The Salvadoran Working Class is Ready for Another Historic Milestone in Our Struggle
The member organizations of the Popular Resistence Movement of October 12th, the MPR -12, welcome the global working class, which we are a part of. We extend that greeting especially to the progressive and leftist political parties and governments, mainly in Latin America, as we commemorate this First of May, as the protagonists of a new era at the continental level, where imperial power no longer has the facilities to turn back our process of national independence, nor are the oligarchies in various countries as able as before to retain control of the state.
After two consecutive electoral political victories of the Salvadoran left, this May Day the MPR- 12 sees an opportunity to measure our organizational and mobilization stills, as well as our disposition to struggle, to continue pushing forward the transformative process of structural change that our economy, our society, our legal framework, and our institutions need.
The MPR -12 takes advantage of this First of May to express our sincere appreciation to the administration of President Mauricio Funes, who laid the foundations of the process of transformation that will continue with even more strength in the next government led by our comrade Salvador Sanchez Ceren. Funes improved the living conditions of the urban and rural working class, and dignified social sectors previously excluded by the joint efforts of the capitalist system and neoliberal policies, such as women, youth, and seniors.
Much remains to be done to dignify the living conditions of working families, but compared to 2009, in 2014 there is a marked improvement in the relationship between wages and cost of living. This government has overseen two minimum wage increases, which in reality were too minimal because of the pettiness of the great entrepreneurs grouped in the National Association for Private Companies (ANEP in Spanish). But improvements in income have come about mainly because of the stability of prices of basic goods and the significant impact the government’s social programs have had for family economies. The government, since 2011, has set the minimum wage for public servants at $300 and as of 2012, relieved people earning less than $503 of income tax and increased the minimum pension of $143 to $208.
Working families’ income has also risen because the government covers the costs of school packages, provides food to our children at school, provides free health services, controls drug prices, the good deeds of the Consumer Defense Bureau, Women’s Cities (Ciudad Mujer), solidarity grants for the poorest families, agricultural packages, pensions for older adults not protected by Social Security, the PATI program, subsidies for gas, water, electricity, and transportation .
If Funes build the foundations of a new social economic model, then we as MPR -12, we have the hope, the conviction and the determination to act so that the FMLN government can raise the walls of a more just and equitable society with popular democracy and dignified sovereignty against U.S. imperialism.
The MPR -12 puts forward a list of our main demands,
around which we will organize, direct, and act for our people’s future:
1) Increase and level the minimum wages; equate the rural with the urban wage, the public sector with the private, and women with men.
2) That employers respect labor laws, freedom of association and collective bargaining agreements established with their workers .
3) We demand that the 11 union officials illegally fired by employers LIDO SA Company de C.V be immediately reinstated to their jobs.
4) No to metallic mining!
5 ) We reject Public Private Partnerships.
6) Review of the FTA with the United States and the Association Agreement with the European Union.
7) The approval in the Legislature of a real fiscal reform to make the rich pay taxes stop them from continuing to steal money from the public.
8) The approval by the Legislative Assembly of the General Water Law, the Law on Food Sovereignty and the ratification of the amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Pesticides .
9) Investigation and prison time for the corrupt, including ex-president Francisco Flores and those involved in the CEL- ENEL scam.
10) Scientific research and extraordinary actions to ensure public safety and no to the a priori criminalization of youth.
11) Free the youth of MPR -12, who are prisoners in the Mariona jail, due to lack of research and the political contamination of the legal processes by judges.
12) Deepen social programs, especially on the issue of housing.
13) Revival of the Social-Economic Coordination Forum for the definition and operation of economic and social policies.
14) We declare our solidarity with our brother states and peoples who struggle against imperialism, especially Cuba , Venezuela , Colombia , Honduras , Paraguay , Iraq, Afghanistan , Syria , Ukraine.
ARISE, THE WORKERS OF ALL NATIONS! ARISE, OPRESSED OF THE EARTH!
San Salvador, May 1, 2014