Equalization Now: A split prolongs the internal crisis of the police union that leads the protests against the Government | Spain

Demonstration of police and civil guards held on November 27 in the center of Madrid called by Jusapol, Jupol and Jucil.
Demonstration of police and civil guards held on November 27 in the center of Madrid called by Jusapol, Jupol and Jucil.Ricardo Rubio (Europa Press)

The internal battle for the leadership that the main police union, Police Justice (Jupol), one of the promoters of the latest mobilizations against the Government, has been experiencing for months, has led to the first split this Monday. Seven former members, including Natán Espinosa, one of the founders of the Jusapol platform that brought together police and civil guards in 2017 to demand equal pay with the Mossos d’Esquadra and from which Jupol emerged, have registered with the General Directorate of the Police the statutes of the EYA (Equiparación Ya) union, which was born, as detailed in the statement in which they have made it known, “due to the inaction of the majority union in the National Police.” Its objective is to present itself to the next union elections, scheduled for June 2023, and snatch from Jupol the majority in the Police Council (the negotiating body between the agents and the Ministry of the Interior) that it obtained in the previous call, in the summer of 2019, when it obtained the majority support of the agents with a number of votes never reached before by any other organization.

The birth of EYA is the last chapter so far in the convulsive times that Jupol has been experiencing since, in June of last year, the person who until then had been its general secretary, José María García, was dismissed after being accused by the other members of the executive to carry out personal management and charge personal expenses to the union’s accounts. That first crisis apparently closed in October with the election to that position of Aarón Rivero, one of the leaders who promoted the departure of the former union leader. However, it was not. As a result of the discrepancies that were already beginning to arise within the union, six other members, including Espinosa, aspired to the position of the dismissed one, although their candidacies were rejected when the Jupol management considered that they did not meet the requirements set by the internal statutes. . A legal battle then began in which the six rejected candidates challenged Rivero’s election in court. The National High Court endorsed the electoral process in the first instance, but Espinosa and the other candidates appealed to the Supreme Court.

Given the forecast that the high court’s ruling will be delayed beyond the date of the next union elections in 2023, Espinosa and another of those candidates have now registered the new union. “There are many colleagues who are disenchanted with Jupol”, points out the former promoter of Jusapol, who assures that in the year and a half remaining for the next call they aspire “to be in all the police stations” to manage to snatch the leadership among the unions from their previous union. agents. The union’s constitution is signed by seven agents, although Espinosa assures that they are not the only ones behind the initiative. In fact, the founder of the EYA already demonstrated last summer that he has an important weight within the police movement, having obtained during the process prior to the assembly more endorsements in nine provinces than the leader who was finally elected as general secretary and tied with him in three others.

In the statement announcing its creation, EYA has insisted that its main and practically only claim will be equal pay for police officers with agents of the autonomous bodies, a claim that they consider has been sidelined by the current leaders of Jupol . “They have ended up doing the traditional trade unionism that we criticized when we created Jusapol,” denounces Espinosa. A criticism that is rejected by Pablo Pérez, spokesman for the majority union: “Jupol’s main objective continues to be equalization and we continue to work for it, but the members also demand other services that must be given to them.” Pérez, who highlights that the union currently has 25,000 members, insists that Jupol has transferred the economic claim to the courts and, “when sanitary conditions allow it”, they will also take it back to the streets.

Espinosa also criticizes the leading role and “politicization” of Jusapol and Jupol in the mobilizations against the reform of the citizen security law ―known as gag law― and which culminated in a massive demonstration held on November 27 through the streets of Madrid that was attended by Pablo Casado, Santiago Abascal and Inés Arrimadas, leaders of PP, Vox and Ciudadanos. For the founder of EYA, the new union “will not promote any protest that has nothing to do with equal pay” and rules out supporting future mobilizations against other government initiatives due to their “partisan” nature. “We want to recover the original spirit of Jusapol, which was to meet with all political formations, without exception,” he adds. From Jupol, they reject this criticism and insist that the majority union is “apolitical”. “We were linked in our beginnings with Podemos; then, with Citizens; and, now, with Vox. None of that is true, ”says his spokeswoman.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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