Last month, Portugal’s largest trade union CGTP called a general strike for November 14 against the “exploitation and impoverishment” of the Portuguese population.
The union stressed the need to change government policies “for the sake of a better future” and urged all to join in the protest against the government and its recently announced austerity measures for next year. Turning its back on CGTP, the country’s second largest trade union UGT decided to go it alone, with leader João Proença saying his union would not be joining the general strike due to CGTP’s “divisive and partisan intent”, like calling a general strike without previous discussion. “This strike is against the government, but also against UGT,” said Proença, adding that his union may organise another general strike in the near future.
Now, Spain’s main trade unions have announced that they too will join the strike on November 14 and thus “celebrate the first Iberian general strike”, said Fernando Lezcano, spokesperson for the trade union federation Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras, which called the strike in agreement with its counterpart Unión General de Trabajadores and other smaller unions, after a week of protests against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government.
Greece recently held its second general strike in three weeks and the head of Greece’s trade union federation General Confederacy of Greek Workers (GSEE), Ylannis Panagopoulos, has already declared that another general strike would be held on November 14.
Meanwhile, other South European countries may consider joining Portugal, Spain and Greece in the protests, after the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) enticed all European countries to oppose austerity in the face of the current economic crisis. After a meeting in Brussels on October 17, the ETUC’s executive committee called for a “day of action and solidarity” for a Social Compact for Europe, on November 14.
In Belgium some unions are open to action. These include Metal Lois Wallonie-Bruxelles (FGTB), the FGTB region Liège-Huy-Waremme and ACOD LRB (Local and Regional Authorities) Brussels, and also the FGTB Jeunes. The union ACV domes, and ACLVB AVBB are considering a demo. Source: “Towards a European general strike!”
Malta and Cyprus: also known as two of the countries where strikes will occur on 14 November. Same source as above.
France: Five trade union movements calling for demonstrations on 14 November in the framework of N 14, these being the CGT, the CFDT, FSU, the UNSA and Solidaires. Source: “Austerite: 5 syndicats appelent to manifest and France le 14 Novembre”.
UK: activists of the Civil Service Rank and File Network, an initiative of officials who want to fight against attacks on their rights from government and management, calling for a day of action on 14 November to hold against deterioration of their working conditions. Source: “Call for a day of action against attacks on civil service terms and conditions”. The call refers to the strikes that were announced previously in other countries on that day, and calls on people to join the strike initiative.