European general strike? - 14 November

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Mark.
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Oct 19 2012 10:34
European general strike? - 14 November
The Guardian wrote:

Spain's two largest unions have called a general strike for November 14 in protest at the government's austerity package.

The choice of date is very significant -- general strikes have already been called in Portugal and Greece on the same day.

Fernando Lezcano, a spokesman for the Spain's largest union Comisiones Obreras, said (via Reuters):

Quote:
Next November 14 we will have the first Iberian general strike in history.

Iberian and Hellenic. Yesterday the head of Greece's GSEE union, Yiannis Panagopoulos, declared that another general strike would be held in Greece on the 14th.

EU unions had called for a pan-Europe general strike this week, and it appears to have been answered.

The question now, is whether other countries might follow….

Bruisedshins
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Oct 19 2012 12:48

I'm genuinely unsure of the scale of unon representation throughout Europe or how united unions are abroad.

Sadly I think we're miles away from anything even resembling a general strike being carried out in the UK. Large swathes of the workforce aren't unionised and those who are rightly view the union hierachy that appears utterly detached from the rank and file with distrust.

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Entdinglichung
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Oct 19 2012 13:49

according to http://www.kaosenlared.net/component/k2/item/34441-14-n-eurohuelga.html also on Cyprus ... and unions in Italy and France are discussing if they join in

Sten
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Oct 19 2012 20:29

ETUC appeal for "a day of action and solidarity" on November 14, "including strikes, demonstrations, rallies and other actions". Dated October 17th (after the Greeks and the Portuguese called their strikes).

Not exactly radical, but at least Southern Europe (including France) could be promising for this.

Melnitz
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Oct 20 2012 13:43

FB event for General Strike on 14/11:

http://www.facebook.com/events/500418443315506/

Mark.
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Oct 21 2012 10:46

#14N - European Strike on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanStrike

‪#14N‬ on Twitter

http://twitter.com/search/realtime?q=%2314n

rooieravotr
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Oct 21 2012 23:32

There are people discussing organizing things in the Netherlands, mostly people with Occupy- or Occupy-related experience. Keep you updated as things develop (I couldn't resist involvement:-) )

Mark.
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Oct 22 2012 00:11
Sten wrote:

ETUC appeal for "a day of action and solidarity" on November 14, "including strikes, demonstrations, rallies and other actions". Dated October 17th (after the Greeks and the Portuguese called their strikes).

Comment on urban75 re the international TU politics in the background. I couldn't make any judgement on its accuracy as I really know next to nothing about the ETUC. Apart from this it will be interesting to see if the call out takes on a momentum of its own, independent of trade union officialdom.

Quote:
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There's a europe wide day of action? Shows how much the TUC are going to put into it if I've not heard of it... buy yeah, you're right, aside from N30 which was driven by/about the strike (and followed by sell out), what you want hasn't happened, and I've no idea how to make it happen either. Midlands TUC are fucking useless. December 5th is Autumn statement, we're organising a demo in Birmingham, I imagine there'll be a few around the UK.. but then that's not enough time to pass motions etc. all the way up to the TUC central committee I suppose.

It's criminal what TUC, Verdi IG Metall, CGT - the major 'north' European countries are doing - every time the southern European countries get together and coordinate their strike days - the north European countries think it inappropriate to attack their own governments. Only by threatening to breakaway from ETUC was the Day of Action even on the agenda.

Who is the General Secretary of ETUC? John Monks (has been since 2003), former General Secretary of the TUC, and he is strongly pro-EU integration (part of the European Movement), which to the south Europeans seems like 'shaft the south with austerity and steer clear of it up north'.

The northern Confederations basically believe the Greeks deserved it and are lazy, and 'their' national money is being spent on Greece so they better show value for money. (Greeks on average work about a fifth longer than British people do).

I think I had better stop now. Does anyone remember John Monks? What was his role in the 1970s and 1980s?

