Sunday, 22 January 2012

The fight continues for sacked strikers at EULEN-ABB

Workers at the ABB factory in Corboda, Spain have been on indefinite strike since 28 November. On 11 January, the contractor EULEN fired all of the striking workers. This marks the culmination of the company's plans to get rid of militants and replace them with cheaper, non-unionised labour.

This development was not a surprise. The strike occurred over plans to outsource labour to EUROCEN. Previous victories, such as forcing a collective agreement on the management and fighting arbritary dismissals of union activists, have convinced the bosses that something needs to give. Clearly, outsourcing gives them an option whereby pesky details like workers' rights don't have to come into the picture, whilst the defeat of the CNT union sends a clear message to the new recruits about where fighting back gets you.

This isn't to say that the fight is done, however. Indeed, the greatest weapon that the workers have here is solidarity. To which end, the outbreak of this struggle has seen solidarity demonstrations by other sections of the CNT across Spain. Their Polish sister section, the ZSP, has picketed the headquarters of both ABB and Adecco - which owns EUROCEN.

In Britain, the Solidarity Federation has organised pickets of Adecco in Glasgow, London and Brighton in support of our Spanish sister section. This Wednesday Liverpool Solfed will be following suit. Our Manchester local held a picket at the national headquarters of ABB in Warrington.

All of this only adds to the pressure on the companies involved in the dispute. It demonstrates that the workers camped out in Corboda are not isolated, which provides a morale boost for them whilst damaging EULEN-AAB and Adecco by providing them with bad publicity. Moreover, given that Adecco owns the Office Angels recruitment agency, we already know that the pressure brought to bear by such actions can have an effect.

As Brighton Solidarity Federation said in the leaflet handed out at their picket;
Employment agencies have exploited us long enough. A win for workers at ABB, a giant multinational that operates in over 100 countries, will not only improve working conditions for Spanish workers, it will let employment agencies like ADECCO know that workers are willing to fight back against their unscrupulous practices.
With that in mind, here's hoping that the workers at ABB do win. All power to the strikers, and solidarity in their fight against outsourcing and union busting!