Friday, January 28, 2011

Basque, Catalan and Galician general strike report

Demo in Pamplona
In the Basque Country the following was pretty much general. 61% of companies with more than 50 workers were stopped in the Western Country, while the incidence in Navarre was also very high, specially in the central, western and northern areas.

Unions have complained of abusive imposition of minimal services, specially in transport and hospitals.

The effect of the strike in education was between 65% and 100%, with higher impact in the private sector (80%) than in the public one (65%). In the public administration the impact was between 40% and 55%.

Pensioners demonstrated too
In the public healthcare service, Osakidetza, the minimal services imposed reached 80% of the workers, what effectively neutralized the strike. Still the impact was significant where possible.

In the services sector it is notable that this time cooperativist workers have joined the strike, what caused many supermarkets of  the major company Eroski (a workers' cooperative) to close. Also private markets like Carrefour and Alcampo have been closed.

Public TV and radio also joined the strike, even if sabotaged by abusive minimal services' decrees.

Source: Gara.

This nonviolent picket at Gasteiz was attacked by police
There were some incidents as Capital's pickets, the police, were quite active, harassing union activists. In Gasteiz they charged against pickets and arrested a woman. Similarly they charged in Sestao against an informative picket beating a worker on the ground, who was later arrested accused of public disorder.

Further arrests are reported in Trapagaran, Gernika and Donostia.

In Bilbao a picket managed to irrupt into the mafioso fascist retailer El Corte Inglés, throwing some eggs, what prompted a charge by the police, this time without arrests.

Source: Gara.

Also three people (left) chained themselves at the entrance of the Volkswagen factory at Landaben industrial zone, near Pamplona, retarding production by 15 minutes. They were arrested. Police was particularly active protecting the German multinational. (Gara)

In Catalonia

The CGT reported following of 20-40% in transport, including subway, buses and air logistics. Lesser impact was reported for public administration, post services and university, as well as important industries like SEAT, Roca, Prismia, Mahle, Gearbox and Nestlé. (Gara)

From La Haine:

Police repression was apparent since early on in the morning. Sabotages helped to block some railroads (video below). The see of yellow unions CC.OO. and UGT was occupied, as well as several sees of La Caixa savings bank.

More photos from the morning pickets in Catalonia:

In Galicia

Police violence at Ourense
The biggest impact was in public transport, almost totally stopped, trash collection and industry.

Notable in this regard have been the naval sector of Vigo, Ferrol, Ourense, Vilagarcia d'Arousa, Compostela, Pontevedra, Marín... The impact of the walkout is reported to be in some companies above 50% or even 70%, with almost total stoppage as mentioned in public services like transport or trash collection, including closure of the Compostela airport. 50-60% was also the reported walkout among public servants.

In all places, violent police repression and silence in the media were reported. Also there are reports of the officialist twin unions, UGT and CC.OO., organizing counter-pickets encouraging people to go to work the very day they signed the renounciaton to the social rights so hardly obtained and maintained.

In general my perception is that, in spite of the modesty of the reports, Galicia went pretty much massively to the strike, even if the major Spanish unions boycotted it.

Sources: Diario Liberdade (1, 2, 3), La Haine.

Police attacks large demo in Madrid. Other demos in Valencia, Valladolid...

While the rest of the state did not join the strike, there was a journey of struggle called anyhow, gathering many people in Madrid. The demonstration was attacked by Spanish anti-riot police, who violently beat many demonstrators. A victim is reported to have suffered some 50 canings with the police baton.

There was a failed attempt to march to Parliament after the demo had been officially dissolved, while other people instead reacted to police presence raising barrickades (photo).

Source: La Haine.

Numerous people also demonstrated in Valencia and Valladolid:



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