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Rail workers across Europe join action against austerity cuts

Nov 16, 2012Hot Topic

Train drivers have joined other workers in mass strikes across European capital cities in protest of austerity cuts and crippling tax hikes.

Public transport ground to a halt in Lisbon and Madrid during the week and in Greece, train drivers stopped work for 3 hours to highlight their concerns.

The strikes were part of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) organised Day of Action and Solidarity, calling on Europe’s leaders to demonstrate their determination to really get to grips with the deterioration in employment and respond to the growing social anxiety being felt by European residents.

In addition to strike actions in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, demonstration and solidarity activities took place in 23 countries across the continent.

The mobilisation has been called to strengthen opposition to the destructive austerity policies being pushed by the “Troika” (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF), and build momentum for “a social compact for Europe with a proper social dialogue, an economic policy that fosters quality jobs, and economic solidarity among the countries of Europe.”

“Unions from around the world were shocked at the briefings from our European affiliates given at the ITUC General Council meeting this month in Jordan,” International Trade Union Council General Secretary Sharan Burrow said.

“The Council decided to give full backing to the 14 November actions, recognising that attacks on workers’ rights and the austerity business model in Europe threaten prosperity and social cohesion everywhere.

“Youth unemployment is one of the most damaging consequences of the Troika’s obsession with the discredited economics of austerity. More than half of young people in Greece and Spain are without work, more than a third in Italy and Portugal, and 27 per cent in Cyprus.

“This is simply intolerable, and even worse, the architects of austerity have no idea and no plan of how to rebuild economic growth – they are simply focused on keeping financial markets happy without regard to the social and economic costs.”

You can show your support for the campaign at http://act.equaltimes.org/en/node/144

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