In Spain, thousands of workers went on strike on Friday (2 December) in the northern Basque province of Vizcaya, paralysing the state-owned steelworks and shipyards of the port of Bilbao.
In Spain, thousands of workers went on strike on Friday (2 December) in the northern Basque province of Vizcaya, paralysing the state-owned steelworks and shipyards of the port of Bilbao. The strike by an estimated 100,000 workers was in protest against a serious economic recession, which has so far this year shut down 624 firms and cost 14,000 jobs.
SYNOPSIS: Left-wing unions had called for a general strike as a protest against rising unemployment.
The Bilbao area is one of the areas worst hit by Spain's present recession.
The strike came at a time when the Spanish Government faces criticism of its economic policies from three sides...the Left-Wing trade unions, Right-Wing management, and from its own Central Bank. The Socialist and Communist parties had urged their members not to join the stoppage, but factories and shipyards still closed as thousands came out in protest.
???r???a??isers? put the number on strike at 100,000. The strike committee, farmed by Left-Wing extremists and anarchists, was demanding wage increases in line with Spain's 30 per cent inflation rate, plus state aid for struggling small firms, and the creation of more jobs.
Under an austerity plan agreed by both Government and Opposition, pay rises are limited to 22 per cent. The plan also includes tax reforms and restrictions, and a tightening up the flow of money. This has upset not only the unions, but also businessmen and industrialists.
Last month in Barcelona, there was an unprecedented protest demonstration by businessmen and industrialists. And now, private banks have predicted the current credit squeeze will force many private firms to close, and increase unemployment sharply in the next three to six months.