The Neighbours Association "San Miguel Archangel" qualifies the eviction of the C.C.O.O., Spain’s largest Trade Union, from its official office in The Social Centre of San Miguel de Salinas last Friday 18th July as a despotic act.
The sudden eviction by the decree of Mayor Ángel Sáez Huertas was carried out without mediation or even the knowledge of the Municipal Council on the grounds that the 15 metre square office was required for the municipal library to meet Valencia Government requirements on the minimum space required to obtain important government grants.
Previous notice had been given but was subject to appeal and mediation by the union who rightly requested that alterative accommodation be found. The administration, it is alleged, made no moves to mediate and without warning sent Policía Local officers, municipal workers and a locksmith to execute the immediate eviction. The Association considers this to be a gross and pointless excuse given by the Mayor in a town where there is plenty of alternative public office space, even in the same building. Furthermore, the Association supports the rights of the C.C.O.O. Union in their court challenge for the reversal of the agreement it had with the town council to use the office and enjoy trade union assets for the benefit of union members.
The site currently occupied by the Social Centre, started as the House of the People’s Republic. It was expropriated by the Franco regime and later delivered to the State Union of the Agrarian Chamber after the civil war ended. The Chamber of Agriculture subsequently returned the property to the City Council in 1990. At the formal Municipal Plenary council meeting on March 16, 1990 it was resolved to assign a local Social Centre office to the UGT and CCOO Unions in the newly opened Community Centre. The Mayor of the time, Don Manuel Lorente Sáez later said, “I am particularly proud of the textual-appointment letter of 1994 where I have announced the transfer of this local office to the unions and that I am somehow able to pay a historic debt to the workers of this country".
The Neighbours Association fears a return to the darkest periods in the history of Spain and condemns this rampant ‘warlordism’ – in Spanish ‘caciquismo rampante’ – that currently dominates the town. Privileges and rights are granted depending on political sympathy and not merit, nor capacity, nor service provided to citizens. Local observers, the Association adds, ask whether there is any significance in the day of this sudden eviction. It is 78 years to the day when on July 18, 1936, the unions were expelled from the House of the People of San Miguel de Salinas during some of those darkest times.
David A Hardy, Vice President, Asociación de Vecinos ‘San Miguel Arcángel’
on behalf of the Board of Directors.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44401/