World Federation of Trade Unions

At yesterday’s meeting of the Tubacex Works Council, the majority decided to accept the proposal presented by the Basque Government. On 15 February, the Tubacex workers staff began an indefinite strike in defence of their jobs and working conditions. Since then, 236 days have passed. 236 days of struggle. A struggle in which the workers and the Workers Council have been united, a struggle in which we have been accompanied by the Aiaraldea region, a struggle that we have shared with youth, pensioner and feminist organisations. A struggle that has joined other struggles, creating alliances between the working class; PCB, Aernnova, Alestis, Bilboko Argiak, Petronor, H&M… A struggle in which we have received the solidarity and support of the working class of the Basque Country and which has crossed borders. After 7 months of struggle today, we can proudly say that fighting is worth it. At Tubacex, there is no one left over. This has been our motto during these long months and this motto has become a reality. Tubacex, a transnational corporation no less, has had to give up. It has had to give up making redundancies. The management of Tubacex wanted to use a temporary situation to lay off workers, but not just any workers, but women workers who had reduced working hours to care for children, workers with jobs adapted for health reasons, workers who were “annoying and uncomfortable”. The struggle has made it possible for these workers to return to work. Our union section in Tubacex rejects the proposal of the Basque Government in the company However, despite this important victory, the LAB affiliation has decided not to sign the agreement. The reason is that they are asking us to pay a toll that we cannot afford. For LAB, after an exemplary struggle, today we are entering a new phase; a phase in which LAB will continue to defend employment and working conditions in Tubacex and in Aiaraldea region and for that we know what the path is: the strength of the workforce, unity, organisation and struggle. It has been 236 days. 236 days of mobilisations, of being in the gatehouse. 236 days of taking our demands to every place in Euskal Herria, in short, 236 days of struggle. We have said NO to a proposal that makes us feel proud, but also disappointed and let down. After 7 months of struggle today, we can proudly say that fighting is worth it. In Tubacex nobody is redundant, this has been our motto during these long months and this motto has become a reality, since the latest proposal does not contemplate layoffs. However, despite this important achievement, the LAB affiliation has decided not to sign the agreement. The reason is that they are asking us to pay a toll that for us is unacceptable and contravene common sense: – The agreement proposes a wage freeze for almost 4 years with no guarantee that we will recover the lost purchasing power on 2025. – An employment guarantee is proposed that talks about the number of staff, but not about the number of people. – And the most unacceptable thing of all is that an increase in working hours of 40 hours for 3 years is being proposed. This, as well as worsening the working conditions of the staff, means that during these 3 years more than 50 jobs will no longer be created. These are jobs that belong to Aiaraldea, to the region, and this is one of the main reasons why LAB cannot endorse the agreement. It is totally shameful that the Department of Labour and Employment…

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Basque country: Statement of LAB trade union about the workers of TUBACEX