Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Workers Co-ordinate Anti-Austerity Strikes Across European Union, Stop 700+ Flights Etc.

Workers are fighting back -- against extreme cuts in "salaries, pensions, benefits and social services.," and increases in taxes  -- by staging simultaneous anti-austerity strikes across the European Union.

Europeans are not happy about pols who want to balance the budget on the backs of working people, while fatcats just get fatter. Sound familiar?

Times may be hard in Europe but, unlike here in the USA, the people there have the power to fight back and shut multiple countries down by striking:  


Workers across the European Union have launched an unprecedented string of strikes in a co-ordinated battle against austerity cuts on Wednesday. 

The strikes are intended to paralyse factories and public sector offices, and have grounded more than 700 flights. 

Organisers are urging national leaders to abandon fiscal austerity measures and address growing social anxiety. Walkouts are expected in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, with other protests planned in Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. 

It is the first time unions have engaged in simultaneous strikes across the continent, said the European Trade Union Confederation, which organised the "Day of Action and Solidarity". 

Unions in Spain, the eurozone's fifth-largest economy, and Portugal, ranked 14th, started strikes at midnight to protest against austerity measures that have combined tax rises with cuts in salaries, pensions, benefits and social services. Spain, where one in four workers is unemployed in a deep recession, is holding its second general strike in eight months to protest against severe budget cuts. 

Al Jazeera's Asad Hashim, observing the protests in Barcelona, said that nearly 10,000 protesters marched peacefully chanting slogans against the budget cuts. Hashim said that some "did throw pain on the façades of businesses that did not observe the strike. They also blew airhorns outside the doors of such businesses, until they closed their shutters. They also periodically exploded small smoke bombs." He estimated that between 60 and 70 per cent of businesses appeared to have closed in observance of the strike. Police, reported Hashim, are "out in force but don't seem to be confronting protesters". 

Read more ...  Violent clashes