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Posted on 17 March 2015 at 14:44 GMT

Brazil - solidarity protests needed

Faced with lack of water for people, Sabesp cuts costs, sacks more than 500 workers and victimises trade union activists.

The management of Sabesp (the massive Sao Paulo water and waste disposal company) and Sao Paulo state governor, Geraldo Alckmin on Monday 16th March formally announced the sacking of workers including CWI member Marzeni Pereira.

Marzeni began to work at Sabesp more than 22 years ago. During this time he been a trade union activist in the company. He was elected to represent the union on numerous occasions to PIPA. He was also one of the founders and leaders of the union opposition list Opposition Alternativa - an opposition group in Sintaema - the trade union. This list was formed in 1999. He has been the coordinator of the list in elections on numerous occasions.

Apart from being a trade union activists, Marzeni has a strong base of support and activity in the social and popular movement. In particular in the region, Jardim Pantanal - in the east of Sao Paulo. Marzeni was one of the founding members of P-SOL and also the LSR (CWI in Brazil). He is also active in the trade union grouping CSP-Conlutas.

In the recent period Marzeni has been a powerful voice in the debate over the massive water crisis which is unfolding in Sao Paulo. He is a member of the campaign "Agua si! Lucro Nao!" - "Water Yes - Profits No" which has helped form State Assembly for Water. He was a part of the commission which met the state governor in the Palacio Bandeirantes as a result of the mass demonstration organised by the MTST on the water crisis on 26th February.

The sacking of Marzeni comes together with the sacking of 500 workers at Sabesp since the beginning of the year. The company, together with the state government has taken this decision exactly at the moment when the company needs more workers and there is the need for more investment in water infrastructure.

The massive water crisis is a direct result of the privatisation of Sabesp. The company prefers to contract out its services which has directly affected the quality of services and resources offered to the population. All done to guarantee the dividends - a large part of which are foreign owned - so shareholders have a greater profit. This has all aggravated the water crisis gripping the state.

Although the sackings are to "reduce costs" and guarantee higher returns for the shareholders, the sacking of Marzeni is also clearly an issue of political victimisation against a tireless fighter against the management of Sabesp and the Alckmin state government. He has fought for the right of all the population to have free access to a water supply and for 100% state ownership of Sabesp under democratic workers' control.

We appeal to you and your organisation to actively participate in the struggle to re-employ Marzeni and all those sacked at Bespeak.

Send protests and messages of support to the management of Bespeak and the state government at the following addresses:

Send copies to: marzenips@yahoo.com.br

and also to: lsr@lsr-cit.org

# Like the facebook page in support of this campaign and to keep in contact with other activities:

www.facebook.com/aguasimlucronao. Or call 00 55 11 3104 1152

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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