Layoffs, increases in productivity, flexibility, temporary contracts ... All that is presented to us as if it was fated, as the result of competition with workers of other factories, or from a country where wages are lower, or with underpaid immigrants.
But this "fate" is that of the logic of capitalism, that seeks profits at any price. And these profits are wrung from the exploitation of the workers: workers that it threatens, squeezes like lemons to be thrown out when they are dry. To set up workers against other workers serves two objectives: to hide the real cause of exploitation and layoffs and to break the solidarity that links the exploited.
The real cause of the massive dismissals is in the functioning of the system whose search for profits causes massive overproduction, alongside an impoverishment just as massive. Today it is the VW Forest factory that is the victim of this double movement of overproduction/ layoffs/impoverishment of workers. Tomorrow, whose turn will it be?
As usual, the ruling class closes ranks to keep matters under control and lead the workers to demoralization. While the police stand guard around the Forest factory, the employers make divisive promises to VW-workers (30 jobs offered here, 400 there…) and the government quickly draws up plans for the “re-conversion” of VW-workers; all this while VW has not yet made an official decision on the plant but is promising new production there in... 2009. All these maneuvers are aimed at preventing revolt.
A central pawn in this smothering of workers’ resistance is the trade unions. As usual, they present themselves as professional strike-organizers and send the workers home to prevent the workers from organizing themselves together in general assemblies, to discuss and decide on their struggle and on their future. As usual, they organize pseudo-contacts with other factories to prevent a real spontaneous extension. As usual, they announce “tough” negotiations whose real purpose is to smooth the path for the implementation of the plans of capital. We’ve seen it a thousand times before. Once again the unions show that their real function is the containment of the working class.
The capitalist system is a machine to crush humans. Only profit counts and man is only one commodity among others, a useful tool, for a time, in production. Within that system, no other future is possible but one of ever more overproduction and unemployment, more violence, famines, wars, ecological destruction. Our only power to oppose this logic is our class solidarity: together with other workers all over the world, unemployed as well as employed, we have the power to refuse the place in which the capitalist system imprisons us.
Another world is possible: the capacity to produce what is necessary for the life of all exists. Together, we can create the bases for a society in which every human being has the right to a human existence; a society not in the service of profit but of the satisfaction of human needs.
December 2, 2006
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