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Printed below is a translation of a February 3 supplement of El Antiimperialista, publication of the Grupo Espartaquista de México, the ICL’s Mexican section.

The victory of the Audi workers strike, which confronts Volkswagen-Audi, one of the most important imperialist auto monopolies in the world, is in the interest of all Mexican workers. To increase its profits and maintain its global competitiveness, this huge German monopoly makes use of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) looting imposed by U.S. imperialism.

Besides how close it is to the U.S., Mexico’s appeal for the imperialists—whether U.S., German, or others—is precisely its workforce that is both skilled and cheap. The conditions of super-exploitation of Mexican workers are rooted, first of all, in the subjugation of the nation by its northern imperialist neighbor, whose main tool today is the USMCA. The U.S. imperialists and their allies can’t manage to cover all their fronts (Ukraine, Palestine, China) and they (in particular German imperialism) face one crisis after another. Now is the time to strike a blow!

But ten days after it started, the strike is at an impasse: with the bosses seeking to wear the workers down, and negotiations that will necessarily come at the expense of the union’s demand for a 10 percent direct wage increase and a 5.5 percent increase in benefits. What’s needed to win is a completely different strategy. Why does the strike find itself stuck? Because the necessary steps have not been taken to strike a blow against the bosses:

  • Build solid picket lines that no one dares to cross! The picket lines, nonexistent at some of the company’s gates, allow administrative staff, technicians and security personnel to get in. There’s no organization to ensure the transportation of strikers to build the picket lines.
  • Unionize the entire Audi workforce! No attempt has been made to mobilize Audi’s subcontracted workers (in cleaning, the cafeteria, and logistics) to support the strike, which would strengthen the strike if an effort were made to unionize them.
  • It’s necessary to send delegates out to extend the strike! The strike is isolated, even from the nearby Volkswagen plant owned by the same bosses.
  • Unleash the tiger! Mobilize peasants and students in support of the strike! There has been no effort to mobilize the mostly indigenous peasantry in Puebla and Tlaxcala and the leftist students at BUAP university. It’s obvious that a militant strike against the imperialists would find enthusiastic support from the oppressed masses.

Why haven’t these elementary measures been taken? Because each of them means a direct confrontation with the imperialists and the government led by the Morena party, and the union leadership’s strategy is to avoid such a confrontation at all costs. The leadership’s program starts from accepting the need to maintain and increase imperialist investment in Mexico. Therefore, instead of mobilizing the power of the working class in a hard-hitting strike, all their losing tactics seek to affect foreign investors’ profits as little as possible, while seeking band-aid measures for the workers and relying on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government and its institutions.

The union leadership’s program dovetails with that of AMLO, whose premise is arriving at a “fair” relationship between Mexico and the imperialists. The insurmountable contradiction of populism is that it claims to fight for national sovereignty within the framework of the imperialist system, which necessarily crushes the sovereignty of the poor countries. That is why AMLO does not and cannot oppose the USMCA or the payment of the imperialist debt, and why he is totally incapable of cutting the ties that bind him to imperialism. In his morning press conference on Thursday, February 1, AMLO said: “There were broad, extreme differences, and they have already gotten smaller both on the side of the company and on the side of the workers—we’re almost there—and I’m optimistic.” López Obrador demands that the workers reduce their demands to meet the imperialists halfway, as if the slave and the master were on equal footing! No! The union must break the will of the imperialists! AMLO, who presents himself as the champion of the poor, in reality paralyzes every struggle of the exploited and oppressed for their national and social liberation.

To win this battle requires a strategy to win the whole war: liberating the nation by defeating the imperialists and their national lackeys. Repudiate the foreign debt! Down with the USMCA! The Audi workers’ battle flag must declare: For the national and social liberation of working people!