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Don’t criminalize the right to strike in Spain, IndustriALL demands

14 February, 2014IndustriALL Global Union has appealed to the Attorney General in Spain for a fair trial of Airbus union members, who face eight years in prison after taking part in a General Strike on 29 September 2010.

The eight workers who are members of IndustriALL affiliates, FI-CC.OO and MCA-UGT, were arrested after demonstrating outside the Airbus factory in Getafe, Madrid which employs more than 2,000 people in manufacturing aircraft parts.

After protracted court proceedings, the union members are set to stand trial imminently, with the prosecution recommending they are each sentenced to eight years and three months in prison.

“The prosecution’s demand for such a grossly excessive prison term is totally out of proportion to the charges and marks a dangerous step towards the criminalization of the right to strike in Spain,” says Jyrki Raina, General Secretary at IndustriALL. “Not only is it an affront to democracy, it is also unprecedented in the post-Franco era.”

IndustriALL has written to the Attorney General in Spain denouncing the false accusations and extreme sentencing orders against the workers, who were exercising their legitimate right to demonstrate in front of the Airbus factory.

The letter also urges Spanish authorities to give up their policy of violating workers’ rights and to end the repression of democratic freedoms.

“We demand justice for the eight workers who were demonstrating in defense of the working class against the casualization of labour and industrial relations; unemployment; welfare cuts; and the abolition of labour rights,” writes Raina.

FI-CC.OO and MCA-UGT believe the false accusations are part of a wider campaign by Spanish authorities against trade union organizations.

IndustriALL together with FI-CC.OO and MCA-UGT, also questions why judicial proceedings have been solely focused on persecuting unionists without taking into account the abusive and illegal actions of the police on 29 September 2010, who opened fire on demonstrators wounding dozens of people.