Wednesday, 29 September 2010

General Strike in Spain: lunchtime protest in Salford

THE rain today did not deter the 100 local authority workers who demonstrated against the proposed cuts to public services by the Coalition Government outside Salford Town Hall in Swinton. Ray Walker, Branch Secretary of Unison, addressed the protest from the Town Hall steps. Salford Trades Council raised their huge red banner held by Alex Halligan and Steve North, and smaller flags of the GMB union and Unison were on show. Political groups like the local Green Party and the odd anarchist were in evidence as were some supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network. Today, of course, was a European day of action with a 'General Strike' in Spain and other actions in Greece, Ireland, and Brussels. Spain has had six 'General Strikes' (four of 24 hours; one of half a day; one of 1 hour) since the death of General Franco in 1975 only one, in 1988, which paralysed the country. These Spanish 'general strikes' are safety valves and what we would call token strikes, they are more effective than a day of action but not much more. But, it is doubtful that the British TUC could even call a successful Day of Action at the moment.

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