Successful national strike in Spain

01.04.2012

Over ten million workers supported a general national strike in Spain on March 29 called by two major union federations CC.OO and UGT.

SPAIN: 10.2 million workers gave their support to the national strike announced by Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras, CC.OO and the Unión General de Trabajadores UGT. At least four million people participated in 111 rallies and demonstrations across the country. The mobilization was a joint union response to the labour reforms and dismantling of public sector proposed by the government of the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

According to union reports the national strike was by no way an easy exercise with some employers exerting pressure, including threats and even blackmailing aimed to undermine and discredit the strike. This did not stop workers from different sectors and enterprises joining together and unanimously condemning the government's labour reforms foreseeing further reductions of labour and social rights of Spanish workers.

The Spanish unions do have alternative proposals on how to increase economic activity and reduce unemployment in Spain and are going to present their proposals to the President, political party groups in Parliament, as well as employers' associations. On this point, the unions are demanding the President of Parliament to accelerate the presentation of the Popular Legislative Initiative (Iniciativa Legislativa Popular) signed by over a million people and presented in June 2011 by CC.OO and UGT.

At the same time, CC.OO and UGT are going to present allegations against the proposed labour reform to the Defender of the People (Defensor del Pueblo) and file a formal complaint to the International Labour Organization (ILO) against the Spanish Government imposing labour reforms in violation of several ILO Conventions ratified by Spain.