Spain - Tens of thousands stage general strike - September 30, 2010

The European Day of Action in Spain took the form of a general strike, taking tens of thousands to the streets. The first general strike since 2002 set off demonstrations in more than 80 cities and towns to protest the austerity measures imposed by the Socialist Zapatero government. At midday, the two main union confederations said the strike was being heeded by 70% of employees and was a clear signal to the government to retract the reforms. By contrast, Labour Minister Celestino Corbacho said the strike had wide support in manufacturing, the automobile sector and in ports, but moderate backing in health, education, catering and the retail sector. “The strike was not called to topple the government, but it's up to the government if it wants to stay there,” argued Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, leader of the CCOO union confederation, “If the government doesn't rectify, it is taking a suicidal path.”

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This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2009.

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