Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Basque Country: General Strike tomorrow

Unions' press conference
The major bloc of Basque labor unions, holding the vast majority of representativity and affiliation, and supported by a vast array of social movements (but only one significant political coalition: EH Bildu) has been calling for the last many weeks for a General Strike tomorrow May 30th in the Southern Basque Country with the declared goal of changing the social-economic model. 

The strike, which is the first of this year but follows many others in the last ones, intends to be yet another show of force by the Basque Worker People against the doctrine of austerity for the poor and growing profits and power for the oligarchy, which upholds the European Union and every single member state government, with only anecdotal exceptions. 

The enemy is tomorrow but also the rest of the year: the social and labor cuts, in money but also in rights. 

Dignified social and labor rights
for our own model in the Basque Country
The unions calling for tomorrow's General Strike are the two major ones: Basque Workers' Solidarity (ELA) and the Union of Patriotic Workers (LAB), as well as the smaller unions ESK, CGT-LKN and CNT-AIT, and also the important sectoral unions STEE-EILAS (education), HIRU (transport) and EHNE (farmers). Spanish-nationalist unions UGT and CC.OO. have again attempted to boycott the call by the Basque union majority but their call power is minimal and declining, very especially since they have signed "stability pacts" with the capitalists and their puppet governments that actually aim to destroy worker power in order to guarantee their own mercenary subsidies. 

EH Bildu will not take part tomorrow in the institutional activities, even if some plenaries have been mischievously called for the very day of the strike. In Navarre the majority of Parliament voted to cancel those institutional activities, however this did not happen in the Western Basque Country, showing contradictions in the proceedings of the centrist forces PSOE and PNV/Geroa Bai.

Most company committees (bodies elected by the workers to represent them) have adhered to the strike already.

Unions made a call to flood the streets tomorrow and not remain at home, shaking out fear in order to demand as strongly as possible a change in the anti-social policies of the oligarchic governments. The cliff between those who have very little and those who have a lot widens every day, they said. 

LAB's Secretary General, Ainhoa Etxaide explained that:

Big companies trading in IBEX keep having huge profits: € 25 billion last year and some € 35 billion this one. 94% of those companies have societies in tax heavens while 4% of the GDP is dedicated to pay for an illegitimate debt: almost € 40 billions.

She also said that if we stand up, if we fight back, there wouldn't be anymore talk of pension cuts...

(from Enbata)
ELA's Secretary General Txiki Muñoz claimed that today it is more democratic to take part in a general strike than in Parliament, considering the results of parliamentary debates.

The Basque General Strike is also strongly backed at international level. Among the supporting unions from outside the Basque Country are: CSC, COS and IAC from Catalonia, CIG and CUT from Galicia, CSI from Asturias, Intersindical Canaria from Canary Islands, CUT, PURNA and Intersindical de Aragón from Aragon, SAT from Andalusia, COBAS and CSC from Castile-Spain, STC from Corsica, NPA and Solidaires from France, USB from Italy, PAME from Greece, PEO from Cyprus, CTA from Argentina, CTB and CGTB from Brazil, Únete from Venezuela, CITU and AITUC from India, etc. The strike is also backed by World Union Federation (representing 82 million workers), the Platform of Stateless Nations' Unions and sectoral union world federations (public services, metal and mining, construction and wood, etc.)

As usual, I won't work in my blogs for the 24 hrs of the strike journey, excepted maybe to report here on the strike itself.

Partial source: Gara[es].

Major marches to be held tomorrow (Berria)

Note: those from Bilbao can find some information on a wild array of planned struggle activities (pickets, marches, etc.) at Bilboko Branka and Elkartzen Bilbo sites (in Basque and/or Spanish). See you around.

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