On occasion of the meeting in Brussels on 27 September, the EFFAT Management Committee expressed its concerns over the worrisome and continuous attacks on the right to strike led by Mariano Rajoy’s right wing government.
Spanish colleagues from CCOO, UGT and USO brought many examples showing how the Spanish authorities are conducting a trade unionists ‘witch hunt’ and pursuing repressive policies against workers’ rights and democratic freedoms.
In February 2016, a Spanish court acquitted eight trade unionists – members of IndustriALL Global Union affiliates, CCOO de Industria and MCA-UGT – who were charged for joining hundreds of workers in a general strike in September 2010 held against austerity measures and changes to the Spanish labour code.
On 17 June, two UGT union representatives were convicted by a Madrid criminal court for peaceful picketing in Madrid during the 29 March 2012 general strike. Rubén Ranz and José Manuel Nogales were found guilty by a Madrid criminal court and were fined EUR 1,825 each.
They were all charged under Article 315(3) of the Spanish Criminal Code, a legislative decree from the Franco era, revived by the Rajoy government and which allows for prison sentences for picketing trade unionists.
The Management Committee members expressed solidarity and support to any worker in Spain who wishes to exert their fundamental human right to strike. Its members also called the Rajoy government to align itself to every other European democracy, regulating the right to strike and putting an end to the use of fascist-era repressive legislation which attacks a fundamental human right.