An interview to Celia Martínez, a female worker from Brukman standing on the PTS
14 Jul 2003
Por: Prensa PTS
Why are you standing as a national MP candidate on the PTS" slate?
The most important thing for me is, above all, to participate in an election slate on a personal basis, as a non-affiliated supporter of a party that has akways supported our struggle, because I"m convinced that workers should get into politics. In my view, we should start to build a tool from the workers themselves, start to build a tool to support and boost the class struggle as much as we can. I think it"s absolutely necessary. We cannot leave the same old people just doing their business, we can"t just leave everything in the hands of the usual pundits. We are now in a different epoch, trying to make politics change, and I think we should no longer say "yes, doctor, you do it your own way, doctor, because you"re right". That is a thing of the past. It seems to me that we workers should take thing in our own hands and get into politics to defend ourselves from all that surrounds us. And I"m not referring to the big fish of the union bureaucracy, who for the sake of supposedly defending us, talk about jobs and stand as candidates themselves. At the end of the day, that kind of people is not superior to us. They are our peers, people who just betray us. That is why they always stand as candidates in slates of politicians like Mr. Ibarra, the Buenos Aires mayor who is doing his best to prevent us from taking over a factory that we ourselves had been running.
It seemed wrong to me that the brothers and sisters of the PO and the MAS turned down the proposal to set up a workers" front, like the PTS proposed. It would have been something great, and the truth is that I just can"t understand why it failed to come through. There was a heated discussion around this issue in the factory, the need to get into politics on all terrains, even the elections. Unfortunately, many sisters do not understand yet the need to do it, I mean, build our own political weapon. That is why I accepted to stand as a candidate on a personal basis, but I want, and I"m going to insist on this, today, tomorrow and after the elections, to try and convince them that if we, workers, do not go for our own politics, we will let those hacks representing the interests of bosses like Jacobo Brukman get away with it.
What are your proposals for this election?
The first thing I"m canvassing is that everything would change if we had this labor alternative. I think that we workers have the ability to advance along political lines on all respects. If we set ourselves this goal, we"ll be able to achieve it. This was seen althroughout this year and a half in which we had taken over the plant, running production there. That was a major step ahead, which seemed impossible, but we did it: we advanced as true producers, as it was something we had always been doing, i.e., run a factory both on an economic and managerial level -something we"d never done before, something we did not even have a clue how to do it. But we set ourselves that goal and we did it. Thus, it seems to me that taking political steps ahead can also be done. If you want to do it, you"ll just do it. But in these times we"re living, the CGT never stands by labor, the politicians just bring you down, they never ever advance issues concerning our class. So, it seems to me that we workers have to take politics into our own hands.
How do you picture a workers" caucus in the local parliament?
In think that if we workers get a seat in the Congress or the local city hall, we won"t just say: "OK, here we are, now we will glue ourselves to our seats". No, we"ll just do otherwise. In my view, getting seats would mean having a platform to denounce all things that are wrong with our class and the people, all those things standing against labor, such as corrupt policymakers, fraudulent bosses, the bourgeois agenda of the present government. We know that those standing on behalf of the powers-that-be have all the winning cards with them, they are always in favor of the embezzlers, of those who have sold off this country. So, if we workers are able to get into any of those places, we"d denounce and organize our class to take to the streets and fight for workers" needs; alternatives to get organize and carry on. We must tell the truth, that is the only road leading to salvation, not a privileged few, but all those really running this country. For example, I think that a working class caucus should be of much help to support struggles like that of Brukman, LAPA and other struggles unfolding right now. For example, we need a law enforcing the definitive expropriation of those factories that have been reclaimed. It seems to me that, at the end of the day, with a working-class tool, and a labor caucus, we should be able to do a lot more for those struggles, to work out those problems and those of the rest of workers.
The PTS is using this campaign to say that we should take up the fight initiated back in December 19 and 20, 2001. What do you make of this?
I definitely agree. We, the Brukman workers, are to a certain extent a by-product of that. We stayed inside the factory on December 18, 2001, and then came the 19 when the siege was enforced, and then Cavallo was ousted, and then was the 20 with the people on the streets, kicking out the government. Many young people were killed...We were caught amid all the havoc in the Congress, because we were just coming out of a conciliation meeting in the Labor Department, and we were in the middle of all that, and the relationship with the assemblies and the students was the first support we got. Right from the first moment, we stayed at the factory and the assemblies and students came to us. And this helped us advance, because we were locked inside the factory and did not know what to do. That relationship with the students and the assembly-goers, and also parties like the PTS, was the driving force that made us advance forward and become aware of the moment we were going through. We can say that all of us were born to life after December 19 and 20, and we should not let Ibarra and the rest make us forget about that. We can"t let them do that.
What else would you like to say to our readers?
Well, I"d like to say that we workers and able to produce without the bosses, we"re able to run our own work, so it seems to me that if we are ble to keep factories running, running production without the bosses, keeping our wages, a wage well above those paid by the bosses, if we can guarantee all that, I think that we workers can also run this country. We, as workers, showed that for more than a year and a half, and I think that it can be done. If you have the will and you work for it, ready to struggle to the end, you can run a factory, run a whole country; we can do lots of things. That is why we need our own political tool.
Temas Relacionados: Elecciones
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