The Autonomous CTA rejects the Nation’s Supreme Court of Justice (CSJN) ruling on the “Orellano” case, because of considering it against the rights of the working class.
Argentina’s Supreme Court of Justice ruled in the Orellano case against workers’ rights by considering that only trade union associations with simple inscription are entitled to exercise the right to strike. Thus, it is a ruling against our country’s workers which implies a regression of hundreds of years and it goes directly against freedom and trade union democracy.
The Autonomous CTA maintains this position given that the Supreme Court assimilates the concept “gremio” (guild), used in our national constitution, to the concept of “sindicato” (trade union), when in fact these two concepts come from different historical situations and constructions. The CTA-A considers that a “gremio” is a simple reunion of workers that collectively decide how to organize themselves and eventually carry out industrial actions such as calling a strike. A “sindicato”, however, is a workers’ organization which has a “simple inscription in a special register.”
We stress this difference because in our country more than 40% of workers aren’t registered, and since they’re not even registered, they’re not part of those “sindicatos” the State recognizes with a “simple inscription”. From the remaining 60%, only half of them are unionized, meaning the other half is not part of a trade union. To them, the Supreme Court has said that they can’t group together and call a strike because only trade unions with “a simple inscription in a special register” can do it.
For all these reasons, when we say this ruling is contrary to the history of the working class, we say it citing as an example the 17th October, 1945. The CGT (General Confederation of Workers) had called a general strike, which was set to happen on October 18th, to demand for the freedom of General Peron. However, workers knew that if action was delayed, Peron’s life was at risk, so they abandoned their tasks and took to the Plaza de Mayo demanding their leader’s freedom.
According to this ruling, October 17th would have been illegal because those workers wouldn’t have been entitled to the right of strike and should have waited until the next day to ask for the freedom of Peron.
From the Autonomous CTA we regret that the Supreme Court of Justice has abandoned the path of the recognition of trade union rights which was initiated in the past decade. This is a dangerous precedent because it can leave workers who struggle to keep their jobs, for their salary and for decent working and living conditions, as prisoners of the agreements of the top leadership of trade unions. However, despite the imposed “legalities” of the moment, like many other times, we workers will get things back to their place because there has not been, nor will there ever be, judges or rulings that take our ideals and convictions away from us.
Pablo Micheli – Secretary General of the Autonomous CTA.
José Rigane – Assistant Secretary General of the Autonomous CTA.
See the statement in Spanish here.