose, just to cite a few examples.

And the private sector and businessmen in general have their political expressions in the so-called “classic opposition”, which obviously have their own union bureaucracies, as harmful to our interests as workers as the CSBT. And the role of the latter can be seen in recent conflicts such as that of the teachers sector, whose base mobilized for months at the beginning of this year, and then faded away as these bureaucracies only took advantage of the mobilization to position “their figures” through the media (which are paid and made available to them by the bosses’ political parties). They do it for future electoral pretensions, but in the face of the teachers and workers of the education sector in general they have been incapable of holding assemblies (real assemblies, not parapets as some do) or of discussing a united plan of struggle with clear slogans, or anything of the sort.

In such a way that the rejection of the union bureaucracies has to be with a classist approach and with total political independence from both the government/employer opposition leaderships, equally, from the public and private bosses. The capitalist government of Maduro eliminated our wages and at the same time put us on a platter as semi-slave labor for the businessmen and transnationals. If not, see how satisfied and happy FEDECAMARAS is with the government measures.

The need to articulate with workers of all sectors.

The magnitude of the situation and of the crisis that has been imposed on the workers and other impoverished sectors leaves no room for doubt about the need to achieve the greatest possible articulation on the basis of common slogans and demands. The cry of the Sidoristas “They stole our wages” is nothing more than the evidence of what it is to survive in a country with “zero wages”, and rapaciously ” bonused”, more and more submerged in greater and greater calamities.

Last May 1st in Guayana, while the government and its bureaucrats were absent in the streets, some bureaucrats linked to political parties of the employers’ opposition held a squalid event, but, on the other hand, it could be seen, concentrated in front of the CVG, a congregation of workers from companies such as SIDOR, FERROMINERA, Masisa, among others, who had come together to the rhythm of the call: “We make a May 1st of the Workers’ Own, Without Public or Private Employer”.

That is the route, of course, with greater organization, greater preparation and creating the conditions to unitarily build the program of struggle at the service of all the workers in Guayana, and which will be a reflection for the rest of our class as a whole. The emblematic Gate 3 must be definitively taken away from the bureaucrats and recovered for the deliberative and assembly exercise of the Sidor workers and with it for the meeting with comrades from other companies.

The struggle for a wage that at least covers the cost of the basic food basket (Art. 91 of the CRBV), the struggle against corruption, the struggle for the freedom of the workers imprisoned for fighting or for denouncing acts of corruption, the struggle for the reinstatement of the workers not required or suspended, or the struggle for the holding of free union elections without any kind of obstacles are demands that, incorporated into this necessary plan of struggle, have the potential to summon fellow workers from both the public and private sectors.

It is urgent to undertake these tasks, and what happened at SIDOR’s Gate 3 should serve as a catalyst for us to definitively take the class and democratic path that will put us on the ground where the bosses never want us to be. It is the road to the recovery of the social fabric, of direct and democratic contact among the workers, to reverse the levels of disintegration and disorganization to which they have led us.

Out with the union bureaucracies, all of them!

Long live the rally of the SIDOR workers on 05/15/2023!