European Workers Issues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 October 2014

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Tens of thousands march in London against low wages

By Paul Mitchell, 20 October 2014

At Saturday’s rally, the trade union leaders spoke as if they have had nothing to do with the onslaught on living standards and declining wages.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 October 2014

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German train drivers and pilots take strike action

By Dietmar Henning, 16 October 2014

The GDL and pilots’ union Cockpit are being deliberately provoked by Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa.

German media attacks train drivers’ right to strike

By Dietmar Henning, 13 October 2014

The attacks on the train drivers’ right to strike will extend to all other workers defending their wages and social gains.

Germany: Nine-hour strike by train drivers

By our reporters, 11 October 2014

The nationwide strike brought most long-distance, regional, freight and commuter trains to a halt.

UK unions begin to demobilise their own pathetic protest strike

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2014

Strikes were called to give undeserved credibility to the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) October 18 “Britain Needs a Pay Rise” march and rally in London.

Authors weigh in on the Amazon-Hachette war

By Christine Schofelt and Fred Mazelis, 10 October 2014

The ongoing e-commerce dispute raises fundamental questions about culture and how—and by whom—the immense advances in technology will be used and controlled.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 October 2014

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CGT union convicted of embezzling funds of France’s biggest works committee

By Pierre Mabut, 7 October 2014

The details of the case underscore how the French Communist Party and corrupt union bureaucracies long ago lost any base in the working class.

German train drivers vote to strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 October 2014

Deutsche Bahn cut its workforce from 350,000 to 190,000 between 2002 and 2012, which has led to constant overtime working.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 October 2014

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French Prime Minister Valls denounces striking Air France pilots

By Stéphane Hugues, 27 September 2014

The head of the Socialist Party government denounced pilots as “selfish” as public support grows for the strikers.

Lufthansa insists on pension cuts for pilots

By Dietmar Henning, 26 September 2014

At talks Monday there was no indication of a deal as Lufthansa refuses to budge from its original plans to cut pilots’ retirement provisions.

Air France pilots’ strike hardens despite government climbdown

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 September 2014

The government’s decision, faced with the pilots’ strike, to force Air France to abandon plans for a new low-cost subsidiary signals a major political crisis in France.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 September 2014

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Air France management threatens pilots as strike enters second week

By Kumaran Ira, 23 September 2014

Air France is demanding deep cuts in wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Air France pilots strike against low wages

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 September 2014

Seventy-five percent of Air France pilots have been on strike since Monday.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

19 September 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 September 2014

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Germany: Union leader condemns train drivers’ strike

By Dietmar Henning, 11 September 2014

The new chairman of the German Trade Union Federation, Reiner Hoffmann, has sided with corporate management against the strikers.

German train drivers union to hold warning strike Tuesday

By Dietmar Henning, 8 September 2014

The German Trade Union Federation (DGB) and the government have announced measures to prevent strikes by pilots, train drivers and many other workers.

Germany: ThyssenKrupp announces more job cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 2 September 2014

The company official who announced the layoffs was Oliver Burkard, who recently quit his post as local boss of the IG Metall union.

EU advisors advocate use of military against strikes and protests

By Denis Krassnin, 19 August 2014

An EU think tank has advised governments to protect the rich from the poor by suppressing social protests.

UK rail union’s “Listen to London” conference a fiasco

By Michael Barnes, 12 August 2014

Workers stayed away from the RMT’s conference called to justify the sellout of rail strikes.

London mayor threatens to dock pay of striking firefighters

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 8 August 2014

Mayor Boris Johnson has previously imposed cuts to fire services, including the closure of fire stations.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

2 August 2014

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German firm WMF plans elimination of 700 jobs

By K. Nesan, 29 July 2014

The main shareholder in the WMF group is the New York-based investment firm KKR.

Executive pay at German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp swells amid mass layoffs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 26 July 2014

The salaries of top executives at Germany’s ThyssenKrupp increased by up to 69 percent last year, even as the company laid off thousands of workers.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

25 July 2014

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Keolis to operate London’s Docklands Light Railway for seven years

By Paul Bond, 17 July 2014

The Docklands Light Railway, established to serve London’s financial district, has long been the testing ground for a more generalised assault on workers’ conditions.

Pakistani migrant fruit pickers in Greece strike over inhuman conditions

By John Vassilopoulos, 15 July 2014

Local police are playing a central role in silencing opposition to the inhuman conditions the workers face, including the non-payment of wages.

Hundreds demonstrate in Dublin in support of locked-out waste collection workers

By Jordan Shilton, 15 July 2014

Workers in Dublin are protesting a lockout imposed by Greyhound Recycling.

Dozens of refugees suffocate in boat off the coast of Italy

By Martin Kriekenbaum, 7 July 2014

On June 30, the Italian Coast Guard discovered the bodies of 45 refugees in an overcrowded fishing boat.

