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Venezuelan Trade Unionist Luis Primo in Washington State: Olympia and Seattle
Saturday, 25 March 2006

Luis Primo, leader of the Venezuelan National Union of Workers (UNT), continued his Hands Off Venezuela West Coast tour with a full day of events in Olympia and Seattle on Monday, March 20. His first event was an informal discussion over lunch with several Olympia trade union activists from the Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) of Evergreen State College. Anne Fischel and Peter Kardas of Evergreen College and the LERC, and Tam Tocher and Joanne McCaughan of AFSCME asked Primo a variety of questions on the current state of the labor movement in Venezuela.

Many questions focused on the issue of workers’ co-management, the cooperative movement, and endogenous development. Everyone present was very interested in the Venezuelan workers’ recovery of the oil industry during the 2002 / 2003 bosses’ sabotage. They were also very interested in acquiring more concrete information on the development of the UNT and the process of workers’ co-management.

Primo then spoke at the Olympia Labor Temple to roughly 40 Evergreen students and trade unionists. He gave a historical analysis of the CTV, the trade union movement generally, and the formation of the UNT. A series of questions, answers, and discussion followed, and it was clear that those present had a good understanding of the what is happening in Venezuela today. Primo emphasized the need for American workers and youth to build a broad movement in solidarity with Venezuela. But even more importantly, he explained the need to link up all the important struggles that are taking place in the US. He explained that the best solidarity the American people can offer the Venezuelan Revolution is to struggle against imperialism and injustice here at home. Only by making a revolution here in the US will the world be free from tyranny and imperialist oppression.

Primo’s brief visit to Olympia was an important opportunity to discuss the Venezuelan revolutionary process in the capital of Washington state.

seattle seiu local 6 luis primo

At SEIU Local 6 in Seattle

Later that same day, Primo spoke to a group of workers and activists in Seattle, mostly members from SEIU Local 6 (Service Employees International Union). With immigrant rights such an important issue in the US today, they were particularly interested to hear how the Bolivarian government of Venezuela has naturalized some 2 million Colombian nationals through “Mission Identity”, and how the Venezuelan workers have opened their arms to these class brothers and sisters.

luis primo seattle labor temple

At the Seattle Labor Temple

Primo then addressed roughly 50 workers and activists at the Seattle Labor Temple. He spoke on the history of the CTV, the rise of the UNT, and on the need for American workers to deepen their own struggle for real participatory and direct democracy. At all the day's events, he stressed the need to link up all the various struggles the American people are engaged in so as to continue raising their consciousness and transform society.

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