Salvadoran Union Front defending workers rights
For the past two months, workers in the San Salvador branch of theinternational corporation AVX have been involved in organizing workerswithin the company. Two weeks ago, 27 workers were laid off for thiswork, and in that time the Salvadoran Union Front(FSS) has been helpingto organize the fired workers, and just this past Sunday, the organizedworkers of AVX celebrated their becoming a union member of theSalvadoran Union Front.
As an organized group, they plan to continue to denounce the series of violations of their rights as workers, echoed by increasing public protest of the high cost of living and the lack of employment in El Salvador. Last month, the price of corn doubled and the cost of basic household needs also increased. To alleviate this situation, FMLN deputies in the Legislative Assembly recommended an increase to the minimum wage to the National Minimum Wage Council, comprised mostly of ARENA members and business representatives, but it was rejected.by the ARENA and PCN members of the Council.
Government hesitant to present water laws
SETA members met with ANDA President Cesar Funes two weeks ago to discuss the governments water law and privatization plans. According to Funes, he told President Saca that due to the negative attention generated nationally and abroad as a result of the Suchitoto incident, to try to present the law any time soon would likely create unwanted publicity. Saca apparently responded by saying that as long as he was president, the law would not be presented.
The Salvadoran social movement has reasoned that either Saca and ARENA recognize the unpopularity of this policy and are unwilling to damage the party before the 2009 elections, or that this is a ploy to create a false sense of security among the social movement in regards to water privatization. Wilfredo Romero, SETA General Secretary, suggested to Funes that the government present a public resolution to the National Assembly, pledging that water will not be privatized. Last Thursday, SETA met again with Funes to discuss the nature of this resolution, and it was decided that anything ANDA or President Saca decide to present will not be signed onto or otherwise endorsed by SETA. Funes also backpedaled slightly from his earlier suggestions of publicizing the event, and at the end of the meeting only said that the government had something in the works.
This sort of maneuvering has come to be expected from Saca and ARENA, and for this reason SETA will continue pressuring the Salvadoran government for a public statement against privatization, but will not slow down any of its anti-privatization efforts. Meanwhile, SETA will maintain their heavy schedule of community organizing and educating in regards to water privatization and the governments intentions.
It is clear that the social movement has been successful in its anti-privatization campaign thus far, and that privatized water is something the people of El Salvador are rejecting. It is now more important than ever for the national and international communities to continue their efforts against privatization, and to denounce the governments repression of these efforts!
Social organizations announce support for possible 2009 FMLN candidacy
In the first public social movement endorsement of an FMLN Presidential candidate for the 2009 elections, SETA joined with the Salvadoran Union Front (FSS), the Union of Pension Workers (SITINPEP), the Recyclers of El Salvador and other sectors of the movement to announce their support for Mauricio Funes. Funes is a well respected journalist, as he has offered to the Salvadoran people more transparent and unbiased information and analysis of El Salvador for the past 20 years. The FSS announced their commitment to supporting him and the FMLN as the political entities that will champion workers rights and bring about positive change in El Salvador expressing that Mauricio Funes is the ideal candidate, capable of coinciding and consolidating the different social and popular sectors of the country to create those necessary changes that will benefit the majority of the population.