A week ago, the Buenos Aires legislator Freedom Advances, Lucia Montenegrovisited a dining room in the Padre Carlos Mugica neighborhood and then uploaded photos and videos on their social networks with the hashtag without fear of the people.
Those who are afraid, unfortunately, are the residents of Villa 31 who work for one of the “cooperatives” managed by the right, which called for this lunch with the legislator of Javier Mileyunder the extortion of leaving them without work.
“If you don’t come to this meeting that this important lady is going to be there, you won’t come to work anymore,” the leader threatened. And so she passed with several workers who swept sidewalks, for half a minimum wage, no labor rightshaving to get the cleaning supplies themselves.
– “They told us If you do not support Javier Milei we will leave you without work. To be honest, politics didn’t interest me, I wanted to go to work. I did my work hours. But this woman left me and other colleagues without a job,” says Pedro, a “cooperative” worker, who was asked to join La Libertad Avanza.
Lucia Montenegropreviously he had already made another tour of the neighborhood, together with Victoria Villarruel, the defender of genocide during the last dictatorship civil-military, which accompanies Javier Miley in the presidential formula.
“It is not the first time it happens, this always happened“-complains Juana, another resident of Villa 31, who has lived there for more than 20 years-“Javier Miley runs a whole campaign saying that it is new politics, against caste, against the old politics and does the same thing that the PJ and PRO leaders always did. Here and in many other neighborhoods.”
“For me A real cooperative does not have to be with a political pointer. For me it should be a group of people who decide everything in an assembly, what we are going to do. And let everyone be paid equally. And that they work fewer hours, maybe four hours, with several shifts, so there are more people working. And you have to understand your partner, and the problems they may have, because sometimes they have children, or health problems,” says Juana.
“When I was in the cooperative You had to be in the campaign and if you couldn’t due to a certain problem, they would suspend you and they wouldn’t pay you for those days.. They made me distribute tickets and then they started fighting with those on the other side and we were in the middle, sometimes with boys” – denounces Florencia, one of the workers affected by this harsh management. It is a space managed by the PRO, first the campaign was by Patricia Bullrich, now it is by Javier Milei.
“It happens to many in different cooperatives or soup kitchens, who manage political leaders, but they are afraid to speak. Because they harass us, we are going to lose our jobs and People have needs, they want to work and they have to stay silent.“-explains Pedro.
The residents of 31 also denounce that The leaders who run canteens often refuse to give food with the excuse that “there is a lack of space”; and that the merchandise is stored and sold. These high-profile actions are added to the cut in provisions made by the national government and replicated by local governments. The problem is “those in charge”, and not those who bank the pot for their neighbors and feed the neighborhood boys and girls.
The liberals of Javier Miley and the right Together for Change, blame social assistance for the fiscal deficit, and in fact the Frente de Todos government, with Sergio Massa implemented adjustments in social items of the Budget, by order of the IMF. But only 0.4% of GDP is allocated to assistance; while large companies get 5 points in tax exemptions.
Those who really “live off the State” are the bosses of these large companies. While the adjustment falls on the workers and the poorest sectors of the people: who endure long hours of work for a salary that is not enough, or they scrape by with bargains and complement them with work programs. Genuine work with rights is needed, for everyone.
In the first part of the campaign, in Villa 31, They offered 5 thousand pesos to the neighbors to go and vote for a candidate. How did they check that they did it? First they took them with a microphone, then they asked them for a photo or video with the ballot in the envelope, inside the dark room.
It is known, it is known that this happens, but “people don’t talk because they are afraid.”
“How are you going to film if the vote is secret!” -Juana, who dared to tell this, is outraged. For the most precarious sectors of the working population, not only are there no labor rights, but the most basic democratic right is also violated.: to be able to choose candidates without any type of direct coercion.
“I don’t love either of them, because neither of them has what I want” -explains Juana.
And he adds: “For example the hard hand. I saw the debate. Sergio Massa has proposals similar to Javier Milei, nothing more than hides them a little. There are already a lot of police here and they harass the kids all the time, and on top of that they don’t give them the opportunity to have a job. And the issue of the evictions that took place here on 31 or in the province of Buenos Aires, in Guernica.”
“It is our right to go to protest and no one can take that right away from us, because otherwise who listens to us?” -Juana stands up- “They want to take away a right from us, which is social protest, which is our. I am going to protest because I want to demand my rights and I want them to listen to me. But they are proposing a strong hand.”
The courage to speak about these workers takes on much more value when they openly show all the forms of harassment and extortion they suffer daily. Faced with the current situation and the “Argentina that is coming”, the right of working people to protest, to resist and to fight for another future is the most valuable thing to defend.
More than 10 million people depend on neighborhood soup kitchens in the country. And there are also millions who receive a social salary, as compensation for precarious jobs without rights; as well as other assistance necessary to survive.
The next capitalist government is preparing to continue with the adjustment orders and inflationary policies of the IMF, which demands more cuts and devaluation.
Denouncing the harsh methods and proposing a form of democratic organization for the most precarious workers, in alliance with all sectors of the working people, is the way to face what is coming. There is the social force to build a way out of the crisis.
In this note, the names of those interviewed were changed to protect their identity..