Solidarity with the workers of 'Luz y Fuerza del Centro' in Mexico
We are publishing here four texts in response to the massive job-cuts facing power and electricity workers in Mexico. The first is a joint leaflet signed by our section in Mexico, which publishes Revolución mundial, and two internationalist anarchist groups, Grupo Socialista Libertario and the Projecto Anarquista Metropolitano. There are two messages of solidarity from proletarian groups in Peru. We are also publishing a further message in support of the workers' struggle, from comrades in Ecuador. These are all excellent examples of cooperation between proletarian organisations, who despite various differences can unite their forces in response to important events.
The liquidation of Luz y Fuerza del Centro: unemployment and more attacks... We have to struggle, but not behind the unions
On the night of the 10th October the Federal police occupied all of the stations and centres of LyFC in parallel with the presidential directive announcing the closing of this company and lay-offs for nearly 44,000 workers, which the government admits will be "more than that authorised by law". The attack provoked a state of shock, anger and impotence. This is a new blow by the state against the working class. Faced with this situation we have to ask how our class can respond and express its unity.
This is an attack against us all, unity is our defence!
The generalised crisis hitting world capitalism forces each national bourgeoisie to push through increasingly brutal measures, diverting the worst effects of the crisis onto the proletariat. All of its ‘adjustments policies' are worsening the living conditions of all workers, by attacking pensions, wages, and social spending. This is the only way that the capitalists can keep their noses above water. Every country is ‘reforming pensions' (that is, lowering them!), increasing the amount of years that have to be worked before retirement; wages are being pulverised from every angle, the working day is becoming increasingly unbearable and unemployment is the final insult in a life of daily misery.
What we are seeing in Mexico is not some form of quaint folklore, caused by the particular errors of the national capital. The state, which represents the ruling class - the bourgeoisie - has the task of representing its interests (whether it is a government of the Right or the Left). The liquidation of LyFc is an old aim of the bourgeoisie, and if this has been delayed it is to give something back to the union apparatus: remember the support that the SME (Mexican electricians' union) gave to the candidature of Carlos Salinas (1988), the reward for which was the restructuring of the company.
The crisis, however, drags the bourgeoisie into a dead-end, where it cannot hide the catastrophic reality that it has brought about itself. It is therefore necessary for capital to reform its unions, and not destroy them as the left of capital claims. Workers are beginning to understand, deep down, that the unions' blackmail and grip on the struggle does not contribute to the realisation of their true aspirations. Despite all of their fine speeches the unions are the enemies of the proletariat, because the bourgeoisie needs them to better subdue the exploited.
Don't forget the huge campaign that has been unleashed in recent months against this sector of the proletarian class - the electricity workers - who have been made to look ‘privileged' and ‘inefficient' in the eyes of ‘public opinion'. This has lead to a situation where many workers don't understand that it is necessary to struggle against this attack, because if today it is the electricity workers, tomorrow it will be the rest of us.
Workers cannot allow themselves to fall for the lies of the bourgeoisie and its acolytes. The closure of LyFC is not a ‘benefit for the Mexican people': it is a brutal attack against the whole proletariat. The new contracts (perhaps 44,000 lay-offs?) will mean without doubt worse working conditions, while many other workers will be made redundant.
The bourgeoisie and its political apparatus want us to fall for the idea that the electricity workers have been able to do nothing despite the presence of a ‘powerful union', and this means that all workers must submit to the plans of capital and its state and resign themselves to new reductions in their living conditions. No, the proletariat cannot abandon its struggle against capitalism! Today's attacks are the harbinger of those we will all face if we do not oppose them as a class. Therefore, in the face of the attacks that have been unfolding in recent years along with the rise in prices and intensified repression (with the strengthening of the police-military apparatus) it is vital that all parts of the working class - employed and unemployed, permanent and casual workers - understand the need for unity and put it into practice. In order to be able to do this, it is vital to know who our enemies are.
The unions, government and political parties are all our enemies!
