Opprop for en europeisk generalstreik den 14. november
Posted by Fredsvenn den oktober 28, 2012
Den 14. november blir en ny aksjonsdag for europeisk fagbevegelse. Det har styret i den europeiske faglige samorganisasjonen, DEFS, vedtatt. Dette inkluderer streiker, demonstrasjoner og andre typer aksjoner i protest mot EU-drevne kriseprogrammer og kutt i velferdsordninger i de fleste av EUs 27 medlemslandene. Dette vil især skje i land i det sørlige Europa, slik som Hellas, Portugal og Spania, som allerede har erklært generalstreik, men også fagforeninger i andre EU medlemsstater, slik som Frankrike, Italia, Belgia, Malta og Kypros, vil trolig delta, selv om det trolig vil foregå i mindre skala.
Major transport and logistics problems are to be expected around mid-November in many European countries – Southern Europe in particular – as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is planning a Europe-wide action day with strikes, demonstrations and rallies to protest against EU-driven austerity programmes and cuts in social welfare expenditure in most of the 27 member countries of the European Union. So far trade unions in Greece, Portugal and Spain have already called for a general strike on that day in order to bring their countries to a complete standstill on 14 November. Trade unions in other EU member states, such as France, Italy, Belgium, Malta and Cyprus, are likely to join the movement albeit on a lower level (no general strike), with rallies and demonstrations.
Spain‘s top trade union confederation CCOO on Friday called a general strike for November 14 against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy‘s austerity policies, urging other European countries to join the protest.
The strike will coincide with a general strike in neighbouring Portugal, making it «the first Iberian general strike,» CCOO representative Fernando Lezcano said. He said the strike had «good chances» of spreading to other European countries, «especially in the south and particularly in the case of Greece.»
CCOO and UGT sources said the proposal to hold a pan-European mobilization came from the Spanish labor unions which have been in talks on the issue with their Portuguese counterparts since a few months back.
Portugal’s biggest umbrella union, the CGTP, said on Wednesday it will stage a general strike on Nov. 14 to protest against a new batch of tax hikes announced by the government a few hours earlier.
The strike coincides with a protest day called by the European Trade Union Confederation in all of the European Union. The strike is aimed at modifying austerity policies which had left all of the EU countries applying them worse than they were before, Lezcano said. Rajoy already faced a general strike in March against his liberal labour market reform.
The strike will coincide with campaigning for regional elections in Catalonia on November 25. CCOO and UGT have never previously called for a general strike during election periods.
Today Greece called its second general strike in 3 weeks against the Government’s austerity measures. The 24-hour strike was called by the Country’s 2 major trade union confederations in view of the EU summit of Heads of State or Government opening in Brussels today.
Athens passed additional budget cuts for 11.5 billion Euros to convince the EU and the IMF to unfreeze the second 130 billion Euro tranche of the bailout package. European leaders probably will not decide on giving the green light to the second tranche of aid anytime today or tomorrow although they have the case of Greece on their agenda. The funds will have to be unfrozen by November in order to avoid the Country’s default.
Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country’s second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece’s international creditors.
Athens has seen hundreds of anti-austerity protests over the past three years, since Greece revealed it had been misreporting its public finance figures. With confidence ravaged and austerity demanded, the country has sunk into a deep economic recession that has many of the same hallmarks of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Greek unions have called a nation-wide strike for Nov. 14, announced Yannis Panagopoulos, head of the GSEE, Greece’s largest trade union.
The British government’s massive austerity cuts have proved to be increasingly unpopular among the country’s unions, as the measures seem not to be working while inflicting heavy pressure on the people.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is stepping up its anti-austerity campaign ahead of this weekend’s protest march by canvassing opinion over a general strike among members representing 6 million workers. TUC is now looking into practicalities of staging first mass-walkout since 1926.
The umbrella organisation for 54 trade unions will take soundings on the practicalities of staging the first mass-walkout since 1926, as well as gauging the appetite for what would be a significant logistical exercise. The TUC’s ruling body has agreed to contact unions over the prospect of a strike that would range across the public and private sectors, from school teachers and nurses to fuel tanker drivers and airline cabin crew.
A TUC spokesperson said: «We will now consult with member unions on the practicalities of a general strike. Whether members support such action will be the first step in that.» The move comes one month after the TUC’s annual conference backed a motion calling for consideration of a general strike, in a vote that was backed by Britian’s three largest unions: Unite, Unison and the GMB.
On Saturday 20 October, a mass demonstration against the coalition government’s austerity policies under the banner of “A Future That Works” will be joined by tens and thousands of people in the UK capital. A group involving young jobless people will lead the march that is set to be joined by faith groups, disability groups, charities and other organizations as well as trade union members.
Trade unions in the Canaries look certain to announce today that a general strike will be held throughout the country on 14 November. The main unions are already consulting with each other the arrangements in Spain for a major day of action after the European Trade Union Confederation voted to order an EU-wide mobilisation against the austerity measures being adopted by national governments.
Europe is at war. It’s not obvious until you know some history, but Europe is at war. There are three critical pieces of information you need to master to understand this fully, and what it implies.
The first is that Spain and Greece very nearly had totally different political systems in the 20th century. Spain very nearly went Anarchist (not violent-chaotic, but without central control from government) but during the Spanish Civil War they were forced into Fascism. Greece very nearly went hard-line Communist after WW2 but was went down an entirely different path after the armed struggle.
Right now, both countries are clearly pre-revolutionary. Greece has school children passing out in class from hunger due to “austerity measures” and may be in the process of ditching the Euro so they can inflate the Drachma to devalue their currency and remove the weight of their debts – and sod whoever they owe the money to. Spain is at 50% youth unemployment and nearly 25% total unemployment, with 20% being the tradition unemployment figure associated with civil unrest.
Both of these societies fought wars for an alternative to capitalism, lost those wars to capitalism, and are now being shafted by capitalism. It’s time we seriously thought about what this might mean for the European Union, and our personal lives.