EPSU supports Spanish and Italian workers on the streets against austerity today!
(Brussels 18 July 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a message of solidarity to their Spanish affiliates UGT, CCOO & USO in this moment of struggle against the unjust measures imposed by the Popular Party Government against the majority of the population and with special focus on public sector workers and the unemployed.
The Spanish government is again attacking the civil servants: they have now lost their extra pay for Christmas, which adds to the cuts in their salaries approved in 2011. The unemployed will receive less benefits when they need them most, which will make many of them join the ranks of the poor and the socially excluded; there will be immediate cuts in the public pension system, which will force the retired to pay for medicines that used to be completely free of charge. Moreover, social benefits for taking care of dependent relatives will be reduced as well. According to the Government this is the way out of the crisis.
The VAT will rise (from 18 to 20% in general terms, and from 8 to 10% where it was reduced), which will entail a drop in consumption and which will hinder economic recovery; state-owned companies will be privatised and the cost of energy will be risen again. All these measures have one aim: to dismantle the welfare State. From the first day, the government has continuously been decreeing cuts, has despised collective bargaining, consensus building and social dialogue. These disgraceful measures add to a labour reform which harms our collective bargaining agreement, reduces rights and makes firing even easier, increasing the unemployment rate. With these measures, the economy will stagnate even further, and unemployment will reach six million at the end of 2012.
EPSU considers these policies unacceptable and a certain path to depression. We call on the Spanish Government to stop these policies. We welcome the call for unitarian mass demonstrations across Spain on 19th July the solidarity demonstrations taken place in Brussels on July 19th at 19h at Luxembourg square.
The cuts that we see in Spain are also happening in many European countries. For that reason tomorrow a joint national demonstration between CGIL and UIL will take place in Rome. We also wish a successful demonstration to our Italian colleagues.
EPSU Press release: "European Unions will march with Spanish workers against cuts !"
Manifesto of CCOO and UGT
Joint appel from Spain and Italy
Solidarity letter from Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary