Coal miners in the historically militant Asturias region of Spain have been fighting a bitter struggle for survival. Please see the comments below for frequent updates.
Around 8,000 miners have been involved in ongoing strikes and militant protests after the government announced cuts to subsidies for the region's coal mines.
There are around 40 mines in the country, mainly in the north, where they offer vital jobs in an increasingly depressed economy. The end of the subsidy will effectively mean the end of those jobs, as Spanish coal prices will increase beyond those of imported alternatives. The strikers view winning the strike as essential to their livelihoods. It is increasingly becoming a set-piece battle as the government deepens its austerity program.
Consequently, they have utilised various forms of direct action to maximise the impact of the strike.
During the week, miners set up 16 roadblocks, severely affecting traffic in the region. One burning tire block caused a five-mile jam for over two hours. They also blocked access to the main port of Gijon, closed access to a major road tunnel after "persons unknown" sabotaged the CCTV, and protested outside a major power station. Attempts to break the roadblocks to transport people and goods in and out of the mines led to running battles with police. The strikers used rocks, concrete blocks, and home-made rocket launchers.
On Friday miners blocked several roads and two railway lines. A mineshaft is occupied, and strikers have camped out in the main square of the regional capital, Oviedo.
Open cast miners in Bierza carry on with their strike without the 2 big unions. 165 workers taking part there out of 2000.(?)
Video we're showing at a
Video we're showing at a public meeting tomorrow.
You might have seen some of the images but most of this is newly subtitled in to English I think.
More reports of miners back
More reports of miners back out on strike:
Se reactiva la huelga minera a pesar de los sindicatos mayoritarios
This is really interesting
This is really interesting but I don’t understand it at all. V briefly it says about 1000 out of 2000 workers for the 17 subcontracted sections of Union Minera del Norte are on strike, which began last Thursday. It’s about a 200 euro pay cut. The number of miners on strike is steadily increasing and there have been some blockades.
Does anyone know:
1. Who called it?
2. How come loads of people are not on strike?
3. Where else is on strike, and why partial strikes now?
4. What’s the big picture?
There's a report from
There's a report from Leonoticias here but tbh I've no idea what's going on.