Spanish general strike against austerity

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Solidarity with Spanish workers

ETUC Day of Action

29 September 2010

In the context of ETUC European Day of Action on Wednesday 29 September, the Spanish trade unions UGT and CCOO have called for a general strike on the same day.

The decision to call for a general strike wasn't taken lightly: it is a last resort in response to the Spanish government sharp u-turn in economic and social policies following the crisis. These policies include:

  • an adjustment plan to reduce public expenditure by ?15.25 billion over two years, a measure particularly punishing on public sector employees and pensioners since some social assistance benefits would be removed and public investment would be reduced;
  • a labour law reform that would facilitate dismissals, making it cheaper to sack workers, and would undermine collective bargaining by strengthening employers' bargaining power;
  • the threat of unilateral (without consultation of the social partners) reform of the pension system, increasing both the retirement age as well as the number of contributory years required for pension entitlement.

Spanish workers are not going to accept this package that is one of the most regressive taken by governments across Europe. Spanish workers and their unions are determined to fight back and are appealing for solidarity from workers in other countries.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has sent the following message of support.

'I am proud to send greetings and solidarity from the British trade union movement, and the 6.2 million ordinary workers who make up our membership and, like Spanish workers, are feeling the squeeze of draconian austerity measures. I am proud to lend our support to your demonstration today. And I am proud to reaffirm the close bond between my organisation, the Trades Union Congress, and UGT and CC.OO.

'I believe it's vital that we stand together at this time of crisis, demonstrating solidarity between workers who are made to pay the price for a crisis they did not cause. We have a saying in our movement: unity is strength. And never has that been truer than now. So on behalf of every British trade unionist and every British worker, we support your general strike today, we stand behind your campaigns against public services cuts and for fairness at work and in society, and we wish you all the best for the future.'

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