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Reading list for CNT-CGT divisions?

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s.nappalos
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Mar 31 2014 17:47
Reading list for CNT-CGT divisions?

I've searched the forums for info on this and there's always broad discussion of works councils, but not much else. I'm looking for sources on the 1979 Split from CNT and then the subsequent formation of CGT that brough a subsequent split in the early 80s. Likewise I'd be interested to see critiques of present CGT practices, and info on the stuff I've heard referenced in passing like the later political adhesion of sections of other movements to the CGT (I believe nationalists, trots, bordiguists?). I've seen a couple books in spanish only available in europe like Gomez Casas El relanzamiento & Transiciones by another author. Ideally I'd like specifics beyond restating principles.

Mark.
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Mar 31 2014 18:02

Bicicleta is useful for the renovados side up to the split, in particular see the supplement on the fateful 1979 CNT congress:

http://eljorobado.enlucha.info/bicicleta/bicicleta/ciclo/21/suplemento_i...

I guess it could be criticised as a one sided account.

syndicalist
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Mar 31 2014 18:11

WSA prolly has bunches of original texts, articles from that time period. i just don't have the time now to research our archives, sorry. if there's something handy i'll send it along.

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OliverTwister
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Mar 31 2014 18:46

The two you mentioned, Relanzamiento & Transiciones, seem to be the best. I'm not aware of any in English. Bicicleta is contemporary, which has its own implications - to me their supplement to the V Congress reads like one long call for a split.

Transiciones is very good for describing worker militancy in 1970s Spain, alongside which the internal intrigues of CNT organizational stuff is practically a footnote. You'd have to already know all of the magazines, tendencies, branches and what they represent in order to really get the CNT part. It's also written recently.


Relanzamiento
was written at the time, it was updated with an epilogue covering the 1984 split. Casas was one of the links between the pre- and post-Franco CNT's, he was also IIRC the General Secretary in the 1970s. This has the strength and weakness of Transiciones inverted - a lot of detail about the internal, and practical, discussions in the CNT, but a paucity of information about the worker's movement outside of the organizational walls. Casas also seems to have been opposed to the split which some of the purists on the CNT side welcomed.

Read together they would give a pretty good understanding of the whole process. Looks like you could get the two from La Malatesta for under $20 plus shipping.

I don't know a whole lot about the CGT post-split but I do know that various tendencies found a home in it, especially as other left-wing unions collapsed after the Moncloa Pacts. Solidaridad Obrera left around 89/90 in response to seeing a right-wing/bureaucratic drift, their biggest presence is now in Madrid Metro, they reject the state subsidies which CGT accepts but they do allow for participating in works council elections and accepting paid union time. They maintain strict rotation of this paid union time and parcel it out so that everyone still works on the shop floor. The CGT also has this in its constitution but it seems to be an open secret in Spain that not all CGT branches actually practice this rotation, word is that some have the same full time union activists that they had in the 80s.

The bordiguists were a part of CGT and then Solidaridad Obrera but later left to form the union Solidaridad y Unidad de los Trabajadores. I believe that their idea is to form a class union which does not accept state financing, but which is not ideologically anarchist. They also don't accept paid union time but I think I've seen them run in workplace elections.

Hope this helps!

Battlescarred
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Mar 31 2014 20:11

The Madrid Metro workers have left SO and joined CNT recently after the SO leadership began to talk not just about participation in union elections but in political elections too.

Mark.
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Mar 31 2014 21:07

I'm not sure but I thought this was some of the metro workers who left, not all.

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OliverTwister
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Mar 31 2014 23:23

Can you provide a source on this? Spanish is fine.

Mark.
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Apr 1 2014 12:28

There's an alasbarricadas thread:
http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=56443&start=15

I haven't read it through but the problems seem to have arisen over reactions to mass job cuts on the Madrid metro. I don't see any mention there of participation in political elections so I've no idea where that comes from.

CNT on the metro:
http://transportes.cnt.es/index.php/secciones-sindicales/sector-terrestr...

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OliverTwister
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Apr 1 2014 13:29

Yeah so it looks like some of the SO metro section left in June/July of last year after an extraordinary congress which, according to them, used rules that weren't in the statutes. This group joined CNT Madrid (which has a fairly robust Transport branch). In October SO agreed with the other unions on the work committee to an agreement which would layoff 670 workers, but in return the Metro would drop its legal proceeding resulting from a strike in 2010. The CNT, obviously, rejects this and is organizing against it.

I'm curious to hear more about this. I'd heard that there was a certain gravitation from SO to CNT but I'd expected a fusion rather than a split. Nonetheless to the degree that CNT's workplace activity and rejection of state mediation is born out during the crisis I do expect sections of CGT and other critical unions to draw to the CNT.

Battlescarred
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Apr 1 2014 13:49

I got the info from two different members of CNT in Madrid at the weekend. Several of the metro workers who left were on the SO steering committee

Mark.
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Apr 1 2014 15:28

Thanks Battlescarred

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altemark
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Oct 4 2016 10:39

Any updates on this? There was a strike recently, wasn't there?

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OliverTwister
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Oct 4 2016 15:56

I couldn't find anything on cnt.es about recent developments in the metro.

There has been a lot of struggle against a company called CEMUSA that maintains the physical bus stops. They have tried to lay off the majority of the staff (with agreement of the other unions). CNT had formed a section which have been able to delay this so far through marches as well as legal actions - this section seems to have grown substantially during the struggles.

It's not clear to me whether those layoffs have gone through, from the most recent release - it seems like the courts might have finally ruled with CEMUSA. In any case, they state that in three years, the CNT section has gone from being just a few interested workers, to the union with the most presence in the workplace. As the conclusion states, "If you fight you might lose. If you don't fight, you're lost."
http://graficasmadrid.cnt.es/el-ere-de-cemusa-visto-para-sentencia/