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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland

Court Update: La Suiza Six Decision Condemned

The Spanish States Supreme Court has today confirmed the sentence of three and a half years in prison for the six Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) union members in the case known as ‘La Suiza’, a pastry shop in Xixón. 

The decision ratifies the ruling of the Provincial Court of Asturias made previously. They are accused of a continued crime of 'serious coercion' and a crime against the administration of justice for 'acts of harassment' towards the owner of the bakery that caused its closure. This is despite the fact that the establishment had already had the premises up for sale for a year. The accused have also been asked to pay a compensation fine of 125,428 euros to the businessman in question. 

To date, trade unionists have always defended that their work was limited to carrying out union activity. This consisted of a negotiation for a case of sexual harassment reported by a former worker – which was subsequently shelved due to lack of evidence – and a number of rallies which were held on sidewalk opposite the premises. 

The statement issued by the Supreme Court, indicated that the conviction is based on the call through social networks for gatherings in front of the establishment with banners, the delivery of leaflets against the businessman, as well as the dissemination of a video in which they denounced the boss for workplace and for sexual harassment. 

In response to today's announcement from the courts, the CNT assured that the underlying problem is that six people are sentenced for carrying out union activity. “This is a very serious problem that affects the entire union movement in this country, but also within wider society. This sentence opens the way to condemning thousands of people throughout the country, for the mere fact of mobilising in the face of a conflict within the workplace and beyond it.” 

It is believed that the CNT is now intending to appeal in all possible instances, at both Spanish and European levels, to ensure that the injustice of this decision and the case is challenged. There is no doubt that it represents a terrible attack on union activity overall, which could have wider ramifications. 

Erika Conrado, General Secretary of CNT, has said: "We are a thorn on the side for the system. Our field is the streets and what we cannot do is give up on it. It is part of our DNA and it is what we are going to continue doing. Our comrades will not be alone at any time, and although we believe that this sentence is a bombshell for unionism, we will continue to be on the side of the workers”. 

A spokesperson for the Industrial Workers of the World, a sister organisation to the CNT within the International Confederation of Labour said, "Without doubt, this is serious matter for the simple reason that from now on, anyone who holds a picket against a company or a boss may find themselves in the same situation. In light of today's news from the Spanish State, we would reiterate to the bosses and those who create laws to protect their own interests, that trade unionism is not a crime. Even though the ruling made public today by the Spanish Supreme Court casts doubt on it. We condemn such an attack upon trade unionists and extend our international solidarity with our comrades in La Suiza Six and to their families and comrades. 

"Since this conflict unfolded, all CNT unions as well as other friendly organisations have dedicated themselves to extending our love and solidarity with the campaign of the 6 of La Suiza. That solidarity does not end there. The fight on behalf of these and other workers on the front lines will continue. It will continue in the same way that this process has not concluded by today's news. For ourselves we echo our union motto when we think of the 6 CNT activists, by saying that an injury to one is an injury to all!"



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