Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Union members 'expropriate' supermarket merchandise to deliver to food banks

The scene at Mercadona, Écija
Mercadona and Carrefour denounce the 'robberies' at their branches · UPDATE below
ANDALUCÍA Members of the Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT, a union) on Monday carried out what one of their leaders has called an 'expropriation' at two supermarkets, Mercadona in Écija, (Prov. of Sevilla) and Carrefour at Arcos de la Frontera, in Cádiz. At Arcos, where the the first 'attack' took place, they loaded some 10 shopping carts with what the same leader called 'basic necessities' such as milk, flour, eggs, oil, rice, beans, etc. They were stopped at the check outs, where by some reports they got into various arguments>>>
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and pushing about with the establishment's security personnel. Eventually they managed to get nine of the carts through, the contents of which went to a food bank in Seville.

The head of the union, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, who is also a member of the parliament of Andalucía for Izquierda Unida (IU) and Mayor of Marinaleda, held an impromptu press conference at the supermarket door, although he did not take part in the 'action'.

"At this time of crisis, when the people are being expropriated, we wanted to expropriate the expropriators," said Gordillo," That is, the banks, the landlords and supermarket chains, who are making money even out of the crisis." He asked that there should be less talk about prime rates and ratings agencies, and more about the entire families in unemployment, "who have nothing."

Reactions to the 'attacks' came quickly. Both supermarket chains said they were going to denounce and take to court the SAT bosses and the members who took part in the events.

For his part, the head of the Junta, José Antonio Griñán, said on Twitter that while Gordillo demonstrates against participation by IU in the government of Andalucía (where it works in coalition with Griñán's PSOE), he [demonstrates] against this [MP] "assaulting supermarkets."

In response to Griñán, Gordillo said that the President of Andalucía should be paying more attention to the missing €17million in the false unemployment records scandal (also known as the ERE scandal that permeates the regional government), adding that Griñán should be more "prudent" in his declarations.

The loot from Arcos went to food banks in the Sierra de Cádiz municipalities with the highest unemployment, Bornos, Espera and Puerto Serrano, according to another union leader, Diego Cañamero, who went on to say that while in another era there were episodes of violence in rural Andalucía, but that, thanks to its "peaceful means" the SAT was managing to "calm things down"

The General Manager of the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-service and Supermarkets, Ignacio García Magarzo, issued a statement criticizing the protests carried out by the union, which, in his opinion, do not know about the contribution made to society by members of his association.

UPDATE: The Ministry of the Interior has ordered the arrest of those who took part in the 'assaults' on the two supermarkets. "We are aware that people are having a hard time," said a spokesperson this morning, "but the end does not justify the means."

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