Workers mobilize in Europe

Workers protest in the streets of France.

Central Organ of the Communist Party of Ecuador — ML (PCMLE).

The international situation in recent months has been characterized by a deepening of the contradiction between capital and labor. Millions of workers in cities and the countryside have taken to the streets around the world to fight for better living conditions.

Among the territories in which this development of the workers’ struggle is evident is the European continent. Thousands of workers are mobilizing against the budget cuts and anti-people measures taken by the present governments, which intend to put on the shoulders of their peoples the crisis that is developing due to the impacts of the war in Ukraine.

In recent days, France had a day of mobilizations that took place in the main cities and that had as its main element the rejection of the project of social security reform proposed by the right-wing government of Macron. In several sectors there have been strikes with road blockades, as in the case of refineries. In Greece, important mobilizations took place to demand the sanction of those responsible for the neglect of the railway network, a product of the lack of maintenance due to scarcity of economic resources. In Spain, there have been several mobilizations against the dismantling of public health led by the state governments of the People’s Party (PP) and Vox. In Portugal, teachers are rebelling over the reduction of salaries and the dismantling of the teaching career. In Germany, commuter trains in seven German federal states, including the two most populous, North Rhine-Westphalia (west) and Bavaria (south) were paralyzed because of the employers’ refusal to carry out a wage increase for bus, airport, and train workers. In February Great Britain saw its first day of a strike, coordinated between several sectors and of a magnitude not recorded in more than a decade.

As we said, the European economy is not going through its best moments. The economic growth forecasts for the year 2023 are not encouraging, barely 0.8% for the European Union, which speaks of not improving living conditions, in the context of the market economy. To the low growth rate is added the problem of inflation, which reached 10.5% in Great Britain, while in all Europe it was at 8.5%; however, wage increases are not enough to cover the reduction in the purchasing power of European workers. The authorities justify not increasing wages beyond a certain level in order to control inflation, which leaves wage earners as victims of these measures.

A study conducted by a French organization found that aid from European governments to transnationals between 2008 and 2018 grew at an average annual rate of 7.5%, while resources for pensions barely grew at 2.5%.

The struggle for demands led by the European working class confronts neoliberal measures that try to put the economic crisis on the shoulders of the workers. The massiveness of the protest puts governments in trouble, which are constantly entering into crisis due to the loss of representativeness.

En Marcha #2040, March 15–21, 2023

Categories: England, France, Germany, Greece, International, Portugal, Spain

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