Counterstatement: A Union Remains a Union

Following the M31 demonstration, the press in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt - e.g. the Wiesbadener Kurier at June 14, 2012 - did falsely claim in articles and interviews that the FAU is an “anti-union organisation”. The following counterstatement has not been published by them so far.

1. The FAU is an anarcho-syndicalist union (greek: anarchos=without government, French: syndicate=union). It is a contradiction to call a union “anti-union”. A court in Germany and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) approved the fact that the FAU is a union.

Members decide by themselves in anarcho-syndicalist unions. There are no paid functionaries like in the DGB-unions who can, according to their statutes, overrule the votes of their members.

2. Anarcho-syndicalism is an integral part of the international union movement. In South European countries as Spain, Italy and France, but also in Sweden, anarcho-syndicalism has its traditional roots. The last general strike in Spain at March 29, 2012, has been initiated by the anarcho-syndicalist unions CNT, CGT and Solidaridad Obrera. Our predecessors, the FAUD, had around 200.000 members in the 20's of the last century. Many of them were murdered in the Nazi death camps.

3. During the last years, the FAU stood side by side with many disorganised workers and with members of the DGB. Their rank and file members have no problem with that, e.g. the Emily Comitee; strike at Gate Gourmet in Düsseldorf 2005 or Cinema Babylon, Berlin 2010/2011. After industrial action and the occupation of the bike producing factory Bike-Systems in Nordhausen in 2008, workers began the self organised production of the so called Strike Bike. Members of the party Die Linke liked to use these bikes at demonstrations.

4. Besides the FAU, small branch unions as GDL, GdF, UFO or Cockpit, which are fought by the DGB, prevailed because their members did not feel represented by the DGB. The DGB leadership is trying to enforce the old union monopoly by secret talks with employer's organisations (BDA) and the German government. The legal inauguration of the tariff unity (Germ.: Tarifeinheit) failed because of the common resistance of GDL, Cockpit, UFO, FAU, Marburger Bund and the rank and file members of ver.di and IG Metall. “Anti-union”, in the sense of being hostile against competing organisations, are rather DGB functionaries than the FAU.

5. Small unions are unions with rights. As FAU we see it sportsmanlike - competitions keeps the business alive - so that the worker's rights shall be in the centre again and not social partnership and positional nationalism. That is what led to enormous profits of the companies and the decline of real wages during the last fifteen years.

FAU - Local Federation Rhine/Main

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