Catalan union in court over November strike

Intersindical-CSC accused of calling political work stoppage after the imprisonment of government officials

People marching on November 8 in Catalonia (by ACN)
People marching on November 8 in Catalonia (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 25, 2018 12:09 PM

A pro-independence union in Catalonia is to appear in court on Wednesday for calling a strike on November 8, at a moment of high political tensions due to the imprisonment of Catalan government members and the suspension of self-rule following a declaration of independence.

The Intersindical-CSC union called the strike in response to the “insecurity in the job market fostered by the successive labor reforms carried out in recent years,” also “the impoverishment of the working class,” and a Spanish government decree that made it easier for firms to leave Catalonia.

Yet they are accused by an employers association of calling a strike that was indeed politically motivated. On Wednesday, the accusers said the strike was not called according to the required timings, and added that organizers represented only a 0.4% of the total workforce.

The Intersindical-CSC's lawyer alleged that all strikes have a political dimension. They nevertheless stressed that the one called last November was rooted in economic reasons.

Last November, the Spanish Superior Court in Catalonia ruled that the work stoppage could go ahead. It was the second such protest in little more than a month, after the successful general strike on October 3 to protest the hardline tactics used by Spanish riot police during the October 1 referendum.

Spain’s main unions, UGT and CCOO, decided not to join the strike, arguing that the reasons for the stoppage are political, although both organizations called on the public to join the demonstrations. Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, two pro-independence civil society organizations, called on people to join the strike.