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50 YEARS OF CCOO PV (1966/68 – 2016/18)

Poster CCOO
These are times in which the memory has turned into liquid and it seems to get lost through the chinks of a frenetically emerging everyday life. However, the memory is also a space of fight and conflicts, of action and knowledge against the impulse of managing the memories from the spheres of power. Looking for spaces capable of holding objects, documents, photography and audio-visual recordings is a way to close those chinks in order to show the past as it was – or at least as we think it was; in order to learn from it what we should do or avoid today. It is also a way to remember, without nostalgia or sadness, those who built it. Ultimately, a way to contribute to the recovery of an active memory away from the complaisance of the past and also the present.  
Treballadors de la siderúrgia de Sagunt, amb espardenyes i botes com a calçat, anys 50.
Fundació per al Patrimoni Industrial de Sagunt, arxiu fotogràfic
CCOO PV trade union commemorates the 50th anniversary of its foundation as a socio-political trade union organization, with the purpose of conquering the rights that the dictatorship of Franco denied to the workers who defended rights which were already recognised in similar countries, such as the right to strike and organisation, among others. We also work to achieve some rights still in recognition, without renouncing to the achievement of better life conditions of those who can only count on the labour force to fight against those who possess the capital.
Part of this organization was built in the Valencian Country until it was constituted as a trade union submitted to clandestine action in 1966. In that time the right of association, demonstration or even expression was not allowed. Labour relations would follow the regulations – but they were not well regulated –  by the Fuero del Trabajo (one of the eight fundamental laws of Franco’s dictatorship). This law was partially modified in 1958 with a law of Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was valid until the passing of the Workers Regulations when democracy arrived to Spain.
Fotografia commemorativa de l'homenatge dels treballadors i treballadores de la fàbrica Vilarrasa
de xapes i taulers a Salvador Vilarrasa, 16 juny 1956.
The inauguration of the exhibition coincides with the public presentation of CCOO PV 50 years before, in a context of secrecy and repression. The dates and events are relevant, but we should not forget what really matters: the people. They were singular agents who gave physical reality to the existence of the organization. Socio-political organizations are what they are thanks to the people who found them. They are not abstract beings, they are not only on the higher positions of the hierarchy either: they are common people compromised from diverse professional fields who help to configure a social and activist movement capable of conquering rights and the citizen status denied by the dictatorship. In this sense, we should take into account the contribution of anonymous people who made possible the fight, along with some professional unions such as the labour attorneys, who used their legal knowledge to fight for better life conditions for the workers. We also thank intellectuals like Vicent Ventura, one of the founders of CCOOPV, who form his political compromise implied the organization in the need of contribute to the construction of a Valencian Country capable of holding the labour force politically and socio-economically. And of course, it would be unfair not to appreciate – sometimes invisible, of those who performed administrative tasks, always in the shadow and mostly women, although some of them were also leaders.
Treballador ajustant rosques d'una gran roda dentada, siderúrgia de Sagunt, anys 50.
Fundació per al Patrimoni Industrial de Sagunt, arxiu fotogràfic.
The exhibition WE BUILD RIGHTS: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE 50 YEARS OF CCOO PV (1966/68 – 2016/18) aims to be an exercise of unionism’s memory in the late 50 years, but also a reflection filled with present, capable of make us remember the past based on the challenges caused by the globalisation and the new technologies on the deregulation, and also regarding the crisis of the working world and the trade unions. Throughout documents of diverse formats and languages, we expect reflection and analysis, but also to make valuable the contribution of CCOO PV on the configuration of the Valencian Country along this 50 years of history. We will go into detail about everything which served during this time to create a space for democratic cohabitation, as well as the contribution of the union trade to social changes which took place. The new generations already born within the consolidated democracy deserve to know the memory of the fight of hundreds of compromised people with the politic and unionist action – a knowledge we wish to contribute to.
The exhibition has been configured around three thematic areas:
  1. Process of raising awareness. Clandestine meetings with the workers, talks during lunch, posters, pamphlets and written press. The creation of a minimal organization capable of substantiating the mobilization by making public the labouring claims (about working conditions, wages, safety) and politics (free unionism, demonstration, expression, etc)
  2. Formation of the trade union and its contribution to the achievement of democracy, welfare state and consolidation of the above. Valencianism.
  3. New times, new challenges. A globalised world: uncontrolled movement of capital, delocalisation, venture capital companies, investment funds (pensioners, states), digitalisation, contingent work, working nomadism, migration, etc
This exhibition would not be complete without recognising the compromise of culture with the labour movement. This compromise was materialised by artists and intellectuals in a solidary and generous way through their own artworks. This way, they contributed to open up new horizons for the labouring culture throughout new artistic proposals and new languages with which to represent the reality of the moment. From plastic creativity’s universe, many artists came to show their support and solidarity to CCOO. This broad selection of artworks will be also present in our commemorative exhibition.