Unions call for general strike

After all the bravado and hot air from the unions it seems they are actually going to take action, and have today called for a general strike for March 29th.

Both the Workers Commissions and the General Workers Union have called for a stoppage after failing to reach a compromise with the government on labour reforms which, they say, makes it easier to fire workers.

Ignacio Fernandez Toxo of Workers Commission said the reforms are not helpful for employees and are mainly intended to help businesses.

“It is the most regressive reform in the history of democracy in Spain,” he said at a news conference.

“It is a strike that is fair and necessary,” added UGT colleague Candido Mendez.

Following a cabinet meeting, deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, said that a general strike would not solve the problem and was not good for a country with 5 million people unemployed.

“It’s not the solution,” she said. “In moments of grave difficulties for all Spaniards the government values more constructive efforts that help improve the country.”

A general strike was called in 2010 under Zapatero’s socialist government but it didn’t attract the numbers the unions had hoped for.

Unions have also called for midday rallies on Sunday to protest the reforms that they say are not the solution.

They pointed out that since the last reforms the number of unemployed has risen by more than one million. The answer, say the unions, is for fiscal and financial reforms to create jobs and combat fraud.