Public sector workers to strike 8 June with threats of further industrial action

Update 8 June: Just a reminder that the public sector workers’ strike takes place today, with Unions claiming up to 80%support by public sector workers. The Government disputes the extent of the support, and claim backing of around 16%. It has to be said that although Trafico is closed, schools and hospitals seem to have achieved adequate cover for at least basic services, and local and regional government offices say they’re conducting business as usual. C24H, C24H(2), C24H(3), C7

Original Post 18 May: Public sector workers are to go on strike on 8 June in protest at the reduction in their salaries recently accounced by the Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, as part of the austerity measures to counter fears that the economic crisis in Greece will spread to Spain (see 12 May post HERE). Unions say that industrial action will continue if the Government doesn’t back down.

The announcement was made today by the Secretary General of the Federation of Citizen Services of the CCOO, Enrique Fossoul, the Secretary of the organization of the Federation of Public Services of UGT, Rafael Espartero, and the National Training Secretary of CSI-CSIF, Miguel Borra. The three Union leaders met this morning to announce the strike, which was originally scheduled for 2 June.

The postponement is to allow Unions and Government to meet in advance of parliamentary approval for the measures, and in particular to determine how the wage reductions of between 5% and 15% will be distributed between sectors and regions. In addition, Unions want an explanation of why employees of state institutions which have signed collective agreements will not be affected by the reductions.

Sr Borra emphatically condemned the measures as having crossed a line that no Government should overstep, and stressed that the industrial action of 8 June will not be the end of Union retaliation. “It cannot be the weakest who pay the cost of the crisis” he said, while refusing to rule out the possibility that industrial action would spill over into the whole labour market in the form of a general strike. C7

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