Economic crisis, workers’ resistance

Greek workers' demonstrationWith the eruption of the European sovereign debt crisis, a new category has emerged in the bourgeois press—“profligate countries.” Commentaries routinely brand entire populations—beginning with the Greeks but extending well beyond—as having been living beyond their means. They must now suffer the consequences: here.

Some two million Greek workers participated in a general strike on Wednesday to oppose austerity measures announced by the social democratic PASOK government: here. And here. And here.

Wednesday’s general strike in Greece, involving 2 million workers in the public and private sectors, marks a turning point in the political situation throughout Europe. It represents the most significant manifestation of a growing movement of resistance to the attempt by Europe’s governments and corporations to make workers pay for the economic crisis and the multi-billion-euro bailout of the banks: here.

Scrutiny of Goldman’s Role in Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies in US: here.

The strike of air traffic controllers in France spread yesterday, amid widespread opposition of workers throughout the European air transport system to rationalise the industry at their expense: here.

The Unite union has welcomed the condemnation of British Airways pilots planning to scab during cabin crew strikes by their Lufthansa counterparts: here.

General Motors’ European boss Nick Reilly has unveiled the long-awaited “recovery plan” for Opel, but there can be no question of recovery. Rather, it looks as though GM intends once again to maximise its profits in the short term at the expense of workers and taxpayers: here.

Royal Bank of Scotland defended its decision to hand out £1.3bn of bonuses to its investment bankers this morning as the state-controlled bank reported a loss of £3.6bn: here. And here.

Britain: Angry MPs accused HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) yesterday of giving pensioners a “raw deal” leading to them overpaying hundreds of millions in tax: here.

London Underground workers have vowed to fight to defend passengers safety revealing that secret plans to slash jobs would that “devastate safety” on the capital’s Tube network: here.

Health union Unison has demanded immediate action to recruit staff at a cuts-obsessed NHS foundation trust castigated by an inquiry for routinely neglecting its patients: here.

Young people in Britain: Record numbers not in education, work or training: here.

British Gas fat cats are wallowing in a whopping £595 million worth of profits, it was revealed on Thursday: here.

State-owned Northern Rock has said that it was paying staff £14.9 million in bonuses after losses narrowed last year: here.

Steelworker union reps pledged on Thursday to organise a ballot for “orchestrated and strategic” industrial action to fight to keep open the last steel plant in north-east England: here.

Millions of people across Britain are working unpaid overtime worth a total of over £27 billion a year, the TUC will warn on Friday: here.

Rail privateer South West Trains stood accused on Thursday of endangering the safety of women, the elderly and other passengers because of penny-pinching ticket office closures: here.

Over a quarter of a million civil servants will strike on March 8 and 9 in a dispute over forced changes to their terms of redundancy, their union announced on Thursday: here.

4 thoughts on “Economic crisis, workers’ resistance

  1. Total plant pledge ends strike action

    France: Workers at five of Total’s six French refineries decided to return to work on Wednesday after bosses pledged not to shut or sell any plants apart from their Dunkirk site in the next five years.

    General Confederation of Labour members voted in separate ballots to end a nearly week-long strike that had threatened the country with petrol shortages.

    The Dunkirk facility will remain shut until a scheduled meeting with management over the refinery’s future on March 8.


  2. Strike stops flights for fourth day

    France: A strike by air traffic controllers disrupted flights for a fourth consecutive day on Friday, forcing the cancellation of half the flights at Orly airport.

    Meanwhile, a solidarity strike by dockers yesterday snarled maritime traffic in French ports, including the heavily used ports of Marseille and Le Havre.
    The workers were protesting a decision by local authorities in Nantes to force striking workers there to return to work in order to move a cruise liner out of the city’s port.


  3. Pingback: Cutbacks threaten Dutch botany | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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