Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa
8 May 2015
Spanish postal staff walk out
Postal staff at Spain’s state-owned Correos postal service held a 24-hour strike Monday. Over 50,000 staff came out to protest the wage freeze and more than 15,000 job losses affecting the postal service over the last five years.
The action followed a two-hour stoppage last Thursday and five more 24-hour strikes are planned.
German post office staff continues job actions
German postal workers employed by Deutsche Post DP, members of the Verdi union, held a one-day strike last Saturday. The strike was the latest to protest DP’s plans to expand their parcel service by taking on workers at a lower pay scale.
UK Navy Fleet supply staff vote for strike
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union working for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) service have voted by a large majority for strike action and action short of a full strike.
The RFA provides supply services to the Royal Navy. The action is in response to the RFA’s attempts to introduce a new banding scheme, the terms and conditions of apprentices and proposed “efficiency” measures that could lead to job losses.
ITV television staff in UK to walk out
Production and other staff working for the independent television company ITV are to hold a 24-hour strike on May 14 in pursuit of a pay increase.
They are members of the broadcasting union BECTU and voted by a two-thirds majority to reject the miserly 2 percent pay increase given by ITV management. The date of the strike is set to coincide with the ITV annual meeting.
Strike by Portuguese airline pilots
A planned 10-day strike by airline pilots employed by the Portuguese airline TAP began May 1. The strike was to oppose the lodging of private bids for a 66 percent share in the currently wholly state-owned airline due to begin on May 15. The remaining 34 percent is to be sold off two years hence.
The pilots are members of the Civil Aviation Pilots’ Union. Prior to the strike, the Portuguese government pleaded with the pilots not to go ahead, saying the action would cost TAP around €70 million and affect around 300,000 passengers.
Romanian municipal staff hold protest
Around 30,000 town hall staff across Romania held a one-day strike April 30 to push their demand for a 10 percent pay increase and the issuing of meal tickets.
They said if their demands are not met they will hold a protest in Bucharest on May 27 and begin an all-out strike in October.
Georgia port workers’ strike
Workers at the port of Poti in Georgia struck on May 3 in pursuit of a 14 percent pay increase. Those on strike included employees at several berths, operators, the registration department and fleet employees.
On Tuesday, several hundred strikers gathered at one of the berths. They have threatened to escalate the action if their demands are not met.
Strike by South African municipal staff
Around 6,000 municipal workers, members of the South African Municipal Workers Union in the Western Cape area, walked out on indefinite strike Monday. They are demanding improved wages for standby staff and are opposed to the treatment of pregnant firefighters.
Those on strike include nurses in the city’s clinics and call centre staff, but the strike is expected mostly to affect water and sanitation services.
Action by Nigerian judicial staff enters fifth month
The strike by Nigerian judicial staff represented by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, which began January 5, is now entering its fifth month. While the strike has been called off in Lagos and at the federal level, the strike continues in 15 states. Judicial staff are demanding the states follow two High Court judgments giving the judiciary financial independence.
Workers in the Nigerian state of Plateau strike
State government workers in Plateau state, Nigeria came out on strike Monday. Among their grievances are the non-payment of wages and arrears.
Nigerian doctors’ dispute enters seventh week
The strike by doctors at the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi, Nasaarawa state, Nigeria has entered its seventh week. They are members of the National Association of Resident Doctors and are seeking the implementation of an agreement on welfare packages made last year and the payment of wage arrears.
Workers in Nigerian Delta state walk out
Members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria working in the Delta House of Assembly began an indefinite strike Tuesday over issues including unpaid allowances.
Kenyan health workers strike
Over 130 health workers in public hospitals across Migori county in Kenya began go-slow action at the end of last week. On Monday they escalated the action into a full strike. They are protesting not receiving a promised 20,000 Kenyan shilling-a-month risk allowance payment.
An attempt by staff to meet with the county human resource manager last week resulted in them being refused a hearing and shown the door.
Zimbabwean nurses vow to continue action
Nurses in Harare, Zimbabwe and the surrounding district have vowed to continue their boycott of night duties. Nurses at Parirentyatwa hospital joined in the action from May 4.
They are boycotting night duties in protest at the miserly night duty rate of $3 a month and instead are seeking a $50 a month rate. They are also seeking a reassessment of their grading system.