“No businessperson comes through these courts the way we do”
Speech by Omar Villablanca, representative of FASINPAT and of the Union of Ceramistas of Neuquén, at the doors of Court n.° 9, April 19, 2012
We prefer to call ourselves Zanon, because we’ve exproporiated everything from the boss, even his name. We continue to be Zanon under worker control, together with the compañeros of Cerámica Stefani and other factories of ceramic bricks that are about to celebrate two years of worker self-management. It’s an apppoinment of honor to be here today with the compañeros of the BAUEN. The truth is that we’ve walked these 10 years of struggle hand in hand, with our similarities, with our differences, but understanding that what we’ve been defending is work. Real work, the work that we have created.
The jobs that we have created and defended, every one of the compañeros, the length and breadth of the country. After ten years, compañeros, it seems to us that there’s no longer anything left to prove.
Worker management, cooperatives, are a concrete fact. They are a real thing, a fact that has prospered, and we workers have demonstrated and proved that not only can we defend our jobs, but we’ve created jobs. We’ve created an economy that today feeds more than 25 thousand compañeros throughout the country. The truth, compañeros, is that to come to these spaces, who are not our spaces, the courts, that don’t have political independence, the truth is that it produces indignation, and that has to do with the political positions not only of the Government of the City, but of all governments, the length and breadth of the country. In these ten years, we haven’t seen, and we haven’t heard, any businessperson come through these courts, not the Solaris, not the Iurcoviches, not the Zanons, not the people from Aurora Grundig or from Textiles… no businessperson has come through these courts. No businessperson has been burdened with a legal case like those that we workers have been burdened with. Back then, more than ten years ago, when we were walking the streets with the compañeros from Brukman, with the compañeros from the BAUEN, with the compañeros of Renacimiento, with the compañeros of the textile factories, the word “expropriation” seemed like a bad word in this country. It seemed like it didn’t exist, and we looked like crazy people who traveled 1,200 km to say the word here in the Federal Capital. Today, it’s front-page news, they just expropriated YPF, which means it’s not something that can’t be done. We don’t take over a factory to exploit ourselves. We don’t take over a factory or a businesses for for people to judge us. We take them over to work! To be dignified workers!
BAUEN belongs to the workers, and whoever doesn’t like it, fuck ’em! Fuck them!
(Extracted from the documentary BAUEN. Struggle, culture and work, of Fabián Pierucci.)