In order to carry out this attack with the least trouble, all the forces of the ruling class have divided up the work: some creating divisions amongst the electricity workers through a sterile electoral struggle between union factions; some by painting the attacks on the living conditions as ‘attacks on the unions and democratic liberties'; while others are creating a lynch-mob atmosphere by presenting the electricity workers as ‘privileged'. They are doing this in order to draw as many workers as possible into an ill-considered struggle to ‘defend the union', and by extension to defend the firm and the national economy. These slogans are part of a strategy to make workers forget their demands as an exploited class.
Following on from this attack (10 October) this campaign has strengthened and taken advantage of the momentary surprise in order to spread feelings of defeat and demoralisation. The unions have been at the forefront of this. This shows that to try and struggle through the union leads straight to defeat, since it has been the union, along with other forces of the state, which has trapped the workers in this impasse. The unions certainly aren't going to advance the struggle, on the contrary. An example of this is the SME putting forward the idea that it is possible to freely resolve this struggle ‘legally, through the courts', leading workers again into the dead end of bureaucratic judicial protection, making them forget how the unions, faced with the modification of the ISSSTE created dispersion, diverted discontent and ended the struggle, all through the use of judicial protection! The judicial and legalistic terrain onto which the unions seek to divert discontent leads to sterile exhaustion, reducing workers to citizens who respect and defend the ‘legal system' (which is only there to legitimise their precarious and miserable conditions) rather than acting as a class.
It is clear that the role of the union is not to unite and push forward the expression of real solidarity, but to divide us. The fact that the government has been able to deliver such a blow against the electricity workers is not some bolt from the blue, but rather the result of the unions' work of division and sabotage over the years.
The bourgeoisie's strategy is to land a definitive blow in order to divert the electricity workers' real discontent and to stop the solidarity of their fellow workers being expressed. In order to do this it is using all of its forces to try and drag the workers onto the terrain of the defence of the nation and the unions; that is, they want to imprison us in a struggle that does not try to question the system of capitalist exploitation and, finally, they tell us that we can best express our discontent through our vote in the next electoral circus.
Struggling together, looking for solidarity as a class...There is no other way!
Solidarity is not some union pantomime where one union boss declares his support for another, nor is it fictitious ‘moral support'. Real solidarity takes place through and in the struggle. Today, as at all similar times and situations, the electricity workers are being attacked and the rest of the proletariat must express real solidarity, which is nothing other than a will to struggle without distinction between the unemployed and employed, between sectors, or between regions. To express real solidarity workers must hold assemblies open to the whole proletariat (employed, unemployed and other sectors) where the situation that faces everyone is discussed and the discontent turned into a movement controlled by workers themselves and not by the union structure.
In order to carry out this attack, the unions are trying to isolate the electricity workers from their class brothers and to enrol them into mobilisations such as the one being promoted by Lopez Obrador which seek to enclose and hamstring the workers, to prevent them looking for their own means of struggle, to trap them in a false choice about state or private firms, thus leaving them open to attacks from all sides. Workers must reflect together, outside of and against the unions, in order to organise a struggle to try to stop the attacks. If we leave ourselves in the hands of the unions and the political parties, we are condemning ourselves to defeat. A slogan of the class war is being heard again in the world: ‘the emancipation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves'; and we have to remember that the exploited have nothing to lose but their chains!
Grupo Socialista Libertario
Proyecto Anarquista Metropolitano
Message of support from the Nucleo Proletario in Peru, (received 24/10/9)
Solidarity from Peru with the workers of Mexico
Dear class comrades in Mexico
We have learned with indignation about what happened on Saturday 10 October. This is yet another proof of the putrefaction and dehumanisation which the capitalist system is dragging us into.
