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The Human Factor

Spain’s two largest Unions, the Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CC. OO.) and Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) have called for a Huelga General (General Strike) for tomorrow, September 29th. This will be the first massive, all-out strike in Spain’s young Democracy, established in 1978 with the Spanish Constitution. The strike is mainly about the recently introduced austerity measures. Among other things, the new Labour Reform, passed by the Spanish Parliament a few weeks ago, involve substantially lowered payout entitlements, as well as the proposed delay of retirement to the age 67.

Turnout is expected to be large, even though media sources believe that some would-be participants may be reluctant to join in for fear of losing their jobs. The unemployment rate in Spain is the highest of any European country and currently stands at 20.3 %. In the age group of 16 to 25 years, the proportion of people out of work stands at 41.5 %. Quite worrying, really.

Spain’s Unions have agreed to maintain certain minimum services in public transport, hospitals, supermarkets, petrol stations and other essentialities.

It is my own estimation that in reality, only the large cities in Spain will come to a moderate standstill. Here in Mallorca, only Palma should be affected, if that. You should avoid traveling by plane, boat or train, if you can. If you have to travel, I reckon that chances are 50:50 that your voyage will be somewhat disrupted or at least delayed. If you need petrol, better fill up your car today.

Good luck.

The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of and the photographer.

Muchas gracias.

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September 2010


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