workers freedom

economics as if workers mattered

International Day of Action in Solidarity with Santander workers

There will be another day of action next week in solidarity with CNT members fighting outsourcing and retaliation against union activity. Santander is a Spanish multinational which bought US-based Sovereign Bank in the depths of the recent recession, using the proceeds from dumping its speculative real estate holdings just before the Spanish real estate bubble collapsed. Fighting such predatory international concerns surely requires international action on our part.
Yesterday I received the following appeal from CNT Isban:
Thursday, 6 March: International Boycott of Banco Santander, Isban and Panel Systems.
http://informaticamadrid.cnt. es/articulo/26-02-2014/6-de- international boycott-Mar- counter-santander-bank-Isban and-panel-systems
Requested Actions:

Two weeks after forming the union section of the CNT-AIT, Santander-Isban dismissed our representative in Isban and subcontractor Panel Systems moved him away from coworkers, but failed to stop our struggle.
Since then they assign tasks that can not be done without providing training, have long periods without doing anything, accuse him of not being productive and violate their schedule,  … Our delegate has also been asked about the numerous flaws that have appeared in office bathrooms and hallways, hinting that he has something to do with what they call “wave of vandalism.”
They have also refused to allow him to work from home (the new worksite is far from his home, and from the facility he was hired to work at), while allowing others to do so, even after suffering a traffic accident “commuting” and without being required his presence in the office at all.
We hope that direct action against these operators serve to force Isban to reinstate our delegate to his original position and the potential spread of syndicalism as a tool for radical transformation of society.
Thank you all for your support … and tell with ours for whatever it takes!
Health and Anarchy!

Association Section on Isban
Union of Telecommunications and Information Services


A rough translation of their leaflet:


In August 2013, the union of the CNT-AIT in Isban publicly denounced the illegal workforce arrangements between Panel and Isban Systems, the computer services division of Santander group.

Isban responded by effectively dismissing the union delegate, who was transferred to Isban’s controlled subcontractor, Panel Systems, in order to isolate him from the workers and allow them to continue exploiting precarious workers through irregular working conditions. Since then, the union delegate has been bullied in an attempt to force his resignation and abandonment of the struggle for the rights of workers.

Federated revolutionary unions in the International Workers Association are responding to the attack, demanding the reinstatement of sacked delegate in Banco Santander Isban, where the multinational maintains its headquarters. The conflict has spread around the globe in 12 different languages.

Isban manages a network of subcontractor that it controls to provide cheap and precarious work for the bank Santander. It has more than 10,000 workers illegally provided by these companies, who may be dismissed at any time without compensation because they are not recognized as employees.

Panel Systems is one of dozens of companies that profit from the illegal assignment of workers to powerful ” customers” such as Isban while destroying stable employment.

Workers fear being left in the street if they protest poor conditions, facilitating acceptance of surrealist work schedules. mandatory overtime and travel – forced to accept whatever work schedule the company demands, at salaries below what is paid recognized employees for the same work.

There have been hundreds of illegal dismissals in the Santander group targeting the most vulnerable, with the complicity of the government and company unions. Meanwhile, the Santander Group’s net profit amounted to 4,370 million euros in 2013, almost double that in 2012.

Santander head Emilio Botin, Rodrigo Rato, Alfredo Saenz, Jose Maria Amusátegui and other senior bank staff have been previously reported, and sometimes convicted, for violating Spanish labor law. But the infamous “Botin doctrine” ignores Santander’s legal obligations and the rights of its workers.

Botin is infamous for his ongoing tax evasion, illegal purchase of banks, the collapse and subsequent rescue of Bankia, huge severance packages to senior management, the case of the Swiss accounts of the Botin family, sale of junk mortgages and bogus securities, evictions and property speculation, charging extortionate interest, shady deals with universities, participation in arms companies and financial management and profiteering from the terrible Spanish prison system. A long list of crimes unpunished to date.

We’re not going to shut up or resign. As long as exploitation and inequality persist we are going to stand up, together, relying on our solidarity as workers in our struggle for dignity and empowerment. Towards Social Revolution.



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