Spanish miners fight austerity

This video is called International Support for the Spanish Miners / Apoyo Internacional a los Mineros Españoles.

By Paul Mitchell:

Massive support for June 18 general strike in Spain’s mining regions

20 June 2012

Union leaders from the Communist Party (PCE)-led Workers Commissions (CC.OO) and the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE)-aligned General Workers Union (UGT) say support for the June 18 general strike in 50 municipalities in Spain’s mining regions was “total”.

Some 8,000 miners have been on strike for nearly four weeks in protest against a 64 percent cut to subsidies proposed by the Popular Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The cuts would decimate what remains of Spain’s mining industry and could lead to the loss of 40,000 jobs. Union leaders called the one-day strike, claiming it would put pressure on Spain’s Congress before a scheduled Tuesday vote on the subsidies.

The PP brought the cuts forward, ahead of a 2014 European Union deadline, because the Spanish economy has plunged into its second recession since 2009 and the banking sector is facing collapse. Attempts to slash the budget deficit have proved futile, from the September 2010 “Grand Social Pact” agreed between the unions, the employers and the social democratic PSOE government in power at the time, to the €27 billion package of cuts in the PP’s April budget, of which the cuts to mining subsidies were a small part.

The miners’ action has become increasingly militant. Following brutal police attacks on a May 31 demonstration in Madrid, where scores of arrests were made, a mood bordering on insurrection has developed in the mining areas. Striking workers have fashioned weapons for use in running battles with the police and set up burning barricades to stop road and rail travel. Mines have been occupied and a camp set up near Oviedo, the regional capital of Asturias.

During Monday’s strike many municipalities resembled ghost towns, with virtually all factories, offices, shops, bars and restaurants closed down. Many posted signs on their front doors saying, “In solidarity with coal workers and for survival.”

In the Asturias region, where the majority of miners are employed, several roads and railway lines were closed due to barricades made of coal trucks and burning timber and tyres. Unions said 50,000 people joined a march in Langreo, a mining town near Oviedo.

“The crisis is a useful excuse for taking money from workers and giving it to the banks,” said retired miner Vicente Turrado. A woman supporting the action explained that the area is already struggling and said, “Half the mothers have unemployed children at home.”

The right will do its best to force austerity on Europe despite election results: here.

3 thoughts on “Spanish miners fight austerity

  1. Pingback: British solidarity with Spanish miners | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Spanish miners fight on | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Spanish conservatives impose austerity violently | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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