In Mexico as in Peru, the living conditions of the workers are miserable; private and state enterprises pay meagre wages which aren't enough to buy the basic necessities; lay-offs on the other hand have become our daily bread. Unemployment is a plague ravaging the big urban centres; theft, delinquency, prostitution have become daily occurrences in our lives. It's as though we the workers have become used to living in a cess pit. The media, both in Mexico and in Peru, do nothing but attack the least sign of protest by the proletariat, whenever it demands some ‘right' which the bourgeoisie has promised us. Then they call us rebels, and when we struggle to demand what really belongs to us because we are the producer class in society, they call us terrorists. In the best of cases, the press serves only to distract us and confuse our minds. We have seen clearly that the media in Mexico have elaborated a whole campaign to discredit the electrical sector where many of you work. It's no accident if these same media have prepared the social terrain to make sure that other sectors of the proletariat stay resigned and cowed at a time when police repression is coming down on you, to chase you away from the places you have built, from your workplaces where you can earn your living somehow or another. Brothers! We are one social class, there in Mexico or here in Peru; we send you our total solidarity in these very difficult moments you are going though; we are against exploitation, whether by the state or private bosses. We know very well that it is necessary to fight for the abolition of this shared exploitation, because it is the source of the poverty, hunger and degradation we are suffering. But for now it is necessary to work and on this basis, to organise ourselves so that we don't get manipulated and crushed by ‘leaders' who claim to be our representatives. Here in Peru many workers, teachers, students, and unemployed people have experienced in the flesh the deceitfulness of the trade unions. It's true that we are very young and maybe some of you will say that there are really working class trade unions which fight for your rights. Well comrades, for once we ask you to have confidence in youth, because this part of the youth only has confidence in you, in your strength, in your solidarity and your unity. We are with you and not with the trade unions, or with any left wing or right wing leader. We hope that you will organise yourselves as workers, that you will debate, discuss, convoke assemblies with all proletarian sectors and decide yourselves what to do for your future. Isolation is poison to your struggle. It has to generalise to other sectors of the proletariat. You must not be afraid to ask other comrades to join your cause, which is the same as theirs. It's only then that strikes, work stoppages or street demonstrations or any other method you judge to be effective can really achieve their objectives.
We ask you to listen to us because we have been through the same problems as you and not only in the electricity sector, but in all sectors of the economy. For us it is clear that the problem is not limited to the electricity branch, the problem is not just Mexican and it's not just Latin American. The problem is not the government, nor the USA. The problem is the system of exploitation. Capitalism is an inhuman system by nature, its laws and its state legalise exploitation, lay-offs and unemployment; they legalise the trade unions so that they can deceive you, so that you end up acting in the defence of their interests, which are none other than the bourgeoisie's interest in realising its profits from our lives.
We know that many of you have a family, children to feed; that you obviously don't want to find yourselves out of work, that some of you are thinking of throwing in the towel....but we, children of the proletarian class, who see reflected in you the image of our parents or older brothers, we ask you to continue the struggle, to teach us, to educate us by defending what is rightfully yours, without allowing yourselves to be marched behind a handful of bourgeois, a group of entrepreneurs, imbued with vanity and stacks of cash, and who have never worked. We ask you, comrades, to continue the struggle, to solidarise with each other, to unify to demand the restoration of your jobs, to wage the struggle against those who, day after day, make this world what it is. A world of poverty and pollution on the earth, in the air and in the waters.
We hope that you will win a victory on this occasion. There are thousands of us workers to every bourgeois. The police want to break your courage and your solidarity, like the unions who defend a country which does not belong to you, to defend those who exploit you, defend this old and rotten system. Whereas you, our brothers, are defending life, a new society, a new future, a future which every day grows more possible in the serried unity of your fists.
In Peru, we are a group of young proletarians, teachers, workers, high school students and university students and we send you our fraternal class greetings. We are with you in your hatred of capital; we join you in your indignation against the massive lay-offs you face and the weighty task of putting a meal on your tables every day. We are in solidarity with the struggles you are waging and will continue to wage. Don't give up comrades! Unite! That's where your strength resides and we will do all we can to support you. The mass of the exploited need to speak up against the threats from the Mexican bourgeois state which is the same as those we face in Peru or elsewhere. Your pain is ours, your tears against injustice are ours, your fists and your courage are ours. From here we call on you to organise open general assemblies, debates and discussions that will enable you to organise and confront the exploiters.
