British trade unionists have been in action in Brussels (see picture) and Paris, as well as in London today, protesting about austerity and demanding a change of course that would create jobs, bring back growth and heal Europe’s social divisions. Our demonstrations on 20 October were the precursor to action all over Europe, called by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
In Brussels, delegations from GMB, NASUWT, Unite and other unions joined with British MEPs (Green and Labour) and British worker members of the EU Economic and Social Committee at a Belgian union rally outside the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters. The TUC delivered a message to European Commission President Barroso in London, and there will be a rally starting outside Europe House this evening. And a small TUC delegation also took part in the trade union demonstration in Paris.
Meanwhile, the Guardian is liveblogging events around Europe, and the Independent reported on the strikes taking place in Portugal, Spain and other countries, and reported the rather predictable opposition of the European employers’ leader Philippe de Buck, who suggested that strikes might scare off investors:
“If you start striking at national level and in companies you only will harm the economy.”
Strange that he hasn’t said the same thing about tax dodging by global multinationals, and cuts in public services…