Spain -Coal miners’ strike escalates -June 26, 2012

Coal miners in the northern of Spain went on strike, staging protests in northern cities and Madrid. The actions started in response to a government announcement that state aid to the sector will be reduced by 64%. Trade unions CCOO and UGT have announced their support for the miners’ strike that enjoyed 100% participation. Smaller actions involving blockades of mayor roads in the north were not authorised by the unions. The unions argue that the large scale retraction of public subsidies will kill the mining sector, which has already lost over 40,000 jobs in the last 20 years. Getting increasingly desperate, the miners have started to march on Madrid, vowing to walk the near 400 kilometre distance and hoping to be joined by more and more protesters along the way. Despite controversial actions and some clashes with the police, left wing parties, local and regional governments and trade union confederations across Europe have come out in support of the miners.

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