Finally, we are aware of the fact that while winning this battle would be a great success, once the objective is obtained, it's still not enough, it's not simply a matter of going to work and forgetting about it. We have to go further, to see the underlying problem, which is and will always be the capitalist system, and not this president or that policy. This is why we have no confidence in Ollanta's nationalist party in Peru, or in Chavez, or in Evo Morales, or the PRI, or the PRD or in any other party of the left of the bourgeoisie, however radical they claim to be. We only have confidence in the party of the workers, the real party of the proletariat which doesn't only fight against the exploitation, the abuses and oppression of this system, but which also fights for the destruction of this system. We are talking about a communist party, the only one that can belong to us, and whose formation on a world scale is the task of the day, because exploitation exists on a world scale and it is the role of the communist party to struggle for its abolition. The power to decide what to do with production, what to do with the work of everyone, has to belong to the producer, to the proletariat, and no one else.
Comrades: organisation, solidarity and autonomous class struggle against capital and its clique of followers- that is where our hope resides. Struggle is the only way forward, not to reform the system, not just to obtain a necessary demand, but struggle to abolish this system, because otherwise everything will continue as before and our children will still be fighting not to be thrown out of work by the bourgeoisie. Towards the new society which we alone can build, we must all unite for the world proletarian revolution
Down with the social democratic reformist groups!
Down with the trade unions who negotiate the lives of the workers!
Long live the struggle of the international proletariat!
Workers of Mexico, Peru, and the whole world unite against capital!
Only the world wide unity of the working class can free humanity from poverty!
Forward to the struggle, comrades!
Nucleo Proletario en Peru 24/9/9
The text below arrived at our -mail address on 30/10/9, written by the comrades of another group in Peru, Grupo de Lucha Proletaria
The Mexican state attacks the workers of Luz y Fuerza
Every time the bourgeois state wants to sell, privatise or declare bankrupt a state enterprise, it puts forward arguments such as: ‘the company was losing money', ‘it was not profitable', ‘it was a burden on the state'...this whole series of lies has been put forward by the Mexican bourgeoisie today. Many Mexican specialists have said the opposite (cf TV Azteca 22/10/09) while others have repeated the arguments mentioned above, telling us that the electricity enterprise Luz y Fuerza was a bottomless pit for the state.
What's certain is that all the disadvantages are falling on the backs of the workers in the form of unemployment. More than 44,000 jobs are going to go following the liquidation of Electrica Luz y Fuerza. All workers are threatened by this plague of unemployment - that's the only thing that capitalism can guarantee. And now it is the turn of the Mexican bourgeoisie, under the pressure of the world crisis, to take measures to readjust and reduce personnel. But this is very far from being an isolated fact. The same thing is happening in Peru and all over the world. It's a tsunami, a massive and directed attack against the proletariat on a world scale, making living and working conditions increasingly precarious. All the bourgeoisies of the world know very well that they have to carry out such measures if they are to keep their heads above water in this brutal crisis. And the only way to do it is to hit the living conditions of the world's workers with increasing force.
What is clear is that capitalism can no longer guarantee anything to humanity. This is shown very well by what the Mexican state is doing to the workers of Luz y Fuerza.
The workers must never forget that the politicians and the unions are not the solution but part of the problem. They are the ones in charge of the continuity of the system of capitalist exploitation: their appeals for social peace, democracy, the country and order are not ours. They will never do anything to help us. They are there to carry out the instructions of the ruling class. The struggle of the workers only has a future outside the unions and all forms of political opportunism. The proletariat must organise itself and maintain its class unity in order to get through what it is experiencing in Mexico
What the workers of Mexico and elsewhere must remember is that the attacks on their living conditions are going to continue, they will be closer together and more intense until the situation becomes unbearable. The working class must understand that it possesses the weapons to struggle against the situation capitalism is imposing on it today: these weapons are class solidarity, confidence in itself and in its struggles on the local and the global level.
Workers of all countries, unite!
The Núcleo de Discusión Internacionalista de Ecuador sends its own message of solidarity to the power workers of Mexico.
