Subect: Juan P. Merbilhaa
Role: former president of CARBAP
Place: Buenos Aires
Date: July 28, 2016
Note: We took notes and send them to the subject by email for correction. He corrected and clarified our notes, and gave us permission to use them by email on August 31, 2016.
Merbilhaa: “In the confederations, there is action discipline even if there is no opinion discipline. The protest action of the member associations cannot be essentially different to that of the confederation to which they are affiliated. Yet, there is no sanction if they don’t follow the discipline (and there had been occasions in which that happened). The main attitude is to attempt to persuade, to debate, to reach agreements, or to respect the majority decision in the cases in which there is no consensus but vote. If any of the members distances itself, the mandate of the leadership is to discuss to persuade, to make the effort to bring them back and to keep the corporative spirit. Many members of SRA are associated to local rural societies, which are affiliated to CARBAP, but it’s not common the other way around because even if there are those who are members of the confederate movement, they have to make clear that affiliation to more than a single association is not interfering on their union activities in the confederate movement in which they believe as the most valid for their local or regional representation. Both [the SRA and the CRA] represent rural interests but one is confederative and the other is centralist. The composition and the extension of its membership vis-à-vis the leadership have made the CRA more militant because it’s depositary of the joint mood of the region whereas the SRA has a tendency and tradition that’s more inclined towards lobbying.”