No to the murder of workers
No confidence in the investigations of the government and its police: For a Workers’
Commission to investigate and punish those responsible
On Thursday, February 21, Juan Pablo Jiménez Garrido, President of Union Number 1 of the electrical engineering firm Azeta, and President of the Federation of Workers of Azeta, a subcontracting firm of Chilectra1 , was found murdered in his workplace, from a bullet in the head.
That day, he was going to present reports of abuses at work and unjustified layoffs.
Furthermore, the union had earned the hatred of the firm, because in December 2012, the process of collective bargaining ended without an agreement with the company, and the union decided to make use of Article 369 of the Labor Code, which annoyed the firm’s owners, because it means repeating the collective bargaining in another year. The Human Resources manager belittled the workers: she said they are “small-minded.”
The firm continued to work as if nothing had happened.
The government declared an indifferent “concern.” What a difference when the dead belong to them! Let us recall the recent Luchsinger case. For them, our dead, the dead from the working people, are worthless.
Meanwhile, the PDI stated that it was a case of a “stray bullet.” Can we trust these agents of the bosses and their state?
In a statement, Union Number 1 of Azeta, considering the hearing of the report in the Secretary of Labour, expressed its skepticism regarding the motive for the death.
For his part, Cristian Cuevas, a leader of the CUT, stated that “we also cannot rule out the topic of murder for hire, since it is a topic that has been dramatically established in our country,” and he affirmed that “many times it has been charged that mafias have established themselves, in order to be able to prevent the exercise of our action as union leaders.” In turn, the President of the CUT, Bárbara Figueroa, stated the need for “making an investigation with all the elements, to be able to report what happened,” and that the CUT “is in a state of alert regarding this situation.” Adding later that a meeting with the General Attorney, Sabas Chauan will be taking place in order to ask for another prosecutor to be in charge of the case. But we are very familiar with this public prosecution team; it is the same one in charge of the so-called case ‘bombas’‘2 , lead by the former attorney Peña. Moreover, the Chief prosecutor, Raúl Guzmán claimed that this meant to give extra work to the prosecutors. The CUT, led by the Communist Party, alongside the Concertación, still trusting the institutions of this democracy that only defend the interests of the rich. This is no the way forward. What we need is to put forward a policy that is independent from the right wing and the Concertación.
Workers from Pablo’s team are announcing a strike, in view of the attitude of the firm, that kept on working, despite of what had happened
It will not be possible to know the truth from the firm, its government and its police. We mustn’t trust their prosecutors and the Concertación, as the CUT, is asking us to do. It is necessary to form a committee of workers and human rights organizations to investigate and punish those responsible, it must be called together jointly by the unions, human rights organizations, and student organizations.
In the meantime, we cannot sit idly by; this action only seeks to intimidate the workers that are slowly sticking their heads out in Chile and the world, standing up and fighting against the precarious and often inhuman working conditions into which businessmen drag us. Their starvation wages, their layoffs because of “business necessities,” their labor code that outlaws strikes and collective bargaining, their Constitution promoted under the dictatorship and maintained for the 17 years of the Concertación and the right wing. From the PTR, we have been in solidarity, with support for the different workers’ strikes, one of which was at Azeta, where we had the opportunity to meet comrade Juan Pablo.
We send our most heartfelt condolences to Juan Pablo’s relatives and fellow workers. We will support every activity that is organized to demand that the truth about the comrade’s death be known and that justice be done.
Likewise, we are calling on the rest of the organizations of the left, unions, federations of students, etc., to take a stand, to promote and coordinate joint actions, to condemn this despicable act.
An injury to one is an injury to all!
Partido de Trabajadores Revolucionario- Clase contra Clase/ PTR-CcC
|↑1||Chilectra: one of the leading electricity companies in Chile. The Endesa monopoly is among their shareholders. The company is well known for the looting of natural resources, as is the case of Hidroaysen water project, which provoked a wave of demonstrations in the entire country during 2011 and 2012.|
|↑2||Caso Bombas’ (The Bombe Case): it is a prosecution from the state against a group of students who were accused of planting bombs. They used this case to apply antiterrorist legislation. The case ended with the acquittal due to the lack of evidence and was surrounded by political scandal because senior government officials, governing institutions and sectors of the judiciary system were implicated in the manufacturing of the case.|