14 reasons to go on General Strike, #14N

The following text is borrowed from the CCOO.

The European Trades Union Congress has called for a day of Action and Solidarity across Europe to mobilize in opposition to the austerity policies being promoted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF, and call for a change in policies in Catalonia, Spain and Europe.

This General Strike is a labor, social and no-consumption strike, supported by over 200 organisations in the anti-cuts alliance, the Plataforma Prou Retallades.

1 Massive unemployment: in Catalonia there are 900,000 unemployed and 100,000 households with no income.

2 Alarming levels of poverty: 30% of the Catalan population at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

3 Increasing poverty among the employed: wage cuts, worsening conditions and job insecurity across the public and private sector.

4 The Labor Reform by the governing Partido Popular dismantles labor relations, making it easier and cheaper to sack staff, block collective bargaining and increase the working week.

5 No future for young people in Catalonia: 53% of young people are unemployed and more than 10,000 have emigrated abroad.

6 Cuts in research leading to a brain drain of researchers abroad and losing out on a highly qualified generation.

7 Cuts in education: 6,000 jobs have been cut whilst student numbers have increased by 20,000! Higher tuition fees for university & professional training, cuts in school meals provision, nurseries and infant schools.

8 Cuts in health care, introduction of prescription charges, and waiting lists have increased by 45%.

9 Cuts and limits to unemployment benefit and criminalizing those who receive welfare benefits.

10 A bail-out only worsens this situation dominated by austerity measures: higher unemployment, cuts to benefits and pensions, more poverty, higher interest rate payments to financial speculators.

11 Increased financial inequality: rises in VAT and costs of basic services, penalizing freelance workers, whilst declaring an amnesty for tax fraudsters and failure to rein in the unpaid tax in offshore accounts.

12 Thousands have lost their homes and savings.

13 Suffocating culture and arts with cuts and commercializing creativity.

14 Repression of demonstrations and attacks on our democratic rights.

 

==

There are many sympathetic workers out there who claim that "a strike will achieve nothing". I agree that a 2 or 3 day strike would be better than a 1 day strike. But best of all would be everyone who is interested in getting a fair deal for themselves and their families and friends, simply backing the strike. A high percentage of support will show that more and more people are sick of the PP's and CiU's destructive economic policies.

So, everybody, get behind this day of action before you say it won't work. This is a question of your power to say no to bad governance.

9 thoughts on “14 reasons to go on General Strike, #14N

  1. I don't know anyone apart from you who supports the strike – though I know a few who will shut their shops because they're frightened – but what they say isn't that the strike will achieve nothing, but that it will make things worse and that no one has presented any alternative policies.

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      1. So what alternative policies are there? And, leaving shopkeepers out of it, why should immigrants, women, or the young, who have suffered most, support a strike run by, and apparently for the benefit of, elderly Spanish men, who have not?

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      2. Here are a few that I can think of right now:
        Roll back labor reform which hasn't helped young people at all, but rather has led to 50% youth unemployment in Spain.
        Refuse responsibility for private debts run up by banks in the credit crunch.
        Stop paying interest on money we don't owe.
        Institute financial transactions tax.
        Institute a proper national jobs plan, invest in infrastructure.
        Raise income tax; promote a progressive tax regime.
        Stop the tax evasion amnesty. Zero tolerance regime on tax avoidance.
        Establish new laws to limit elected representatives' income.
        Public inquiry into corruption allegations in CatSalut/other government depts.
        Ban on evictions (this might be happening already, but we have to wait and see).
        Get rid of prescription payments.
        Extend maternity and paternity leave allowance.
        Roll back education cuts.
        National apprenticeship plan for out-of-work youth.
        More support for exports.
        Cut off the church and the royals.
        Legalize occupation of abandoned buildings.
        Roll back ridiculous constitutional change on debt.
        Create a public, ethical bank to help small businesses, provide microcredits, etc.
        Amnesty for immigrants in the country 2 years or more.
        Nationalize utilities/prevent further privatization.
        Stop paying for Spanish army.

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      3. Hate to say this, but it was the previous Zap govt that left huge increasing unemployment figures (including the 50% youth figure you quote). You can judge the current govt policy effects after 2 years ie from 2014, and many predict the trend will then be down -You may disagree with that opinion and we shall see what ensures, but Zap&Co left a disastrous legacy.

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      4. @Mark – I'm no PSOE supporter :-)

        But if you really want to look at the cause of Spain's economic troubles look at the collusion between government and banks that goes back to Aznar's time. Zapatero, in all his time as president, failed to challenge this policy and as such, shares the blame.

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  2. Reason 13 I don't care about too much, I think official arts & culture sucks too much on the taxpayer euro. I'm in favour of scrapping all Departments of Culture. Hey modern dancers! You could do like Michael Flatley, put on shows that make money. Poets! You can't necessarily make a living writing lyrical verse, do like TS Eliot and get a job.

    One reason not to strike – Rubalcaba asks you to.

    But other than those listed by Tom I can think of quite a few other reasons to strike, or rather to protest – Bankia, Spanishization of the masses by Wert, Madrid2020, Urdangarin, CAM, police/forensic incompetence in important murder cases, Bankia, Gürtel, unnecessarily brutal policing in protests, ERE in Andalucia, ITV in Barcelona, Palau de la Musica, Bankia, Nueva Rumasa, AGISA the Generalitat-run agency evicting people, cronyism, and Bankia…

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    1. Another way of arguing 13 is the massive IVA increase on arts events. IVA is a regressive tax as it is, and raising it massively on live arts events while also cutting state investment is a pretty toxic combination. And even if you don't see the importance for local audiences, it's worth remembering the importance of cultural events for our tourist industry.

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