Spanish unions have called for the country’s first general strike in eight years to protest against proposed labour reforms. But with polls predicting only a 9% turnout, it looks more likely to be detrimental to the unions than the government.
Twenty-four hours of industrial action across Spain was expected to serve as a test for Prime Minister José Zapatero. But with little support for the action from the country’s workforce, it may be the unions facing testing times if the country’s first general strike in eight years falls flat.
In response to Zapatero’s reforms, the head of the UGT, Candido Mendez, described Zapatero as an “avatar, a reincarnation”, that needed to return to his former beliefs and policies.
“People are angry with the unions. Why did we have to wait three months for the strike? We know the answer; it’s because of their cosy relationship with the leftist government, which they don’t want to upset. So people who would usually support the unions are disillusioned. As for the conservatives, they find the action useless and unrealistic.”
Date created : 2010-09-28