Spain: Thousands march against new labour laws

As millions fight new employment laws in France, last week 5,000 people marched in Madrid against new proposed labour reforms in Spain.

Submitted by libcom on April 8, 2006

On Saturday 1st April the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist trade union, the CNT, held a demonstration and workers arrived in buses from all over the country to attend.

Like the demonstrators in France (see for our coverage) the participants were opposing a new proposed employment law. It allows for the reduction in redundancy payments, makes mass sackings easier and increases the power of temp agencies - who are currently trying to enter sectors such as public administration and construction. They were opposed most of all to the fact that every new reform means more advantages to employers to the detriment of workers' rights.

At the end of the demonstration, various speakers from the union stressed the messages of the demonstration. Alluding to recent political developments, the ceasefire by Basque separatist group ETA and the possibility of finding a solution to that conflict was welcomed, noting that the methods of the group are alien to anarcho-syndicalists, whose arena of struggle is in the workplace and in the streets, defending workers' rights and denouncing injustices. The horrifying number of deaths in other areas was condemned, such as accidents at work, and therefore reforms in the labour market that tend towards deregulation and the removal of protections can only undermine measures to avoid the bloodshed of workers.

After the speeches came various musical acts. The organisers' impressions were generally positive, and they left with reinforced determination to continue the campaign against the Labour Reform initiated several weeks ago, and of which this was the national action.

Actions have already been announced for April in different Spanish cities, and on the 1st May – International Workers Day - the CNT will again be in the streets, this time with demonstrations all over the country, to denounce once more every legal manoeuvre to undermine workers' rights solely in order to increase profits.

* Photo gallery of the day’s events:

Translated and edited for news from