(From comrades in Spain)
Failed negotiations at Fresh Tom
On 14 January, at an assembly of their union SAT/SOC, the workers of Fresh Tom almost unanimously decided to declare an indefinite strike.
The company, whose activity is carried out in the plant in Pechina, Almeria, where the strike has been declared, also has facility centres in Ingenio, Canary Islands and in Surrey, UK. It produces and markets vegetables, especially tomatoes, which it distributes internationally.
Difficulties lie ahead, which they will overcome thanks to the bonds of solidarity that they will build locally and internationally. The struggle will be approached using all possible means: by legal means, by calling the labour inspectorate, by raising their voices internationally and by direct action.
The strike begins
The first day of strike action is declared on Tuesday, 19 January, with a majority turnout. The main demands are limited to demanding compliance with labour laws and the collective agreement:
– Increase in wages to the current Minimum Interprofessional Wage (1180€).
– Conversion of temporary contracts into permanent or permanent-discontinuous contracts, recognised in the previous collective agreement for the sector.
– Transport and seniority bonuses.
The sector agreement, which dates back to 2015, has not been updated, which shows the extent to which the employers value maintaining labour relations that respect the rights that, at least by law, are recognised for workers.
This and other companies in the same sector, where workers also have to fight for compliance with the law in terms of their labour rights, are certified by the employers’ organisation Coexphal and by Global Gap. It is clear that the guarantees that these organisations offer to consumers are far removed from assessing the conditions of the workers. It is up to the workers themselves to organise and fight against these miserable conditions.
You will be able to accompany the workers in their struggle as they have set up an information picket at the gates of the company and are present every day at the work centre: Cortijo del cura 1, 04250 Pechina.
The strike continues. Sixth day of strike
The mainstream press, as is the case with almost any workers’ struggle, has virtually no coverage of this feat that the Fresh Tom workers are carrying out. That is why we continue to insist on the need for an independent press that gives a voice to the working class, that tells the story of the strikers and that shows that, despite the attacks by the bosses, taking advantage of the situation that the crisis has opened up, the workers will not back down in their demands.
During this first week of strike, the company has sent the Guardia Civil to identify the picket line. As was the case during the strike at the provincial level in the handling and field last December, the companies are once again trying by all the means at their disposal to make it difficult for the workers to exercise their fundamental right to strike.
Confident, the picket line has continued to be proud and to support each other in overcoming the difficulties. However, they need the solidarity of the rest of the workers of the companies in the sector. The struggle did not end in December. Most of the companies are still not complying with the minimum wage, not paying the full working hours, not treating the workers with respect and not reconciling their working hours with their family needs in these difficult times.
The repression of the strikers was already felt in December. Not only the violence against the pickets, both the scabs and the employers and managers. But especially the violence that has been exercised since then. By not hiring temporary workers. Therefore, it is essential that the majority of the workers go on strike.
It is not only necessary that the rest of the trade union organisations join in, but also that the social organisations take into account the most forgotten sector of the whole production, without whose work we would not be able to pick from the shelves in the supermarkets any groceries.
We need solidarity
The Fresh Tom workers, like the rest of the workers in the countryside of Almeria, are not alone. A large number of comrades internationally support them, because the struggle is the same. From that conviction we ask you to continue fighting and to share with us your experience and the lessons learned.
We call on you to send messages of solidarity for the workers to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any help, any ideas are welcome, and if you are also on strike, tell us all about it, we want to support you!!!
Their companies, Cortes LTD and Beehive, distribute the products on the Irish and English markets, but also on the local market. The production plants are not only limited to Almeria, but also produce in the Canary Islands.
You can send your concerns to the employers’ organisation so that they can work with rights in the company Fresh Tom at the following addresses:
Production centre in Pechina (Almeria) -> email@example.com; administración@freshtomexport.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Production centre in Ingenio (Gran Canaria) -> Ilopezfalcon@gmail.com
CORTÉS LTD (Surrey, UK) -> email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read about the strike in the following languages:
SUPPORT THE INDEFINITE STRIKE OF FRESH TOM WORKERS!
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