International support for the General Strike in Spain on 29 September

Of all the European Union countries, the Spanish State is facing one of the most difficult economic situations of all, with 20% of the potential workforce unemployed. The measures proposed by the government to fill the State’s coffers and stimulate the economy place all the burden on the popular classes in the form of lower wages, consumer taxes, pensions cuts, cuts in unemployment benefits, more privatization and the introduction of more obstacles to workers organizing (such as making it easier for employers to lay off workers and more restrictions on collective agreements).

Ever since the crisis broke, the more militant sectors of the trade union movement [including the CGT, CNT, SO, etc.] have been demanding that a general strike be called to oppose these unpopular measures, but because they were confined only to certain sectors and geographic areas, they were unable to achieve it alone, until a general strike for 29th September was eventually – and reluctantly – called by the big unions, the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT).

It is very important for the General Strike to be a success and for the 29th September to see as many people as possible opposing the policies of the Zapatero government, outside the workplace and on the streets. If the strike should fail, it be not only a failure on the part of those that most of the public considers to be the unions that called the strike – the CCOO and UGT. It will be a failure on the part of the entire working class. On the other hand, the more successful the strike, the greater the success of the workers, as it will provide a clear demonstration of the strength that lies in our unity and will therefore be a step forward in our consciousness and in our levels of organization.

There follows the text of an international statement produced by the CGT and signed by various organizations of a libertarian nature.

International statement of support

We, the signatories to this statement, wish to demonstrate our support for the general strike called by the CGT on 29th September 2010 in the Spanish State.

The widespread crisis is affecting the working class badly, in particular the most precarious sectors of the class. And though the Spanish State is particularly badly affected, this situation is shared by many different countries.

We agree with the reasons why our comrades in the CGT have called this strike, that is to say in order to defend the labour, social, economic and environmental freedoms and rights of all workers and all sectors of the working class in the face of the attacks from the multinationals and financial institutions.

We believe that Zapatero’s attempt to force this new labour reform package on the workers, together with his plans for reducing the deficit and reforming the pension system, are completely unacceptable. These measures are extremely unjust, since they shift the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the masses and not the real culprits of the crisis. It is unacceptable that the very institutions that generated the crisis are those who are forcing their proposals to get out of it on everyone else, as it involves a reduction in the rights of the working class and an increase in profits for the capitalist system in general.

We also support the theme chosen by the CGT for this General Strike: “For the distribution of work and wealth”. Distributing work means that everyone works less so that everyone can work, by reducing the working day (without a loss of wages) and the retirement age, preventing massive unfair layoffs, as well as overtime, piecework, etc. We understand the distribution of wealth not as a dividend or as shares amongst the population, but using that money on welfare and wage benefits for all the unemployed and a redistribution of resources on the basis of solidarity.

The crisis is affecting everyone, so our militant organizations will continue to work so that the mobilizations will continue everywhere.

Signatories to date:

USI – Unione Sindacale Italiana (Italy)

IP – Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Poland)

CNT-f – Confédération nationale du travail (France)

IWW – Industrial Workers of the World (UK)

ESE – Sindicato Libertario Griego (Greece)

SAC – Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation (Sweden)

“La Voz de los Zapotecos Xiches en Prisión”, part of the Otra Campaña (Mexico)

Colectivo 20 de Junio (Zaachila Oaxaca) (Mexico)

María Antonieta Robles Barja, Trabajadora Social, Baja California (Mexico)

Julio Cesar Rincón, (Mexico)

Coordinadora Valle de Chalco (Mexico)

LA KARAKOLA, Espacio social y kultural (Mexico)

La Otra ciudad de Chihuahua, (Mexico)

Nicte-Há Dzib Soto, Niñas y Niños en La Otra Campaña-DF (Mexico)

Edilberto Bautista Dìaz, Gen. Sec. of the Sindicato Democrático de Trabajadores de la Procuraduría Social del Distrito Federal (Mexico)

La Red vs la Represión en Chiapas (Mexico)

Frente Popular Darío Santillán (Argentina)

SNAPAP Sindicato Nacional Autónomo del Personal de la Administración Pública (Algeria)

Asel Luzarraga (Chile)

Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente-UNOPII (Mexico)

Colectivo Radio Zapatista (Mexico)

Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici (Italy)

Hombre y Sociedad (Chile)

Colectivo Socialista Libertario (Uruguay)

Periódico Rojo y Negro (Uruguay)

Organisation Socialiste Libertaire (Switzerland)

Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (Uruguay)

Unión Socialista Libertaria (Peru)

Grupo Antorcha Libertaria (Colombia)

Union Communiste Libertaire (Canada)

Red Libertaria de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Organización Revolucionaria Anarquista – Voz Negra (Chile)

Estrategia Libertaria (Chile)

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (Australia)

Alternative Libertaire (France)

Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Federação Anarquista de São Paulo (Brazil)

Miami Solidarity & Autonomy (USA)

Organización Anarquista por la Revolución Social (Bolivia)

Frente Autentico del Trabajo (Mexico)

Moez Jemai, journalist-syndicalist (Tunisia)

Fédération SUD service public, Vaud canton (Switzerland)

CUB, Confederazione Unitaria di Base (Italy)

Votán Zapata (Mexico)

UNICOBAS (Italy)

Instituto Nacional Sindical (Colombia)

Columna Libertaria Joaquin Penina (Argentina)

Libertære Socialister (Denmark)

Centro Internacional de Estudios Sociales (Uruguay)

Red Libertaria Popular Mateo Kramer (Colombia)

Centro de Estudios Sociales Manuel González Prada, Huancayo (Perú)

Tendencia Estudiantil Libertaria (Perú)

Movimiento Manuel González Prada (Perú)

Sociedad de Resistencia – Santiago (Chile)

Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)

For more information on the strike, see:

Related Link: http://huelgageneral.info/

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