Mark.
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Oct 22 2012 20:45

Some discussion in Spanish. In Spain there's the complication that the CGT had already called its own general strike for 31 October. It's unclear whether they'll change this (edit: CGT to make a decision on this tomorrow).

Santiago Talavera: Sobre la jornada de huelga del 14-N y el sindicalismo combativo

rooieravotr
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Oct 22 2012 22:26

Some thoughts on N14 on my blog here.

Mark.
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Oct 23 2012 23:44

The CGT has moved its strike call to 14 November but will keep 31 October as a day of action. The CNT had previously agreed to join the CGT's strike call and so will presumably now also be joining in on 14 November.

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http://twitter.com/search/realtime?q=%23n14

http://twitter.com/search/realtime?q=%23EuropeanStrike

http://twitter.com/EuropeanStrike

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Oct 24 2012 08:48

So I've not been able to find anything online, but I've heard odd bits and bobs about some of the Italian base unions organising a strike for 14th November.. the last base union strike in June was quite good so hopefully if the base unions manage to come out together it should be fairly decent..

Meanwhile, the major union confederations (CGIL, CISL and UIL) are dragging their feet. CGIL (the most left-wing of the three) have said vaguely they will 'take to the streets' on Nov 14th and that they will consult with the other two to get them to join in. This will probably mean concessions on the part of CGIL i.e. a while back CGIL planned a 4 hour strike while the other two planned a two hour strike on a different day.. in the end they struck on the same day but for three hours.. roll eyes

I'll put my money on a general strike of the base unions around the country, plus a national demonstration in Rome organised by the mainstream unions. Which wouldn't be too bad, given the circumstances..

Mark.
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Oct 24 2012 10:22

From 15M in Spain:

http://huelgainternacional.wordpress.com/

International general strike 14 November 2012 against the financial markets and European austerity and privatisation policies

Mark.
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Oct 24 2012 11:54

CNT statement:

CNT convocará huelga general el 14N contra la reforma laboral, los recortes y el saqueo contra la clase trabajadora

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georgestapleton
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Oct 24 2012 12:24
Mark. wrote:
Sten wrote:

ETUC appeal for "a day of action and solidarity" on November 14, "including strikes, demonstrations, rallies and other actions". Dated October 17th (after the Greeks and the Portuguese called their strikes).

Comment on urban75 re the international TU politics in the background. I couldn't make any judgement on its accuracy as I really know next to nothing about the ETUC. Apart from this it will be interesting to see if the call out takes on a momentum of its own, independent of trade union officialdom.

Quote:
Quote:
There's a europe wide day of action? Shows how much the TUC are going to put into it if I've not heard of it... buy yeah, you're right, aside from N30 which was driven by/about the strike (and followed by sell out), what you want hasn't happened, and I've no idea how to make it happen either. Midlands TUC are fucking useless. December 5th is Autumn statement, we're organising a demo in Birmingham, I imagine there'll be a few around the UK.. but then that's not enough time to pass motions etc. all the way up to the TUC central committee I suppose.

It's criminal what TUC, Verdi IG Metall, CGT - the major 'north' European countries are doing - every time the southern European countries get together and coordinate their strike days - the north European countries think it inappropriate to attack their own governments. Only by threatening to breakaway from ETUC was the Day of Action even on the agenda.

Who is the General Secretary of ETUC? John Monks (has been since 2003), former General Secretary of the TUC, and he is strongly pro-EU integration (part of the European Movement), which to the south Europeans seems like 'shaft the south with austerity and steer clear of it up north'.

The northern Confederations basically believe the Greeks deserved it and are lazy, and 'their' national money is being spent on Greece so they better show value for money. (Greeks on average work about a fifth longer than British people do).

I think I had better stop now. Does anyone remember John Monks? What was his role in the 1970s and 1980s?

Yeah. For what its worth I think that comment is pretty uninformed.

