IN DEFENSE OF THE 300
PROSECUTED FOR GOING ON STRIKE IN SPAIN
FOR THE REPEAL OF ARTICLE 315.3 OF THE PENAL CODE
18 May 2017
TO THE UNION ORGANISATIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR MOVEMENT THAT HAVE SHOWN THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH THE 300 PROSECUTED FOR GOING ON STRIKE IN SPAIN
The trial of Rubén Ránz and José Manuel Nogales will take place 21 June, against whom
the prosecution is asking for 7 years in prison for having participated in a strike picket
21 June, the UGT unionists in commerce and hospitality, Rubén Ránz and José Manuel Nogales, will stand trial, prosecuted for having participated in an information picket during the general strike of 29 March 2012. The general prosecutor asks for 7 years of prison, in the name of article 315.3, as well as for other accusations. These comrades are part of the 300 workers and unionists who have seen themselves prosecuted for having participated in the strike pickets of recent years. José Manuel and Rubén are known as “the Lealtad Two”, because it was on Lealtad Square in Madrid, near the seat of the Stock Market, in front of the Ritz hotel, that the peaceful union picket in that general strike was to be found when it was broken up by a police charge and they were arrested, to be later accused and prosecuted. Assemblies are taking place throughout the country, like that which took place at Fuenlabrada, 16 May; there will be a demonstration in Madrid the day of the trial, which will take place in front of the tribunal to which they are summoned.
The Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and the UGT have presented to all parliamentary groups a proposed bill to repeal article 315.3
12 May, the union confederations CCOO and UGT presented to the parliamentary groups of the Congress of Deputies a proposition to be taken into consideration to repeal point 3 of article 315 of the Penal Code and the modification of article 172 concerning the crime of “coaction” so that this last article could no longer be used, as it has up till now, in cases of the exercise of a fundamental right like that to go on strike. 16 May, the unions had their proposition recorded in Congress, which coincided with the vote on accepting a bill from the Groupe Unidos Podemos to repeal article 315.3.
José Manuel Nogales and Rubén Ranz
General secretaries of CCOO and UGT
on may 16th. Behind them, Rubén Ranz
Some representatives of UGT and CCOO with members of Parliamentary groups of Podemos and PSOE at the main gate of the Congress
The largest unity and mobilisation are necessary, as much in the union confederations as in the parliamentary groups, to successfully achieve the repeal of 315.3 and defend the right to strike.
It is fundamental, by the intermediary of our unions and the political parties that defend the rights of workers and democratic liberties, in the largest unity combining all the efforts, that the necessary mobilisations be organised to come to an agreement and to impose on the Rajoy government the repeal of 315.3, the quashing and closure of all the proceedings against unionists for participation in actions during strikes as well as the rehabilitation of all the workers and unionists already condemned to punishments of hard prison.
Some representatives of UGT and CCOO with members of groups of Podemos and PSOE at the main gate of the Congress
16 May, the approval process for a bill to repeal article 315.3 was approved in Congress
Already, last year, in the Employment Commission of the Congress, a non-legislative motion was approved, presented by the ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) and decided with the PSOE, that exhorted the government to repeal article 315.3. This proposition had the support of all the parliamentary groups, except those of the Partido Popular (PP, Rajoy’s right), which voted against, and Ciudadanos, which abstained. However, it was a non-binding recommendation to the government. Proposed bills that would, on the contrary, require the government to apply them have also been presented by the ERC, the PSOE and Unidos Podemos. It was one of these bills to repeal article 315.3, that of the Unidos Podemos parliamentary group, that was approved 16 May in plenary session of the Congress to launch its passing before Congress. It was approved with votes in favour by Unidos Podemos, PSOE, ERC, PdeCAT (Catalan European Democratic Party), the PNV (Basque Nationalist Party)… with, once again, PP voting against and Cuidadanos abstaining. Now it will pass before the Senate, then the bill will return to the Congress where it will be debated and modifications will be introduced and, hopefully, if all the groups keep to their positions, it will be finally approved after summer.
We remind you that the proposed bill poses the question of the repeal of point 3 of article 315 of the Penal Code in terms of which all those who pressure other persons to begin or continue a strike can pass up to 3 years in prison; and equally to dismiss the pending charges and review the condemnations imposed on “pickets” through the application of this penal clause. Podemos has shown that the crime of coaction is already typified, and that “the aggravated penal figure of coaction in the case of the exercise of the right to strike – foreseen in article 315.3 of the penal code – is not only unnecessary but also contrary to the fundamental right to strike and union freedom”.
PROPOSITION OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIQUÉS OF SOLIDARITY
We now solicit a new demonstration of support from all of you, union organisations from over 15 countries, who have shown your solidarity with the over 300 people prosecuted for going on strike in Spain by addressing yourselves to the Spanish embassies of your countries, to demand that our government dismiss all the proceedings against unionists for participating in actions during strikes and that it repeal 315.3.
We propose that you address a new communiqué addressed to all the parliamentary groups of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, by saluting the approval of submitting the bill to repeal 315.3 and to encourage that, in defence of the right to strike and union freedom, we soon arrive, in the largest unity and with success, at the definitive approval of this initiative that will also permit to satisfy the demand addressed to the Spanish government and general prosecutor that all the proceedings against the 300 be quashed or dismissed and that rehabilitation be granted to all the who have suffered condemnation to prison and fines.
We think that this could be an important contribution, firstly for the mobilisations summoned to be judged next 21 June, of Manuel Nogales and Rubén Ranz, against whom the court will decide on a condemnation to 7 years of prison; it will also help, through solidarity and support, the campaign jointly led by Workers’ Commissions and the UGT, “Striking is not a crime”, and the proposal that our confederations have presented to the Congress.
For the Commission: Pepe Alcázar (of the Airbus 8), Rubén Ranz (of the Lealtad 2) and Pablo García-Cano
To contact us: email@example.com
International Commission in defense of the 300 prosecuted for going on strike in Spain.
and for the repeal of article 315.3 of Penal Code.