19 June, 201210,000 coal miners in Spain are on the front-line of the European austerity debate as their workplaces are shutdown by national budget cuts, to pay for the debts of the banks.
An underground sit-in at a coal mine in northern Spain has won dramatic support in the region with thousands of workers going on strike, and establishing road-blocks because the Spanish government is refusing to talk to them and their unions.
The workers involved in the sit-in are 600 metres underground, where temperatures reach 25°C with an 85% humidity rate.
Local and regional governments, aware of the devastating effect of massive job losses on their towns have come out in support of the workers and their unions, the UGT and the CC.OO.
The dispute has gone on for more than a month but the conservative Government of Prime Minister Mariano Roy is not listening to the workers, is refusing to be accountable to the Spanish people but is imposing an austerity drive at the behest of the EU.
Spain is grappling with an economic crisis brought with the worst unemployment in the eurozone.
The unions and the regional government are concerned that if the mines are shut another 30,000 jobs could go for workers in industries dependent on the mining sector.
At the founding congress of the IndustriALL Global Union the two Spanish unions have called on the help of their sisters and brothers - so a LabourStart campaign demanding the Spanish government meet with the union was launched today.
You too can help by going to: www.labourstartcampaigns.net/spain