2 May, 2024 @ 13:27
1 min read

Thousands take to the streets of Barcelona to demand a 37.5 hour work week: Protest is attended by leading candidates for this month’s Catalan elections

Other protests took place across Catalunya and Spain
May 1, 2024, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain: Protesters holding flags march behind their banners at a Labour Day event organized by the major trade unions CC.OO and UGT to push for full employment. (Credit Image: © Matthias Oesterle/ZUMA Press Wire)

THOUSANDS took to the streets of Barcelona on International Workers’ Day to demand a 37.5 hour working week ahead of this month’s pivotal Catalan elections.

An estimated 10,000 people marched through the streets of Spain’s second largest city on May 1, a national bank holiday, to call for a shorter workday, full employment, and improved wages.

The demonstration, organised by the trade unions UGT and CCOO, was attended by a host of important political figures including the Catalan president and pro-independence Esquerra party figurehead, Pere Aragones, the leader of the PSC Socialist party, Salvador Illa, and left-wing Comuns MP Jessica Albiach, all of whom are candidates for the Catalan regional elections taking place on May 12. 

Protestors marched under the slogan: “For full employment, shorter working hours and better wages”.

The unions estimated that 10,000 people attended the marches in Barcelona. Credit: Cordon Press

Among the demands set out by protestors was a 37.5 hour work week, with a gradual reduction thereon to even fewer hours.

Unions also took the opportunity to demand increased wages as rising inflation squeezes people’s pay packets and to call for improved property regulations in Barcelona with the city in the midst of a housing crisis. 

Organisers for the event also called for an end to ‘war politics’ in the context of bloody conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

Elsewhere in Catalunya, there were similar protests in Lleida, Girona and Tarragona.

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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