Thursday, April 16, 2015

UGT-CNT JOINT MANIFESTO

Mas, a pesar de nuestras advertencias serenas, de nuestras quejas metódicas y fundamentadas y de nuestras protestas, tal vez más prudentes y mesuradas de lo que exige la agudeza de los dolores que el país padece, es lo cierto que cada día que pasa representa para el proletariado una agravación creciente de la miseria ocasionada por la carestía de las subsistencias y por la falta de trabajo.

( ... ) El proletariado organizado ha llegado así al convencimiento de la necesidad de la unificación de sus fuerzas en una lucha común contra los amparadores de la explotación, erigida en sistema de gobierno. Y respondiendo a este convencimiento, los representantes de la Unión General de Trabajadores y los de la Confederación Nacional del Trabajo han acordado por unanimidad:

1) Que, en vista del examen detenido y desapasionado que los firmantes de este documento han hecho de la situación actual y de la actuación de los gobernantes y del Parlamento, no encontrando, a pesar de sus buenos deseos, satisfechas las demandas formuladas por el último congreso de la Unión General de Trabajadores, y con el fin de obligar a las clases dominantes a aquellos cambios fundamentales de sistema que garanticen al pueblo el mínimo de las condiciones decorosas de vida y de desarrollo de sus actividades emancipadoras, se impone que el proletariado emplee la huelga general, sin plazo limitado, como el arma más poderosa que posee para reivindicar sus derechos.

2) Que a partir de este momento, sin interrumpir su acción constante de reivindicaciones sociales, los organismos proletarios, de acuerdo con sus elementos directivos, procederán a la adopción de todas aquellas medidas que consideren adecuadas al éxito de la huelga general, hallándose preparados para el momento en que haya de comenzar este movimiento.  
                                                          
Madrid, 27th March 1917

1-DESCRIPTION

We are facing a historical and political text which shows the alliance between the workers´ associations “CNT” and “UGT”. It´s a primary source, published on the March 17th, 1917 and his audience is the public, but more concretely the Spanish working class.
The text is the manifesto of joining of the CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) and the UGT (Unión General de Trabajadores), the two main workers´ associations that existed in Spain at the beginning of the 20th century, wich created in 1910 and 1888 respectively.

2- ANALISIS

The main idea of the text is the conviction of the working class to join all his forces in order to fight against the exploitation and the political and economic system of the time.
The text presents the idea that despite the complaints, demonstrations and protests carried out by the trade unions and the working class, each time, the injustices and inequalities of the proletarians become more acute, due to the exploitation, the lack of economic resources and the lack of work.
To understand this in a better way, we should give an overview over the political, economic and social situation in Spain and Europe in the years of the publication of the text:
The beginning of the WWI, and his neutrality, gave to Spain a big opportunity of developing his economy. Spain started exporting huge amounts of products to the countries that participated in the war. But although many producers became rich, the exportation provoked the lack of many products and the increasing of his prices, creating a big inflation that damaged the lower classes. Besides, the workers´ salaries didn´t increased and they lost purchasing power, so the working class and the lower classes in Spain became poorer than at the beginning of the war. Another factor that is important to take into account is the beginning of the Russian Revolution in February 1917, which showed the possibilities of taking the power with the union of the proletariat. This factor, joint with the important situation of economic and social crisis, and the dissatisfaction of many people due to the corrupted political system of the Restoration, provoked the increasing of the members of the workers´ associations and intensified the social conflicts since 1916.
In the text, the CNT and the UGT agree in ally themselves in order to fight against the government, responsible for the exploitation of the working class. One of the reasons for this is that the demands that the last congress of the UGT required to the government in order to improve the working and living conditions weren´t accomplished. This way, the organized proletariat decided to use the instrument of the general strikes for undefined periods of time as the better way of fighting and claiming to improve their living and working conditions and achieve their emancipation.

3- CONCLUSION


This text is important to understand the political and social situation of Spain during the first years of the 20th century and to understand the political evolution of the subsequent years. The alliance of the CNT and UGT meant the union of all the working class with the two main workers´ associations from different ideologies (Anarchism and Marxism), which provoked the organization of the majority of the Spanish proletariat. The years that followed 1917 are a reflect of the fight of the Spanish labour movement and the euphoria caused in the European proletariat by the beginning and the success of the Russian Revolution, that shows how a well organized working class could take the power in order to emancipate and improve the working and living conditions. After 1917, the protests, demonstrations and general strikes organized by CNT and UGT became usual, and the use of the army and the public order forces to dissolve them caused the increasing of the discontent of workers, that provoked the drift into a turbulent period of violent protests and strong repression, which ended with the coup d´ètat and the subsequent dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera, accepted by the king Alphonse XIII in 1923.

1 comment:

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

You should have sent me this to correct it before. There are mistakes: JOINT. Manifestoes are neutral, so you have to use IT to refer to the document.

As for the content, it didn't mean the union of the CNT and the UGT: they signed a temporary alliance to call a general strike.

You have to be more responsible, serious and respectful with your work and deadlines, because there are other people who depend on it.