European day of action and solidarity – public service unions engage
EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the hundreds of thousands of workers who will be supporting the ETUC’s European day of action on 14 November. Public service unions will be playing their part in the demonstrations and other activities and joining the general strikes in Spain and Portugal that are calling for an end to austerity.
The latest figures from the European Commission show the European economy shrinking in 2012. EPSU and the ETUC have argued for some time that the policy of co-ordinated austerity acts to undermine rather than support a potential recovery.
Now, even the International Monetary Fund has called into question the current thinking of European policy makers and has acknowledged that deep cuts in public spending can reduce economic growth. But the European Commission is showing no signs of a change in policy and continues with its fatal policy blunders that cause so much misery across Europe with wages falling and unemployment rising.
EPSU general secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel said: “It is clear that austerity isn’t working and is simply imposing a terrible burden on workers and citizens across much of Europe. Taking action, in whatever way, on the 14 November will be crucial to show our support for those at the sharp end of the cuts being imposed by national governments and the European institutions.”
She added: “We need massive support for the actions on 14 November but this should also be the launch of a sustained campaign to shift policy and work towards the social compact called for by the ETUC. The compact is clear. We need economic governance that takes account of social justice and European policies supporting jobs and sustainable growth. And at the heart of all this we need collective bargaining and social dialogue.”
Actions are taking place in many countries around Europe. For example, there will be a three-hour stoppage in Greece called by ADEDY and GSEE and a four-hour stoppage in Italy called by CGIL along with demonstrations and rallies organised by CISL and UIL. Information on other actions can be found on the interactive map on the ETUC website.