Prensa Obreros de Zanon
Sunday, 2 October 2005
4 years of occupying and producing in Zanon Ceramics under worker control
We maintain our demand: “Expropriation and Nationalization of Zanon under Worker Control”
Today, Saturday October 1, we celebrate four years of the ceramics workers (262 workers) having occupied and begun production in Zanon Ceramics, beginning the long struggle against the closure of the factory. On September 29, 2001 management, led by Luis Zanon, sent us telegrams suspending all the workers and shutting off the 6 ovens in production. After various assemblies, the ceramics workers decided to occupy the plant and demand its immediate reactivation. The labour court found the company guilty of “lock-out” (illegal closure of the plant) and authorized the workers to guard the building. Months later (March 2002) the workers began production of the first product lines, producing 20,000 metres that month (2% of the factory’s productive capacity).
The Mapuche ceramics, the donations to Santa Fe, the new jobs created, resisting 6 eviction orders, court rulings in favour of the workers, the Nueva España health centre, and other actions were made possible by political struggle together with other sectors of the community, proving that organized workers can create better conditions for the working class in general.
It may not be a festive day, but we cannot let it pass unnoticed because it was an act of freedom that we hope to repeat every day together with the workers of the world. Today, the factory – declared bankrupt in August – has a production of more than 350 thousand meters per month and under worker control more than 210 new jobs have been created.
“More than ever, since the declaration of bankruptcy we demand the recognition of our administration via the cooperative FASINPAT (Factory Without Bosses). Our demand is directed to the provincial and federal governments, that have acknowledged that the solution to this conflict requires a political decision, yet they do not have the will to recognize the ceramics workers’ struggle.”
Tomorrow, Sunday (for October 2nd), the ceramics workers will be in downtown Neuquen at 6:30pm together with students. We will be handing out ceramic 2006 calendars and asking for voluntary contributions towards a fund for the workers striking at the Tatedetuti packing factory, fighting to receive their unpaid wages.
We celebrate 4 years of the workers having occupied and begun production in Zanon Ceramics and this marks a before and after in many workers’ lives. We know that the workers united and organized have no limits in their struggle against a system that oppresses and exploits millions of working families.
Translated by Shana Yael Shubs and Fernando Rouaux