Letter to the worker comrades of Luz y Fuerza del Centro in México
Dear comrades, little more than a month has passed since the night of the 10th October when the Mexican bourgeoisie in collusion with its state security forces and front line agents hidden within the proletarian movement - the unions of all colours and types - carried out the action for which they exist: weakening the proletariat and trampling it underfoot. This was achieved by stunning the workers with the sight of proletarian blood and deceiving them with negotiations, the fervent coming and goings and 'sacrifices' of the union leaders, along with their hundred and one tall stories, all of which served to hide their real intention: defending the interests of their masters the Mexican bourgeoisie.
The proletariat has experienced acts like those of the 10th October ever since it began to rise up against the bourgeoisie's dehumanised frenzy for profit, gain, money, and the extraction of surplus-value. Remember Bloody Sunday, 9 February 1905, in the streets of Saint Petersburg, in Czarist Russia, the antechamber to the glorious Red October of 1917; in Ecuador at the beginning of the last century, there was the 15 November 1922, when hundreds of protesting workers demanding better living conditions were struck down and thrown into the Guayas river which flows into the port of Guayaquil; in modern times, in 1979, there was the massacre of sugar harvesting workers of the sugar firm AZTRA, La Troncal, province of Cánar, where more than two hundred workers were thrown into canals and riddled with bullets by the forces of order: this marked the beginning of the period of ‘democracy’, which was just another means for prolonging the bourgeoisie's rule.
If we investigated the history of the class struggle more closely the list would be as enormous as humanity's need for better world. But we will learn nothing from simply recording and lamenting these facts, which is what the unions, the parties of the left of capital and the leftists do with their pompous commemorations around this or that significant struggle of the working class. These ideological and organic agents of capital know nothing about the essence of marxism; they have no interest in drawing the lessons of these struggles. For them marxism is only hollow phrases, slogans to be repeated in discussions, a form of ideological window-dressing. We must overcome misfortune, we must look at the facts, understand and assimilate the lessons that they give us. We must be valiant in the face of adversity and tenaciously begin reflecting, discussing and clarifying in the community of struggle, with comrades faced with punishment squads, those losing their jobs, workers in other areas, other firms, others cities, other countries.
Fellow proletarians - this is not all: here, in September, there were similar national protests for the same reasons: defence of wages, jobs, a dignified life, decent redundancy payments, etc, but the union traitors ingeniously led the workers down the roads of parliament, the law and lawyers. We are faced with the same problem, the need to overcome the barriers of the bourgeoisie: the unions, the parties of the left of capital and the leftists, parliament, the courts, central government and the nation.
Comrades let us tell you that we are united with you from the bottom of our hearts in solidarity: you have profoundly posed to us the need to reflect on the theoretical and practical legacy that the history of the struggle of the working class has left us. We believe that in this way, understanding your suffering in the light of the experience of the class struggle, we can transmit to our proletarian comrades in this part of the planet the lessons to be learnt. Comrades, from a distance, we say: do not be discouraged or lose heart, the future is yours, the road is strewn with rocks; but together, united in solidarity through the class struggle, we will be triumphant and humanity will win its future. In the words of the Communist Manifesto elaborated by comrades Marx and Engels in 1847: “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.” We are firmly convinced that only reflection, discussion and clarification can give us the strength to tear down the walls thrown up by the forces of the bourgeoisie and thus bring about a truly human society. COMMUNISM.
WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!NDIE (Núcleo de Discusión Internacionalista de Ecuador),Guayaquil, 11/9
 Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LyFC) is a public company that distributes electricity above all in the Mexican capital. The Mexican state carried out the closure following massive losses, on the 11th October 2009 following the police occupation of all its offices on the 10th.
 Social security for state workers
 Candidate of the left in the last Mexican presidential elections (2006) who denounced it as a fix, and began a campaign of ‘civil disobedience' against the government.
 Ollanta is the leader of the ultranationalist left party in Peru. The PRI is the ‘revolutionary' party which has governed Mexico for 70 years. The PRD, which is an old split from the PRI, is today a party of the left.