Unions hail success of general strike while Government claims business almost as normal

cartel huelga general 29 sept

Update 29 Sept: Unions say the general strike today has been an unqualified success, and certainly police and union sources agree on the number of between six and seven thousand who protested through the streets of Santa Cruz, but Government sources say that the stoppages ranged between 7 and 20% in various sectors of the public services.

Away from the capital many aspects of daily life indeed seemed to carry on regardless, with around half the buses running, many schools and shops open, and most flights from outside Spain arriving without trouble. Binter regional airlines were totally unaffected, and in Madrid, too, some public services like the courts were operating virtually normally. PV

Original post 15 June: As threatened in the Public sector workers’ strike of 8 June, Spanish Unions have called a general strike on 29 September to protest about proposed labour reforms. It is the first general strike in the six years that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has been in power. The 29th September was chosen to coincide with industrial action taking place throughout Europe, the so-called “day of action”.

Although the reforms won’t be announced in detail until Wednesday, their measures are known because they formed the basis of ongoing union talks which have now broken down. They are intended to incentivise the economy and create employment, and include measures to enable employers to terminate employment more easily. Not surprisingly, the unions say the new measures would give further advantages to business and would further harm workers.

In the Canaries, President Paulino Rivero said that this was not the time to strike even though it was a constitutional right for workers. Now is the time to work, and there’s plenty to do, he said. C7, C24H, El País

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