Argentina: A Worker Takes his Seat in the Neuquén Legislature
(From http://www.pts.org.ar/spip.php?article21829 – Unofficial translation)
Raúl Godoy, the first Trotskyist Deputy in the history of Neuquén, has taken office
Friday, December 14, 2012
RAÚL GODOY SWORN IN; CEREMONY IN THE HALL OF THE NEUQUÉN LEGISLATURE
(December 14, 2012) Yesterday afternoon, Raúl Godoy, a Zanon worker and a national leader of the Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS), took the seat of the Workers’ Left Front in the Neuquén Legislature. Godoy is the second in the Deputies’ rotation of the forces that make up the Left Front (Agrupación Marrón, PTS, Partido Obrero and Izquierda Socialista), and he will replace the outgoing Deputy Alejandro López, a Zanon worker and a member of the ceramics workers’ Agrupación Marrón, who had resigned the seat the day before. Christian Castillo, from the national leadership of the PTS and a leader of the Left Front, travelled specially to Neuquén to support Godoy as he takes his seat in the legislature.
To the chant of “All those Deputies belong to the capitalists, but our Deputies are workers and socialists,” and other chants in support of the struggle of Zanon and the Ceramics Workers Union, a large group of supporters, composed of male and female ceramics workers, workers in education and health care, paper manufacturing workers, casino workers, high school and university students, filled up the legislative gallery to accompany Godoy while he was taking the oath.
The brand-new FIT Deputy took the oath for “the international working class and its martyrs, for the oppressed peoples of the world and for the memory of the 30,000 who disappeared,” provoking the applause of those present in a very emotional and also militant climate.
After the oath, a recess took place, during which a small ceremony was improvised in the hall of the Legislature, with Raúl Godoy, Alejandro López and Christian Castillo speaking.
Raúl Godoy expressed himself by saying that “this afternoon, it is my turn, as a new Provincial Deputy of the Left Front, and, as a Zanon worker and a member of the PTS, to take office; I am going to continue with the line of work that Alejandro began. This legislative seat is put at the service of the struggles of the workers and groups of the poor, and also in order to wage the fight on the political terrain for an alternative that belongs to the workers. Because this way, as in our workplaces we fight for unions without bureaucrats, we are also fighting for a party of workers without bosses, for the full political independence of the workers.”
For his part, Alejandro López emphasized the respect won because of the legislative seat of the FIT, based on the struggle of the Ceramics Workers Union and all the workers that see in the seat a model and a tool of struggle, and he pointed out that “we are making an assessment that is more than positive. We have come here in the Legislature to wage the class struggle; the legislative seat has been put at the service of the struggle of all the workers. Our coherence as workers was shown, because, as we said before taking office, we earn the same as we did in the factory, and we donate the rest of the money to strike funds, and we help a great many comrades that are fighting against exploitation, or with social needs. A year has passed, and we are rotating, as we also said when we were leaders of the union, and we returned to the machine after fulfilling our term in office.”
Finally, Christian Castillo emphasized the regional and national importance of the fact that a workers’ representative exists, who wages the fight in the Legislature against the political representatives of the capitalist class. Likewise, he indicated that this is about an “unprecedented act, which is the rotation of the workers’ legislative seat of the Left Front, that contrasts with all those politicians with salaries in the millions, that cling to their positions. This legislative seat won by the Left Front has not only had a big effect and raised expectations in Neuquén, but it is a model nationally. For us, from the PTS, it is a source of pride that our comrade Raúl Godoy, the first Trotskyist Deputy in Neuquén, is taking office today, just as it was a year ago, when Alejandro López, the first workers’ deputy of the province, did the same.”
From the PTS, we have struggled with all our strength to win positions in key industrial and service sectors, among the most exploited and oppressed groups of young people and working women, towards the construction of a fighting revolutionary party. We are putting the legislative seat taken by Godoy yesterday at the service of that perspective.
The impact in some of the media:
La Mañana Neuquén (December 14, 2012): Godoy now occupies the “workers’ legislative seat”
Diario Río Negro (December 14, 2012): The Deputies cleared the way for the Quiroga bonds (except for Godoy, in his first vote)
Diario Río Negro (December 13, 2012): Raúl Godoy will take the oath today as a Deputy of the FIT
Página/12 (December 13, 2012): Zanon at the hands of the workers
Diariamente Neuquén (December 13, 2012): The factory in the Legislature
La Mañana Neuquén (December 12, 2012): Another ceramics worker takes office in the Legislature
8300 web (December 11, 2012): The former Vice Presidential candidate of the FIT will accompany Raúl Godoy’s taking office