SUTNA's struggle for wages deepens

Wednesday, 12 October 2022 12:37

Published on Saturday, 2 July 2022


The tyre workers have been holding strikes for weeks as part of a plan of struggle for wages. The SUTNA shows the potential of a recovered union, striking in production to confront the bosses’ intent to unleash the crisis on our backs, in contrast to the social peace of the Peronist union bureaucracy, tied to the government, the employers and the IMF.

         The strength of the SUTNA strikes, which have now been going on for ten days, is creating difficulties to the three big employers in the industry, which have seen their stocks and orders affected, and are beginning to run out of supplies in the domestic market. Fate, Pirelli and Bridgestone companies continue to show a tough posture, audience after audience, and are reluctant to concede the demands of the SUTNA. The demands are for a 2021/2022 strike settlement at 5% above the official inflation rate and weekend hours at 200%, which would mean an additional 15% in real wages.

         The SUTNA strikes again on Monday and demonstrates to the Ministry of Labour, while the government brings in Scioli to intervene in favour of the bosses. The tyre workers are already discussing further measures, following assemblies in the plants. We must surround this struggle with solidarity in order for it to succeed and prepare the conditions to impose a general strike on the CGT and CTAs in the face of the tremendous devaluation of wages and the attack on our living conditions.

On tyre prices and wages

         In the course of the struggle, the bosses have claimed that conceding to SUTNA's demands would mean a loss of "competitiveness". But this is false. A real wage increase would not affect competitiveness, labour productivity or the final price of tyres. The values are determined by the socially necessary labour time for their production (in the industry as a whole at the international level). An increase in the real wage, i.e. in the value of labour power, would only affect profit. This is what Fate, Pirelli and Bridgestone are refusing to recognise in the form of wage increases.

         The SUTNA has responded to the employers' arguments by claiming that the value of the labour force in the final price is 1.000 pesos or 5%, for propaganda and denunciation purposes. But we must not forget that the price is not a fixed sum, it is variable; and that it is variable according to the laws that govern the capitalist system. The part of wages and that of surplus value in the product value, vary according to each factory, it is variable because it is also a question that is determined, in the last analysis, by class struggle.

Joining the CGT

         The leadership of the SUTNA has asked for the union to join the CGT. The recovered tyre union is influenced by the Trotskyist left, it has conquered a very important position to give programmatic fights and to influence the rest of the workers' movement by fighting Peronism with a programme of class struggle, to place the working class as the political leadership of the exploited masses, to give a way out of the capitalist crisis from a perspective of power. Peronism and the bourgeois factions call the workers to trust in the intermediation of the bourgeois state (its intervention in the economy), and the other bourgeois faction in the free rule of the capitalist economic laws (Milei).

         For us the SUTNA must enter the CGT with the banner of a single workers' trade union centre, with the idea of defeating the union bureaucracy of the CGT and CTAs, in the need to unify the workers in a single trade union centre, independent of the State, to put an end to all divisions, to fight to incorporate the unemployed into production, for a sliding scale of working hours and wages, for workers' control of production.

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