Spanish unions call for mass protests on February 19
Spain's two biggest unions called Saturday for nationwide protests on February 19 against labour reforms which they said would destroy jobs.
“On February 19 we want the streets of Spain to be filled with noisy protests against the labour reforms,” the head of the CCOO union, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, told a joint news conference with UGT union boss Candido Mendez.
“We will set in motion a process of mobilisation that we hope will grow,” Toxo said.
The reforms “will destroy jobs in the short term and increase job insecurity in the medium term (and) increase the frustration of people” already reeling under earlier austerity measures, Mendez added.
Spain’s conservative government on Friday slashed employees’ maximum severance pay as part of sweeping labour reforms to confront a jobless rate of nearly 23 percent.
“The government’s goal is to fight joblessness,” Employment Minister Fatima Banez told reporters.
Hundreds of people protested in Madrid on Friday night against the reform, in the latest of a string of demonstrations against austerity measures.