Massive Crowds as Spaniards Protest Stripping of Labor Rights

(commondreams.org) Up to a million Spainards marched in cities across Spain Sunday in a massive protest at the new government’s drive to strip them of their labor rights under the cover of austerity measures.

Protesters take part during a rally against the economic policy of the Conservative Spanish Government in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012.  In echoes of Wisconsin, the labor ‘reforms’ proposed by Spain’s conservative government would make it easier for companies to fire workers and pull out of collective bargaining agreements.

The country’s two main trade unions, CCOO and UGT, organized demonstrations in at least 57 cities under the slogan: “No to the Labor Reforms – Unfair to Workers, Ineffective and Useless to the Economy and for Employment.”

Unemployment in Spain has tripled since 2007, and today about 5.2 million people in the country are out of work. The official unemployment rate is running at 23%, and its youth unemployment rate is nearly 50%.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/19-1

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