Spanish, Turkish workers fight for their rights

This video from Spain says about itself:

LIVE: Podemos march for ‘change’ in Madrid

31 January 2015

Podemos, the Spanish political party led by Pablo Iglesias is organizing a mass march through the streets of Madrid on Saturday, January 31 under the slogan “Marcha del cambio” (The March of Change). The march will start at 12:00 local time from Cibeles to Puerta del Sol, where Pablo Iglesias will give a speech on stage.

Report of the march: here.

AROUND a quarter of a million people marched through Madrid on Saturday in a show of strength by the populist Podemos party. Podemos supporters from across Spain converged around the Cibeles fountain before packing the avenue leading to Puerta del Sol square in what was the party’s largest rally to date. Police said at least 100,000 people participated in the march while Podemos put the figure at 300,000: here.

There is not only movement for a better society in Greece, and in Spain west of Greece, but also east of Greece.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

15,000 metalworkers strike in Turkey over wages

Saturday 31st january 2015

22 firms hit by mass walkout – with further action promised

Up to 15,000 Turkish metal workers walked off the job on Thursday in a huge strike over wages.

Members of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions’ (Disk) Birlesik Metal-Is union voted to go on strike on January 14.

The massive strike started at 9am with marches, mobilisations and pickets.

Employees stopped work at 22 companies in the provinces of Osmaniye, Hatay, Mersin, Konya, Kocaeli, Bursa, Izmir, Bilecik and Istanbul and will be joined by staff from a further 20 firms if a conclusion is not reached.

Five of the affected companies pressed mainly white-collar employees to call for a workplace strike ballot. But all five ballots, run by the Labour Ministry, resoundingly supported the strike.

The majority of the companies are international firms based in Germany, France, US, Holland and Japan.

Global union IndustriAll is calling on them to meet the union and discuss workers’ demands in good faith.

The Turkish Metal Employers’ Federation (Mess) had attempted to impose an extended three-year collective bargaining agreement which would damage efforts to improve conditions for newer workers or those on lower wages.

The union is demanding a pay rise and an end to differential salaries for similar jobs.

Workers starting with the companies are getting minimum salaries, forming a two-tier wage structure which Birlesik Metal-Is flatly rejects.

The union has accused Mess of building a cheap labour system providing smaller wage increases to low-paid workers, who form 70 per cent of the total number of workers in the sector, and higher raises to better-paid workers.

“This strike is not just that of Birlesik Metal-Is, this is a strike belonging to all of Disk and the Turkish working class,” said Disk chairman Kani Beko.

See also here. And here.

Greece’s new anti-austerity government held its first talks with its eurozone partners yesterday about securing a reduction in debts linked to its €240-billion (£180bn) bailout. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his team met eurozone group of finance ministers head Jeroen Dijsselbloem in an encounter that Athens said would mark the start of negotiations revising the conditions of Greece’s bailout: here.

The leader of Spanish grassroots movement Podemos (we can) Pablo Iglesias has attacked ‘the political caste that uses the public to enrich themselves.’ It should ring bells in Britain, says SOLOMON HUGHES: here.

Thomas Piketty: rise of anti-austerity parties good news for Europe. Economist bemoans ‘failure’ of austerity measures and says French far right poses bigger threat than Syriza and Podemos: here.

24 thoughts on “Spanish, Turkish workers fight for their rights

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