1. John Monks isn't General Secretary of the ETUC. He was replaced by Bernadette Ségol over a year ago.

2. Any complaint about the unions not doing something is imho stupid. Unions are not revolutionary bodies nor are they even radical. Complaining that they don't act like revolutionary bodies is a bit like saying 'OMG, the community worker who covers my estate for the local council isn't creating neighbourhood committees which could then unite with militant unions in the workplace to bring about a social revolution.' Yeah, that's not their job.

3. I think its a really bad attempt at mapping 'labour aristocracy' onto the ETUC with national unions in the north supporting their imperialist governments over the south, where there's real revolutionary potential. I don't think this is true in any sense. The unions in the north don't "think it inappropriate to attack their own governments". (There are a million and one problems with the TUC but to say they haven't 'criticised' the government is just hyperbole.) There is no real revolutionary potential in the south. And finally, the relation between the north and south in the Eurozone (where in some geographic acrobats Ireland is on the mediterranean) is not one of imperialism.

All that said, understanding why there isn't more transnational organisation and action by workers is worth thinking about. And formal organisational questions like the relations and structure in the ETUC are worth thinking about.

rooieravotr
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Oct 25 2012 01:40

Stirrings in the Netherlands: a blog, 14novemberstaking and a
Facebook event Busy weeks ahead...

Mark.
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Oct 25 2012 12:31

More from Spain: Solidaridad Obrera joins in. Bloque Unitario meeting in Madrid to plan for 14N. Video from CGT:

tarcoteca
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Oct 25 2012 14:13

international call to 14-N Golbal and General Strike.
http://tarcoteca.blogspot.com.es/2012/10/internationa-call-14-n-towards-world.html

Mark.
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Oct 27 2012 11:00

Civil Service Rank & File Network: Call for a day of action against attacks on civil service terms and conditions

Quote:

On Thursday 18 October, HMRC staff in Coventry took part in a 15 minute walkout to protest the arrival of cabinet minister Francis Maude. Trade union activists are now calling on civil servants across the country to follow their example, with a day of action on 14 November against plans to roll back terms and conditions.

The government has announced plans to undermine the working conditions of civil servants, already facing a pay freeze and pension cuts. The plans include increased working hours, reduced leave, reduced sick pay and the prospect of forced moves anywhere in the UK. The PCS union has condemned the plans, whilst rank-and-file members and workers are livid and demanding action.

A member who took part in the Coventry walkout said:

Quote:

Today marks the beginning of the fight against vicious attacks on us all as ordinary hard working people.

To members and activists everywhere: don’t wait any longer, call your 15 minute meetings and one by one start walking out all over the country, drive this Government to the negotiating table on our terms. We can’t always wait for the ballots and the leaflets and politics at the top of the union.

To the union leaders: take up this fight with no compromises and repay the bravery shown by ordinary members who have taken a risk today on behalf of all of us.

Government departments are due to present their proposals for changes to terms and conditions on 16 November. Two days before, at least four European countries will be taking part in coordinated general strike action. We call on civil servants to join them, and make this day a landmark in our own fight against these vicious attacks.

We urge workers in all government offices, through mass meetings, rank-and-file workplace committees or union branch committees, to support the following action on Wednesday 14 November:

▪ 15 minute lightning walkouts
▪ Protest rallies outside your workplace
▪ A communications blockade* of the office of Francis Maude

We further call on all fellow trades unionists, trades councils and individuals or organisations opposed to austerity to join us in these actions and show the workers your solidarity.

If we do not beat these attacks, it will embolden employers to drive down the working conditions of all workers. The time to stand our ground and fight is now. Join us.

The Facebook event for the day of action can be found here and for the communications blockade here.

*A communications blockade entails mass phone calls, emails and faxes with the aim of jamming up communications.

Mark.
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Oct 27 2012 17:53

Algarve Resident wrote:

Last month Portugal’s largest trade union CGTP called a general strike for November 14 against the “exploitation and impoverishment” of the Portuguese population.

