Solidarität mit den kriminalisierten Aktivist*innen der CNT Xixón!

CNTs International call to action in solidarity with Xixón’s workers before labour day

An injury to one Is a injury to all

It was 2017 when a worker from La Suiza patisserie (Xixón, Asturias) came to the union looking for support and advice. She was experiencing mobbing and abuse at her workplace: she wasn’t getting paid the overtime, she didn’t see her right to paid vacation recognized, and she was imposed an excessive workload during her pregnancy —which resulted in an abortion risk and the subsequent medical leave. Along with this, our mate was experiencing various humiliations from her employer, including degradatory comments and unsolicited opinions about her body.

Counting already with the union’s backup, the worker’s first move was to try and meet with her employer. Our goal was to address the situation and find solutions through dialogue. He refused these attempts.

The unfavourable course of events lead to the decision of going public about the conflict. We held demostrations and spread the information in social media. Our strategy was successful: the employer agreed to a meeting. However, no agreement was reached.

CNT Xixón’s work continued: demonstrations right before the storefront of the bakery, an ongoing information campaign. We used our native tool, syndicalism, to defend the worker’s rights. It is worth remembering that all these actions were pacific, with no police intervention required. Despite the normalcy and civility of the protest, some unionist colleagues were identified by the officers and, eventually, the fist arrests arrived, too.

Following these incidents, about thirty people were threatened with charges, both unionists from CNT Xixón and other people who where there to show their support to the worker. The final count is down to eight people facing charges.

The worker proceeds to sue her employer for sexual harassment. However, her claims are filed without further action, allegating that there are no grounds nor burden of proof on her part.

Eventually, on June 2021, Xixón’s criminal court no. 1 sentences eight people to a total of 25.3 years in prison. Seven of them were sentenced to three and a half years; the other to eight months in jail. The crimes: coercion and obstruction of justice. Moreover, the sentence mandates a compensation of 150,428 euros for La Suiza bakery, holding CNT as subsidiary for the payment.

CNT appealed the decision, but the Asturias High Court of Justice confirmed the prison sentence for six out of the eight unionists. Having almost reached the end of legal procedures, the reality of prison is closer than ever for our colleagues, that may face serving an unfair and undeserved time.

That’s why we call all unions, all grassroot, feminist and political organizations to action —and specially all people in Asturias. Solidarity actions should carry on, we shall stop this nonsense.


Source, also Spanish version: