November 14 European General Strike: First Report
The general strike has now begun! Report of the first hours
From 12 midnight, the general strike has been strongly felt throughout Spain. In Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Córdoba, Galicia, Asturias, Aragón, etc., in each region and every city, the main companies have gone on strike, and transportation has been paralyzed. The strike began with the force of the workers of the big factories, since the night shift workers are the first to go on strike, completely shutting down production.
According to information from Europa Press, the strike has 100% compliance at the carmakers Seat, Opel, Nissan, Peugeot, IVECO-Pegaso, and it exceeds 80% in factories like Volkswagen. It is also 100% on the night shift of FORD where “the UGT union representative in the factory told Europa Press that ‘not a single worker has appeared.’” (El País)
In Madrid the day began with an informational picket line at the Puerta del Sol, where the union leaders of the UGT and CCOO called for joining the strike. Subsequently, union pickets approached the entrances of some companies and blocked [the big market] Mercamadrid. In that city, a group of actors shut themselves up in the Teatro Español from 11 p.m., where they hung up a sign with the slogan, “Show business workers in struggle. General strike.” Since the morning, several demonstrations have been expected around the city, for which the Interior Ministry has already deployed more than 1,300 riot police.
Meanwhile, in Catalonia, the automobile plants have been brought to a standstill, where it is calculated that some 2500 vehicles will not be manufactured today, as a result of the strike. Mercabarna [Barcelona’s wholesale food market] has also been at a standstill since the earliest hours. The main demonstrations are expected in the afternoon, beginning at 6 p.m. The Catalan police have already announced the presence of 9,000 policemen throughout Catalonia.
In Zaragoza, the strike began forcefully at GM, where only a skeleton crew entered. At the entrances of the FCC cleaning and sanitation company, there was a little tension between some 200 workers, who made up the picket lines, and the police, who were escorting some trucks. At this time, demonstrators continue arriving at the entrances of Mercazaragoza [“Agribusiness center, specializing in food and agriculture’]. In the morning from 7 a.m., picket lines will be organized at the entrances of the University campus.
From Clase contra Clase, with the group No Pasarán, we have been present since the earliest hours today, both in Barcelona and in Madrid and Zaragoza, going with the actions of the workers and preparing the day’s demonstrations.
We are writing this first report at 3:30 a.m., November 14, 2012.
The general strike has now begun! Long live the general strike!
[From the Fraccion Trotskista, ft-ci.org – Unofficial translation]