Argentine workers launch GM solidarity campaign

28 July 1998

A group of socialist workers in Argentina have launched a campaign among Argentine workers and students in support of the striking General Motors workers in the US.

The organization, the Socialist Workers Union, contacted the World Socialist Web Site, which they have used to keep abreast of the GM struggle. "Here, the bourgeoisie on the one hand, and the union bureaucracy on the other, give no information" about the strike, they wrote.

The organization reports that its members are affiliated with SMATA, the Argentine auto workers union. They have carried out their campaign in the union, as well as in the Argentine auto factories and among university and high school students.

The significance of this proletarian internationalist campaign is all the greater in Argentina, given the pervasive influence of nationalism on the workers movement and particularly upon those organizations describing themselves as socialist or left-wing.

The following is taken from the leaflet which the Socialist Workers Union has distributed among Argentine workers and youth:

Long Live the General Motors
Workers Strike in the USA!

In the United States there are 200,000 workers at General Motors on strike for the last month and a half.

The bosses propose to close the factories, leaving all of the workers on the street. Thus, this glorious nearly two-month-long strike is in defense of jobs.

Menem [Argentina's president] and Clinton tell us that the US is a model country. THEY LIE!!!

In the US, just as in Argentina, there is only one economic plan which is at the service of the multinationals and the bosses and it is one of hunger and unemployment for the workers and for the people.

The workers in Argentina just like those in the US are forced to confront the plan of Clinton and Menem....

In our country, the teachers strike and march for a wage increase and against the destruction of education. In Jujuy, the state workers strike and march in defense of their wages, and the court workers strike for a wage increase, and the students are blocking the streets against the closing down of high schools.

Argentine workers have to support completely the thousands of North American workers who are on strike because their struggle is the same as ours--against unemployment and labor flexibility.

We must demand that SMATA [the Argentine auto union] and the CGT, CTA and MTA [the Argentine union federations] declare their support for the strike and put all the means of the unions at the disposal of the immense struggle which is shaking Clinton and all the bosses of the world.

Mexican auto worker: "I would like to help the GM workers win"
[25 July 1998]

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