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Fourth International

Solidarity with dismissed SEAT workers

International Committee Statement

Sunday 19 February 2006

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The management of the VW Group has moved against the workforce of SEAT in Barcelona, one of the brands belonging to the Group, with the dismissal of 660 workers. This aggression forms part of an offensive against the jobs and working rights of all the workers of this multinational, as it heralds new anti-worker measures that will affect other workplaces in Europe.

Instead of organizing opposition to the VW offensive through the unitary mobilization of workers in all the VW Group’s workplaces and developing solidarity with the affected workers, the union leaderships have limited themselves to managing the conflict in their own countries, and in the case of SEAT they have concluded the conflict with an agreement where for the first time representatives of the two big unions have accepted compulsory dismissals in a big company. Moreover, they have participated directly in the preparation of the list of dismissals, discriminating on grounds of sex, union affiliation, physical handicap and so on.

The authorization of the dismissals by the Department of Dependent Work of the plural left government in Catalonia is a very serious fact, which demonstrates the social liberal character of this government, demoralizes its social base and helps prepare the return of the right.

This shameful trade union practice of signing agreements for compulsory dismissals must be thrown out of the union movement. Its generalization will lead to a serious defeat of the international workers’ movement.

Consequently, solidarity with the dismissed workers of SEAT, support for their fight for reinstatement without loss of working rights, is a task to be undertaken by all anti-capitalist, internationalist and solidarity-minded people. We call for the sending of messages of solidarity to SEAT’s Assembly of the Dismissed, demanding that the VW group and SEAT management end the anti-worker offensive and reinstate the dismissed workers, and supporting the appeal against the action of compulsory dismissals demanding from the administration of the Generalitat de Catalonia the cancellation of the dismissals.

International Committee
February 2006