The Orotava Valley agricultural workers strike

Of no interest, except to Christian socialists, who may wonder if Mr Jesus was behind the distribution of supplies to strikers:

OROTAVA, September 17 1934. (By telegraph.)- The Orotava Valley agricultural organisation continues the general strike begun August 31 past without an accord having been feasible thus far. The civil governor has kept the organisation’s offices closed and imprisoned the strike committee since the 5th of this month. Acting arbitrarily, he has authorised employers to contract workers freely, despite the strike being deemed legal by the government labour agent.

The conflict proceeds on the same basis as on the first day and is being increasingly aggravated by abuses committed against strikers, who have even been gaoled for distributing cigarettes and fish.

Although this is Tenerife, it’s easy to forget how important fish used to be to protein-starved rural workers at some distance from the coast (recall for example in South from Granada the sardines, boquerones, jureles and pulpos brought up to the mountains overnight on muleback).

The strike was marked by violence and was the most important of a series of unpleasant labour conflicts on the island in the 1930s. I believe that bourgeois historian scum have it down as one of a wave of political strikes, unrelated to economic conditions, but then I think Trotsky says somewhere in his memoirs (buy USA/UK) that revolutions always come on the wave on an economic upturn.

This item was published in El socialista, organ of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, the following day and is on Corde. The same edition also contains a piece by Ricardo Zabalza displaying considerable frustration at the failure of agricultural reform under the “bourgeois republic”.

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