Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oaxaca, Mexico: More good news; the striking teachers and APPO refuse to negotiate

The striking teachers´union, the SNTE, and the APPO have announced that they will refuse to sit down and negotiate their differences with the federal and state governments. The Secretary of Government had planned a negotiating forum for today, titled Pacto por la Gobernabilidad, la Paz y el Desarrollo del Estado de Oaxaca (Agreement for Peace and Development in the State of Oaxaca). The SNTE and APPO will not attend. Their reasoning is so astonishing that I will give you the original Spanish and then translate it to English for you.

Enrique Rueda, head of the teachers' union, said they would not attend because:
Quienes van (al foro) no representan al pueblo de Oaxaca, son ex gobernadores y grupos de poder, los empresarios al servicio del gobierno estatal y de la Federación, y porque nosotros decimos que son los culpables de la crisis en la que estamos viviendo en estos momentos.

English: Those who are attending (the forum) do not represent the people of Oaxaca. They are ex-governors, businessmen in the service of the state and federal governments and because we say that they are the ones guilty of causing this crisis that we live in at this moment.
Rueda and the APPO plan a "parallel forum" where, I must assume, only their supporters would be present. That's an interesting view of "negotiations", is it not?

Perhaps the UAW should try this when negotiations begin for the new contracts with the automotive companies in the USA. Refuse to negotiate with the auto companies and hold the negotiating session amongst themselves. I could predict the outcome as easily as you. They'd come out of the negotiations with an agreement -- among themselves -- to double hourly wages, reduce the workweek to 20 hours, lower the retirement age to 35 and double hiring so as to have two persons available for every job on the assembly lines.

This would be, of course, a game that two could play. The automotive companies could hold their own negotiating forum, barring the union, and agree -- also among themselves -- to halve hourly wages, increase the workweek to 60 hours with no OT, increase the retirement age to 90 and layoff half the workforce requiring every surviving worker to perform two jobs for the half-price of one.

Excuse me, but I think Rueda's statement is, at best, moronic. If you are going to sit down and negotiate opposing viewpoints, you may expect those with opposing viewpoints to be on the other side of the table. That is not, apparently, acceptable to Mr. Rueda and his followers.

This latest development can only be viewed in one light. The SNTE and APPO are begging the federal government to send in the troops and take over control of the city and state. Why might they be doing this? One reason might be that they have, in fact, lost control of their followers to the militant anarchists, communists and socialists as well as to the various guerrilla forces and Che-istas. The only way the current "leadership" can see its way clear to regain control of the various union and populist movements is to see those militants mopped up by federal forces. This way, the "leadership" can squall about "government repression" while breathing a secret sigh of relief that the worst of the troublemakers are lying bleeding in the streets courtesy of the feds.

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