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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland

Ireland Solidarity Action with CNT Xixón Six

As part of this years annual May Day events, members of the Industrial Workers of the World held a solidarity action in Belfast in defence of our six CNT Xixón comrades, as we approach international worker's day.

The action came as part of an international call for solidarity actions with the 6 of "La Suiza" on the 28th - 30th April 2023.

Background to the case:

In 2017 a La Suiza pastry worker comes to our union seeking advice and support in a situation of employer abuse and harassment, with unpaid overtime hours, inability to enjoy holidays and excessive workloads during her pregnancy, which was translated at a risk of a miscarriage which resulted in the corresponding medical leave. Alongside all these abuses, the colleague reported unbearable treatment by the employer, which included degrading comments and opinions about her body.

Already with CNT Xixón's support, the union started by trying to hold a meeting with the entrepreneur to address the situation and try to resolve it through dialogue, something the employer refused.

Given this situation, CNT decided to make the conflict public through rallies and social networks. As a result of this information campaign, the businessman agreed to meet with the union, but refused to reach any agreement.

CNT Xixón continued with demonstrations outside the bakery and an information campaign. That is, the union tools were used at our fingertips to defend the rights of our colleague. It should be noted that all these actions take place without police intervention. Despite the normality of protest actions, police identifications of different colleagues of CNT Xixón begin to be produced and, eventually, several arrests are made and the corresponding complaints are processed.

The subsequent judicial process opens with the attempted imputation of about thirty people, union activists, but also other people who had gone to support the Swiss worker. Eight people were finally indicted.

The worker affected in the original conflict also files a complaint for sexual harassment, which is filed before the judicial justification of not having sufficient proof.

Finally, the Criminal Court No. 1 of Gijón, in a sentence issued in June 2021, sentences the eight activists prosecuted to a total of 25.3 years in prison: three and a half years in prison for 7 of them and 8 months for another, for the crimes of coercion and obstruction of justice. In addition, the ruling establishes a compensation to the pastry shop La Suiza of 150,428 euros, declaring the CNT union as a subsidiary civil liability.

Following the appeal filed by the CNT, the TSJ of Asturias has ratified the prison sentence for six of the eight unionists convicted in the case of 'The Switzerland'.

Practically exhausted the legal way our colleagues are getting closer to having to go to prison. That's why we call on union, social, feminist, neighbourhood and political organisations and in general the people of Asturias to mobilise and stop this nonsense.


The IWW continues to extend our solidarity with all workers involved echoing the call that Syndicalism is NOT a Crime!



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