David F. Sabadell photography

Who are the 6 of La Suiza?

They are 6 people – five of them women – sentenced to three and a half years in prison and to pay compensation of €150,000 (€90,000 for moral damages to a businessman and his relatives: wife and two adult children) for their involvement, to varying degrees, in the trade union conflict that CNT Xixón (Asturies) had with La Suiza Bakery. One of them is the worker herself, who did not participate in the public denunciation campaign due to her health, and is now facing a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence simply for joining a union.

This conflict was part of a series of struggles in the hospitality and small business sectors that had been taking place in Xixón for several years. The conflict developed, on the part of the union, within normality through gatherings, closely monitored by the National and Local Police, in front of the bakery to denounce the case. The history of struggles, the attitude of the company, and the solidarity of the neighborhood resulted in growing support that was harshly contested.

From the beginning, the businessman and his family initiated a campaign of  lawfare that included a barrage of lawsuits based on the most bizarre grounds, lawsuits that were repeatedly dismissed until one of them eventually succeeded under the right conditions. On June 24, 2021, they were convicted by a judge, Lino Rubio Mayo, known in the city for the controversies his rulings have caused in recent years.

Six years after the events, following the filing of an appeal with the Supreme Court, the 6 of La Suiza are still awaiting its resolution, their lives conditioned by the Damocles’ sword that their imprisonment represents.

They condemn us for being women who care for women, for embodying mutual support, for refusing to stay silent. They condemn us because we do not conform, because neither our bodies nor our dignity are for sale. They condemn us because even in the face of fear, we do not back down.

Daniela Cohen photography