Spanish trade unions take action against austerity
29 March 2012
The Federación de Servicios a la Ciudadania de CC.OO and the Federation of Journalists' Unions of Spain (FeSP) are taking strike action on Thursday 29 March 2012. The NUJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have expressed their support and solidarity with the strike.
Spanish journalists are protesting against austerity measures introduced by the government, under the pressure of big business, European and world financial institutions. The measures are aimed at cutting public services, weakening collective trade union rights, making it easier to cut jobs and reducing assistance to the unemployed - changes that could end basic rights for workers and employees.
The IFJ supports efforts to campaign to defend journalism amid a crisis which has led to the closure of publications and broadcasting media outlets. At the same time, journalists and media employees have been severely affected because of low salaries, precarious working conditions and rising unemployment.
Jim Boumelha, IFJ President, said:
"We support our members in Spain who are denouncing the uneven way in which the economic burden is shared in these challenging times. It is unacceptable that workers, including journalists, should continue to fare worst as opposed to the greedy rich who largely contributed to this crisis."
According to the Observatory of the Press Association of Madrid, between the middle of 2008 and the end of 2011, almost 3,000 employees in the media sector lost their jobs. In 2012, other media in Madrid, like the daily Público and several broadcasting media owned by the group PRISA-El País have also closed down.
One thousand more journalists and media workers are expected to lose their jobs in the first quarter of this year.
The IFJ Executive Committee want the strike to push the government to go back to the negotiation table with the unions on workers rights and labour law.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:
"Our brothers and sisters in Spain have our solidarity and support - the National Union of Journalists UK sends best wishes for the strike. We are fighting the same fight on behalf of working people and you give us courage and hope."