The union stressed the need to change government policies “for the sake of a better future” and urged all to join in the protest against the government and its recently announced austerity measures for next year.
[...]
Turning its back on CGTP, the country’s second largest trade union UGT decided to go it alone, with leader João Proença saying his union would not be joining the general strike due to CGTP’s “divisive and partisan intent”, like calling a general strike without previous discussion. “This strike is against the government, but also against UGT,” said Proença, adding that his union may organise another general strike in the near future.

Now, Spain’s main trade unions have announced that they too will join the strike on November 14 and thus “celebrate the first Iberian general strike”, said Fernando Lezcano, spokesperson for the trade union federation Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras, which called the strike in agreement with its counterpart Unión General de Trabajadores and other smaller unions, after a week of protests against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government.
[…]
Greece recently held its second general strike in three weeks and the head of Greece’s trade union federation General Confederacy of Greek Workers (GSEE), Ylannis Panagopoulos, has already declared that another general strike would be held on November 14.

Meanwhile, other South European countries may consider joining Portugal, Spain and Greece in the protests, after the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) enticed all European countries to oppose austerity in the face of the current economic crisis.

After a meeting in Brussels on October 17, the ETUC’s executive committee called for a “day of action and solidarity” for a Social Compact for Europe, on November 14.
[…]
While Cyprus and Malta are still considering the matter, a strike contagion is likely to be felt across several other European countries.

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LaCerca.com: CC.OO: Los sindicatos italianos y alemanes se sumarán a la Jornada de Acción europea del 14N

Report in Spanish of a meeting between the CC.OO (Spain), CGIL (Italy) and DGB (Germany), with an unconfirmed proposal for a two hour strike in Italy.

rooieravotr
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Oct 27 2012 18:38

Unions call for protest rallies in France on N 14

Sten
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Oct 27 2012 19:45

As Ed said, the Italian base unions (Cobas) will be striking on N14.

Mark.
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Oct 27 2012 22:10

'Support from the world of culture for the 14N general strike'

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CNT: huelga general 14N - razones contra las sinrazones

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Oct 28 2012 11:42

The situation in Italy is looking typically messy.. as Sten posted, COBAS will definitely take part on 14th November (Sten, correct me if I'm wrong, but COBAS are the biggest of the base unions, right?)..

As for the others, Unicobas, along with CUB and USB school sections are striking on the 16th November. On 16th November, there will also be a strike by FIOM (metalworkers - probably the most militant section of the CGIL) and a national mobilisation of students.

Finally, there should be a fairly big school workers' strike on 24th November with COBAS and the big unions.

CUB are meeting on the 30th to decide what they are doing, and I think USI-AIT are also waiting to see which day will be the best to strike on.

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Chilli Sauce
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Oct 28 2012 12:35
Quote:
communications blockade

Interesting choice of words, there. Don't want to overstate it or anything, but I'm pretty sure that's our radical terminolgy making it into r-n-f groups.

rooieravotr
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Oct 28 2012 19:30

Sten and Ed, some links about Italian initiatives maybe?

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Oct 28 2012 22:25

Not much online so far tbh, and the odd bits and bobs that I've found are all in Italian..

Sten linked to Cobas' statement about 14th November, there's some stuff [url=http://ufficiostampa.usb.it/index.php?id=20&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=49658&cHash=9edd833932&MP=63-618]here[/url] on the November 16th school strike.

News article here on Fiom's strike also on the 16th. Article also mentions the national day of action by students.

Some stuff here from the Cobas website about the school strike on the 24th, alongside CGIL, CISL, UIL and a few other unions.

rooieravotr
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Oct 29 2012 02:17

Thanks Ed, apologies to Sten, I overlooked the link;)

Mark.
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Oct 29 2012 12:09
Mark.
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Oct 30 2012 00:00

CGT (France) to strike

CGIL (Italy) announces 4 hour strike

Mark.
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Oct 30 2012 11:38

Communiqué commun CFDT, CGT, FSU, Solidaires et Unsa

Gazzetta del Sud: Italy's CGIL union calls general strike November 14

Critical Legal Thinking: #14N: European general strike

pressdigital: la primera huelga de ámbito europeo: #europeanstrike

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