Workers call for better jobs in May Day protests

2nd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 May 2005 , MADRID — Thousands of workers participated in May Day demonstrations across Spain to call for more and better jobs.During a march in Madrid staged by the country's two largest unions on Sunday, the UGT and the CCOO, workers demanded more stability in the labour market and better social protections.CCOO secretary-general Jose Maria Fidalgo said the government, business and unions have expressed their willingness to improve the quality of jobs but must now take action.Fidalgo and UGT chief Candi

2 May 2005

MADRID — Thousands of workers participated in May Day demonstrations across Spain to call for more and better jobs.

During a march in Madrid staged by the country's two largest unions on Sunday, the UGT and the CCOO, workers demanded more stability in the labour market and better social protections.

CCOO secretary-general Jose Maria Fidalgo said the government, business and unions have expressed their willingness to improve the quality of jobs but must now take action.

Fidalgo and UGT chief Candido Mendez said the policies of Socialist prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government were "positive" because decisions were being made via social dialogue, such as increasing the minimum pension amount and approving new immigration regulations.

Fidalgo said that if Spain's economy was to be competitive, labour conditions could not be "degraded".

What is needed is stable and productive employment, in addition to "a boost in spending on education and technology to address, at the same time, the poor quality of jobs," Fidalgo said.

Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and United Left politicians joined Mendez and Fidalgo at the rally in Madrid, which drew thousands of workers.

Mendez called for more to be done about the employment problems of young people and for an expansion of the "borders" of the welfare state.

He said the causes of unemployment must be addressed, not by cutting benefits but by seeking to create conditions that will lead to work that is "honourable, of quality, stable, with rights and offers good remuneration".

Fidalgo called on the government to stay true to the goals of social dialogue and to "not yield to the pressure of employers".

Like Mendez, the CCOO chief said two "very important" matters must be taken up by Parliament before the 2008 elections: improving the quality of jobs and expanding social-welfare benefits.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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