Spanish unions call for anti-austerity strike

Spain's trade unions have called for a general strike on November 14, to protest the conservative government's austerity measures and workplace reforms. The strike falls on the same day as similar protests planned in Portugal and Greece.


Spain’s main trade unions on Friday called a general strike for Nov. 14, coinciding with similar protests in Portugal and Greece.

The Workers’ Commissions and General Workers’ unions called the strike - the second to be held in Spain this year - to protest the conservative government’s austerity measures and labor reforms. A partially successful stoppage was held March 29.

Workers’ Commissions spokesman Fernando Lezcano said it would be the first ever joint general strike in Iberian neighbors Spain and Portugal.

The General Workers’ union in a statement said the strike was called to press for a change in government policy because “cuts are strangling the economy and dismantling our social model.”

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the strike would not help to resolve unemployment, which she said was Spain’s biggest problem.

“This strike does not help either workers or the unemployed,” she said. “We do not believe the best way to create jobs is to invite people not to work.”

Spain is in its second recession in three years and has near 25 percent unemployment.

The austerity programs and reforms are aimed at convincing investors and international authorities the country can manage its finances without a need for a full-blown bailout.


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