The situation caused by the coronavirus has openly and starkly exposed all the flaws of the capitalist system and, in particular, of the monarchical regime of the oligarchy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and deepened an already announced economic crisis. We are witnessing a debacle for the whole of the popular classes but especially for the working class. There are already a million and a half workers affected by ERTEs (Procedures for the Temporary Regulation of Employment – allowing a company to temporarily suspend an employee despite their contract – translator’s note); employers are taking advantage of this to lay them off, domestic workers are forced to work, even putting their health at risk, if they want to take money home, workers from essential companies, which have not closed , they do not have adequate security measures, thousands of small businesses have to close, totally or partially, without knowing if they are going to stay in business, there are many unprotected vulnerable groups, many of our elders are neglected, etc. Health-care workers have to work without adequate rest, due to lack of personnel, without adequate protective material, due to lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), masks, etc., putting their health and lives at risk. Beds, ICUs and hospitals are lacking, while some private health care facilities want to lay off staff using ERTEs.
Years of neoliberal policies, dismantling and privatization of public services, of strategic companies and economic sectors, budget cuts, etc., in order to increase the profits of big capital at the expense of the well-being and health of the population, explain the situation in which we find ourselves. Policies carried out by the central and autonomous governments of the PP – People’s Party – and PSOE –Spanish Socialist Workers Party – (fundamentally, but not only) and the set of state institutions. In this context, when the needs of our country and its people are pressing, the European Union has been shown to be the project of the big financial capital that it is, show that when making social protection or humanitarian decisions it prefers to look away, to turn responsibility over to the member states and reduce their visibility to the minimum.
We are facing a health, social and economic emergency that, foreseeably, will worsen, and to which the democratic and progressive forces must give a united answer, a solution, an alternative. On the other hand, we are in danger of such a situation being channeled by the reactionary and fascist sectors. It is for all these reasons that the PCE (ML) calls for the responsibility of all progressive forces (political, union and social) to rise to the occasion in the current circumstances and to fight together, with respect
and devotion, against the crisis and anti-popular policies, in favor of the working classes and our peoples, of our future. We call for progress in the formation of a broad popular front, which would be an expression of the needs and desires of the popular sectors, around this 10-point program:
1) Maintenance “without setting a date” of the suspension of all layoffs due to the coronavirus and administrative watchfulness so that it is real and effective.
2) Repeal of the labor reforms of the PP and the PSOE.
3) Immediate return of public money that was given (bailouts) to the banks and privatized toll roads.
4) Return to public hands of water, gas and electricity services. Nationalization of the strategic sectors of the economy.
5) Repeal of the “Gag Law” and those that violate political rights and freedoms.
6) Nationalization and re-municipalization of privatized public services, especially those in the hands of companies that make use of ERES (Procedures for the Regulation of Employment) or ERTES.
7) Repeal of the pension reform guaranteeing a decent income for our elderly and dependents.
8) Creation of a public park for rental housing. Permanently stop evictions from primary homes by law.
9) Repeal of the Law 15/97 and other laws that privatize health care and nationalization of the entire private healthcare network. Elimination of the educational subsidies system (in which private schools are given public funds – translator’s note).
10) Renationalization and development of the public transport service to guarantee the ability of workers to move around.
Madrid, March 27, 2020