Faced with the prolonged negotiation in the steel industry, next Tuesday the 22nd, the UOM convenes a national steel congress in the town of Campana due to the refusal of billionaire Paolo Rocca to replicate the agreement reached by branch 17 in the companies it controls the group. Acindar reached an agreement in advance between the company and the UOM Villa Constitución. The businessman in charge of the UIA sets a precedent for the rest of the employers, seeking to obtain an agreement per company and weaken the organizations, taking advantage of the unbeatable situation created by the 22% devaluation imposed by Minister Massa, which pulverized wages.

The situation of workers in the industry

The companies of the Techint Group set records in production and profits, even in the midst of a pandemic. While uncertainty grew among the families, Rocca demanded that the government of Alberto Fernández modify the decree that regulated the risks of contagion. Therefore, they never stopped their production, they maintained super profits and implemented the mandatory 12 hours, as in Ternium Siderar, at its Ramallo-San Nicolás plant. In addition, they obtained from the State the wage subsidy called “ATP”.

A worker with more than 30 years of seniority and technical category, with rotating shifts, earns 300,000 pesos, while many contractors reach the basic salary of the agreement that does not exceed 200,000 pesos. Another critical situation occurs in the companies in the industrial parks, workshops and suppliers of this great industrial conglomerate, which become authentic exploitation centers, with salaries that barely exceed 160 thousand pesos.

At Valentín Alsina’s Tenaris SIAT, after the dismissal of more than 100 employees who spent months working 12 hours on the construction of the Nestor Kirchner gas pipeline, the company is now threatening a suspension plan for all personnel. It is important to remember that in this plant, more than 70% of the personnel were hired for more than 1 year. Observing the instability of the dollar and the national economy, Tenaris does not waste time to speculate and threatens to suspend all personnel until the planned works resume.

The panorama at Siderca Campana is no different, where contract dismissals and purchasing power pruning were carried out, as well as concealed layoffs in contractors and services.

As for everything that is happening

Polyfunctionality arrived a long time ago, together with 12 hours and greater workloads, one-month contracts are used to covertly lower jobs, replacing positions with internships, fractional vacations, split parities, and negotiations endless while wages are pulverized, in addition to the impact of Massa’s 22% devaluation. This is the perfect combo that Rocca was consolidating by leaps and bounds, first with Caló and now with Furlán. The consequences are suffered by the workers for not coming together in a unified fight. The UOM agrees by branches and now by companies, which underpins the division in the union. The CGT is supporting every plan and attack on the conquests of the workers since “hay 2019”, when a great unified mobilization of the workers was carried out against the pension reform of Macrismo. Will these problems be the ones that will be discussed at the next congress in Campana? We can’t wait to see what happens with Milei or the election. Facing the right requires the unity of all the workers and resuming the fight with a plan that begins with a national strike to recover everything lost in all these years and that has as its starting point the reopening of parities, where the workers themselves make decisions in resolution assemblies.

The initial agreement between branches 17 and 21 only contributes to the division in the guild. They continue to weaken the metal and steel companies, since there is also an agreement signed by Acindar that further promotes the division. This reflects Paolo Rocca’s clear objective of reaching agreements by company. In all these years, he has made substantial progress in these objectives and the workers must respond urgently. It is necessary to debate what this progress is about and to be able to decide the steps to follow with assemblies in each sector.

As expressed by the Movement of Classist Groups, it is necessary to open the discussion among the group of workers starting with the following slogans with a view to uniting from below what is divided by those above and facing the ongoing adjustment:

-Reopening of parities to resume the unified fight and recover what was lost.

-Enough of divisions in the guild.

-For a salary equal to the cost of living.

Amid lengthy negotiations and union division, the steel sector faces economic and labor challenges. The call for a national congress by the UOM reflects the urgent need for unity and struggle to face the strategies of the bosses and recover lost rights. It is necessary that the resolutions voted in the Campana Congress be taken to the group of UOM workers to be discussed in base assemblies and that it be the patrimony of all metal and steel workers.

Source: www.laizquierdadiario.com

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