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Friday, May 1, 2009

Basque Unions call General Strike

The majority of Southern Basque labor unions have called for a single-day general strike on May 21st.

The unions Basque Workers' Solidarity (ELA), Patriotic Workers' Union (LAB), Left Union Coordination (ESK), Teaching Workers' Union of the Basque Country (STEE-EILAS) and the transport union HIRU (meaning "Three" for the number of provincial unions confederated originally) consider that the situation of the economy and its brutal repercussions on the working class (unemployement already approaches 20% by official figures) demand class mobilization in order to make sure that it is not the workers who pay for the faults of the capitalist speculators. They argue that, while in other European countries, like France, Greece or Italy, workers have already gone out to the streets demanding solutions that do not damage the popular classes, in the Spanish state, where the impact of the crisis is possibly one of the most brutal worldwide, the mainstream unions are acting sheeply.

These Spanish unions, the General Workers' Union (UGT) and the Worker Comitees (CC.OO.), have instead called for working in such day. Alligning themselves with the corporations' speakers. They argue that the strike is not justified.

10 years ago, in May 21st 1999, the same alliance of Basque Unions called for another general strike, then in demand of the 35 hours journey that had been implemented in France but not in Spain. The strike was a massive success.

Basque unions, much more militant than their Spanish counterparts, so dependent on state subsidies, have been steadily growing in representation and affiliation in the last decades. Among their demands is that of a Basque-specific national legal and negotiating framework.

Source: Gara.

By the way:


We shall overcome!


Tod said...

BBC WS had a report on the nationalists losing power. They were interviewing a supporter of the new government about the reasons. He said the people had grown tired of "radicalism and, possibly, victimism"

He also said the Basque country is one of the richest areas in Europe and has been held back by ETA.

Maju said...

Well, BBC sucks pretty much (even if I read it for fast general info and the occasional interestng article): they are extremely pro-Zionist and pro-status-quo in general. There's very little unbiased info in that site.

The only reason the unionists have taken the government is because they have excluded from participation maybe as much as 20% of the voters. There's been no, absolutely no change in the remaining vote.

Unionists get (always) like 30% of the votes but, due to the electoral system, they grab about 40% of the seats. After excluding one of the four main parties, they skewed the polls getting the minimal technical majority to grab the autonomous government.

The Basque Country has huge unemployement, absolutely crazy prices and yes, maybe, somewhat higher salaries too in comparison with most of Spain. In spite of whatever they say about ETA, people doesn't leave the country (excepted maybe a handful of hyper-rich) but rather the opposite (people keep coming from Spain, Africa and elsewhere and is considered one of the most welcoming places in all Europe).

Now that the unionists have taken over by undemocratic means, we will see what happens. Most likely nothing good but the former "nationalist" government was totally subservient of Spain and its antidemocratic arbitrarieties so guess it will be mostly the same after all.

Nothing has changed, don't believe all what you read.