The five fingers of the hand

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By JOÃO GUILHERME VARGAS NETTO*

The results of the strike at Renault will be decisive for the next episodes of the union struggle across the country and in all categories

Anyone who is concerned about social struggles in Brazil today should turn their eyes to what is happening in Paraná with the Renault metalworkers' strike and support it strongly.

The company, under a new management and after numerous episodes of contempt for the union's negotiations and proposals, presented a package of measures harmful to workers whose high point (or whose low point) is the dismissal of 747 employees.

The reaction of metallurgists was immediate and, led by the union (whose board with the presidency of Sérgio Butka has been acting unitedly and effectively), they declared a strike and are maintaining it with the demand that the company return to negotiations, modify its abusive proposal and suspend the layoffs. There were emotional episodes filmed with the cell phone lights of the massive assemblies that declared the strike and supported the union's positions.

The results of the strike at Renault will be decisive for the next episodes of the union struggle across the country and in all categories.

The union has been working with five main guidelines that are like the five fingers of the hand.

The first guideline implies the massive adherence of metallurgists to the strike, with the determination that they stay at home and with the permanent surveillance of activists at the company gates.

The second orientation is the dispute of narratives, with the company trying to convey its version of union intransigence and the union's communication demonstrating the fairness of the fight and the workers' support.

The third guideline is the appeal to the governor to neutralize the company's grins, since when he was a deputy he was the author of the state tax incentive law with the commitment to maintain jobs by the benefited companies.

The fourth guideline is to call on the Labor Public Prosecutor's Office to intervene considering the attacks on workers' rights (with dismissals even if they are sick and on leave) and to carry out the appropriate mediation.

And the fifth guideline is to seek the broadest solidarity of union entities, here in Brazil and abroad, of politicians and personalities – which has been successfully achieved.

When the five fingers of the hand close with the fist raised, the fight for life and rights is for real!

*João Guilherme Vargas Netto he is a union consultant for several workers' organizations, local, state and national.

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