Sunday, April 06, 2008

The following article is translated from the Spanish on the website of the Spanish CGT, the largest anarcho-syndicalist union in the world. It has also been published in their paper Royo y Negro. Ceacero was elected Secretary General at the recent CGT conference held in Bilbao. In the following he speaks about the prospects, difficulties and tasks of the CGT.
Jacinto Ceacero: "It is important to promote participation: convert the member to a militant
Jacinto Ceacero Cubillo, affiliated to several Union Trades of Ubeda, is the new Secretary General of the General Confederation of Labour. Affiliated to the CNT from 1977 until his election in Bilbao had been the Secretary of Education of the CGT.

Text and photo: Robert White.
Thursday March 27, 2008
Red and Black: How did you come to run for the position of Secretary-General?

Jacinto Ceacero: The truth is that as a result of my knowledge of the Confederal Committee and the structure of the Permanent Secretariat, and in the light of the forced resignation, due to strictly personal matters, of the former Secretary-General, I knew that the organization had to move forward and consider the necessary continuity of SP for the current year and a half left. So I talked to different people and concluded that we could make a proposal to restructure the current SP. . We already know the responsibility that this entails,and we formed a team composed of enough people to allow the project to continue, and that is what motivated me to introduce myself.

RyN: Today, having recently assumed the secretariat general, how you see the CGT?
Original Spanish text:
Rojo y Negro: ¿Cómo tomas la decisión de presentarte a la elección de Secretario General?
Suggest a better translation
JC: As good anarcosindicalista and libertarian, I am quite optimistic, and I believe that the effort that has made the organization adapt its approach, its philosophy, its principles and foundations to the present day anarcosindicalistas first meant a journey in the desert, in the that it had to submit a new acronym to the working class, with all that means in introducing an unknown name , with all of elements that capitalism counter offers to the workers… I believe that with this added effort, we do, in the sense that the GCC members and affiliates have worked to the extent that today we feel proud of this process, for having opted for presenting in union elections. Understanding that they are a means and not an end, and having achieved that today anarcosindicalismo has not disappeared from the world of work Instead we have set up an organization large enough to insert into the social fabric that works perfectly. Without any blushing can say that we are the most powerful anarcosindicalist organization globally, both in number of participants and in the struggles in which we operate.
RyN: What is "your project" for the CGT? What are we going to see in the coming months?

JC: I am very clear that the Secretariats are an organ of self-management within the organization. That is: we need it for the implementation of the agreements taken by decision-making bodies of the CGT, which are the Congress, plenary sessions and conferences in the case of union action. . So what is determined in these decision-making bodies, collegially by direct democracy, that is what they must do in the SP. We work for development and the revitalization of those agreements. Therefore, these are our marked lines of work, in trade union action, in social action, international, women, etc.. Then, on the other hand, reality is another thing, and it is showing that we are going to grow significantly, around 20%, with the registration number of delegates we have gradually achieved. That gives us resources and material means, but on the contrary does not translate into increased militancy. So our premises, in general, require greater participation by the membership: to turn them into militants. . The style and the GCC project requires the participation and involvement of more people in the organization. . We need to fill the unions, giving them life. We need to organize cultural activities, training, socials, so that the unions are not strictly bureaucratic offices where we offer services, we have labour consultants and so on. We need to get a response to the slogans that we are more than simply one union. We are a social, political, economic… ultimately, a global project, and an alternative differentiated from the rest. The important work is getting to be enthusiastic about membership to participate in the union, because there are ways to do so. Without it we would become bureaucrats and a management power that would have nothing at all to do with what was in this union in its origins.

RyN: Of all the battery of cases in which we are involved, what is it that you see as the most difficult?

JC: I insist on participation: convert the member to a militant. Then, on the other hand, the organization must grow and integrate more workers. We do not refuse anyone, but it is also true that we do not need people who come with particular interests. The important thing is that the delegates that we will have respond only as spokesmen for the assembly of the workers. The use of the union hours is important to devote to the organization. We must set an example to other organizations noting that this is our difference in the style of doing trade unionism. That involves working to convince anyone who comes to this organization of our original values, so they are not coming here to change it. Thus our resources are not used politically or used in the service of strangers, but in the service of this union. It is therefore preferable to grow in quantity, but especially in quality.
RyN: Today, what would you well and what is missing from the CGT?

JC: Not sparing anything.. In any case, what is lacking, as I say, is the issue of participation. I repeat: we have to ensure that workers are excited about our project. Either we do all or nobody is going to do it for us. To participate in assemblies, make agreements, participate in the management bodies. It is unacceptable that these exist for months without an SP. The CGT is not the SP, but it is also true that having a structure that works, which accounts for ideas, materials, which distributes solidarity throughout the country, this is also important.

RyN: We are nearing the end. Now we are going with something a little more personal: what mood faced the General Secretariat?

JC: I know that everyone pats you on the back saying, "how do you do there? . Where are you involved ?". Really, the first person to be honest told me: "for fuck's sakes do well there. Forward, and we are going to pull this p'alante!(???-Molly) "I… I stand absolutely optimistic, excited. As I have done in other positions. Now it is another kind of responsibility, but certainly I face it without any fear because I believe in this project. Dignity and struggle.
And there will be time to relax.

RyN: Finally, do you want to add something else?

JC: Tell the whole organization that we are here, at your disposal. That is solidarity and mutual aid starts with respect for each other, to make the organization the best of ourselves, with the maximum possible solidarity. I say, to the extent required by any section of the association, union, Local or Federation , the National Confederation the support and advice of the Committee and its Confederal SP certainly ,if it is in our hands, we will bring. And let us hope that this spirit of cooperation on our part will be well received in every corner of the organization.
Original Spanish text:Rojo y Negro:

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