Labour Research March 2012

European news

Unions mobilise

Faced with growing austerity at national level and a planned “fiscal compact” at European level, which is likely to prolong public sector cuts, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) called for a European day of action for 29 February.

Bernadette Ségol, the ETUC’s general secretary said European trade unions would be mobilising “to say enough is enough”, and that austerity measures alone “cause tremendous social damage”.

She argued that the fiscal compact, which was set to be signed on 1 March, reinforces austerity.

“Its sole objective,” she said, “is to reduce public deficits as much as possible, regardless of the social impact”.

This is only the second activity of this type that the ETUC has organised since the crisis began — the last was on 15 December 2010 — although there have been a number of ETUC demonstrations in individual cities, including Wrocław in Poland, Luxembourg and Budapest.