DOZENS of protests are planned across Spain today to demand better working conditions.
Organised by the country’s main labour unions UGT and CCOO, the more than 70 demonstrations will call for gender equality, better jobs and decent pensions.
CCOO chief Unai Sordo, asked ‘for the streets to fill up with people in order to shake up the comfort zone that [employers’ associations] CEOE and Cepyme are basking in thanks to the government’s labor reform.’
Rallies are already underway in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Zaragoza.
“We are aware that street mobilizations are the leverage that enables policy changes,” said Pepe Álvarez, secretary general of UGT.
“Spain hasn’t been in a situation like this in a long time,” he added, alluding to recent protests over pensions and gender equality.
It comes after the CCOO and UGT warned in April that unless something is done to improve wages and reduce precariousness, there will be social unrest.
It comes as Spain continues to be the fastest growing economy in the eurozone, which unions say is not being reflected in the lives of ordinary citizens.
“We are starting to see indignation, anger and impotence. Either growth is shared out, or there’s going to be conflict,” warned union bosses last month.
Spain’s third-largest union, USO, said it will seek pay raises based on the CPI cost-of-living index plus four percentage points.
“They’re selling us the story of an economic recovery that is not reaching the workers,” said USO leader Joaquín Pérez.