Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Spain on Strike, Where Union Isn't a Dirty Word

It's a very remarkable feeling to read the Guardian's ongoing account of today's general strike in Spain. If this were happening in the U.S., it would have been like, "COPS SKIRMISH WITH JOBLESS UNIONS" or something inexplicable and misguided. Over there, it's like, "This is what workers are protesting, and also the cops hit this one dude at a peaceful labor protest." (The Times however did a nice job this morning.) The general strike is focused on the new government's response to the crippling recession and high unemployment, which has as a central component easing of employment laws, so that it will be easier to make more people unemployed or cut worker wages. I'd totally move to the EU, except I guess there won't be an EU by the time I can get over there.

15 Comments / Post A Comment

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Yay the Guardian!… Also, general strikes… are more common there than I had thought? But "two key indicators suggest there is more support than at a similar event 18 months ago," so…

@dntsqzthchrmn There have been 7 since 1978.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@SarahHeartburn I heart Spain?

deepomega (#1,720)

Creative destruction. Sometimes you need to tear apart civil service jobs to make new ones.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

I think the Guardian Business Blog's header image is upside down.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

"I'd totally move to the EU".

Yeah, you go ahead and start learning that "European" language, American boy.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@Niko Bellic The United Kingdom and Ireland are members of the EU. What languages do they speak, I wonder?

deepomega (#1,720)

@stuffisthings They speak knives, mostly.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@Niko Bellic I speak some European. "Excuse me, do you have a cigarette? I was going to the shops to get some, but the metro is on strike and anyway the shop is probably still closed for lunch since it's not 3:00 yet. Speaking of which, I should probably get back to the office, I have a lot of gossiping and coffee-drinking to do before I leave promptly at 4:30. Thanks! Oh, and do you have lighter too?"

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@stuffisthings (Brought to you by: "The Daily Mail Guide to How People on the Continent Live")

€ <– all u need 2 kno

Matt (#26)

Warren Zevon lived in Spain for a time.

The leading newpaper in Spain, El Pais, also has an abbreviated web version in English:

23abraxas (#16,293)

I'm just happy to see that you havne't written a dozen more single-line posts telling everybody that taunting rapacious, murderous pigs is "tacky."

laxerraire (#231,002)

As a current resident of Barcelona I can attest that it's a whole different world here. The catch-22 is that general strikes are so successful here because the labor protections for even non-union workers are so strong. In the U.S. most workers aren't unionized and therefore wouldn't participate for fear of being fired.

My favorite image from yesterday's protest was the giant pile of horse shit that someone left outside the Chamber of Commerce. Poetic.

Post a Comment