Greek power workers threatened with state strikebreaking

By John Vassilopoulos, 5 July 2014

Workers at the Public Power Corporation in Greece began a 48-hour strike from midnight on Wednesday.

UK unions propose one-day protest strike over pay

By Tony Robson, 2 July 2014

Since coming to power in May 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has been able to mount a one-sided assault on the working class thanks to the unions.

German automaker BMW reports record sales, prepares attacks on workers

By Michael Regens, 30 June 2014

In close collaboration with the trade unions, Germany’s third largest automaker is planning major wage cuts and rationalisation measures.

Jobs losses at Kellogg’s UK part of global profit drive

By Danny Richardson, 25 June 2014

Job cuts form part of the firm’s Global Business Services (GBS) restructuring plans.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 June 2014

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Workers speak out against privatization of French railways

By Anthony Torres, 19 June 2014

Approximately 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris on June 17 to protest the Socialist Party government’s planned privatization of the French railways.

French rail workers, artists protest social cuts

By Kumaran Ira, 16 June 2014

Nationwide strikes involving rail and cultural workers reflect rising social opposition to the Socialist Party government.

Closure of UK colliery exposes role of miners’ union

By Simon Whelan, 9 June 2014

The NUM is promoting a buyout of the pit in which the workforce will have to invest their own money in a venture that has no guarantee of success.

German firm Siemens to eliminate a further 11,600 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 3 June 2014

IG Metall and the works council defend the company’s competitiveness and profits, not the interests of the workers.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

30 May 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

23 May 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

UK rail workers vote down union-backed productivity package

By Michael Barnes, 19 May 2014

Senior conductors at London Midland depots voted down a productivity package that would have overturned employee protections secured in past struggles.

Lorry drivers protest across Europe against low wages

By Elisabeth Zimmermann and Christoph Dreier, 17 May 2014

Several hundred lorry drivers demonstrated in Berlin on the first Saturday in May against low wages, part of protests in a number of European cities.

Change in leadership of German trade union confederation

By Dietmar Henning, 17 May 2014

The main focus of the 20th Congress of the German Trade Union Confederation was the change in leadership, with Reiner Hoffmann taking over from Michael Sommer.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 May 2014

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Protests erupt across Turkey as death toll in Soma mine disaster tops 274

By Alex Lantier, 15 May 2014

Anger exploded as the government defended the lack of safety precautions at the mine and proclaimed the catastrophe to be inevitable.

RMT union sabotages London Underground strike

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2014

Just hours before the second 72-hour walkout was due to begin, the RMT union announced it had “suspended” the action against job losses on the London Underground.

London Underground workers in 48-hour walkout

By Paul Bond, 30 April 2014

The second 48-hour strike by workers on the London Underground over ticket office closures and job losses has severely disrupted transport in the capital.

On eve of Merkel visit, massive anti-austerity strike in Greece

By Patrick Martin, 10 April 2014

The strike call was widely observed, but few workers attended rallies called by the two main union confederations, which have helped implement deep social cuts.

UK National Union of Teachers stage one-day strike

By Margo Miller, 29 March 2014

The strike forced 3,000 schools—12 percent of the total number of schools—to shut their doors completely.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 March 2014

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Spain: One million march in Madrid against austerity

By Alejandro López, 24 March 2014

A mass demonstration on Saturday in the Spanish capital Madrid protested growing austerity, evictions, unemployment and poverty.

Germany: 24-hour warning strikes in public sector

By our reporters, 24 March 2014

A 24-hour strike on Wednesday saw public sector workers down tools throughout large parts of the state of Hesse.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

14 March 2014

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French unions sign Socialist Party’s “Responsibility Pact”

By Kumaran Ira, 12 March 2014

France’s unions are collaborating with President Hollande on the implementation of an austerity program that intensifies attacks on workers’ living standards.

German trade union advises workers to invest redundancy money with Thyssen Krupp

By Dietmar Henning, 12 March 2014

IG Metall and the works council at Thyssen Krupp have suggested unemployed rail manufacturing workers hand their redundancy payments to the company to obtain another job.

Irish government preparing army to break strike by airport workers

By Jordan Shilton, 5 March 2014

The plan to involve the military marks an intensification of the assault on any section of Irish workers seeking to defend their jobs and living conditions.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 February 2014

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Communication Workers Union becomes official tool of management at Royal Mail in Britain

By Zach Reed, 26 February 2014

In return for seats at the top table the CWU are seeking to impose the terms of the agreement made as part of privatisation.

UK teachers union refuses to back one-day strike

By Margot Miller, 21 February 2014

The aim of the NUT in calling for a day’s strike is not to fight for the interests of its members but to secure a place at the negotiating table.

Irish airport workers latest to strike over pensions

By Jordan Shilton, 21 February 2014

The Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme is in deficit by around €780 million, and trustees are seeking to offload the funding crisis onto the workers.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 February 2014

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Hundreds of thousands evicted in Spain since 2008 crash

By Carlos Hernández and Alejandro López, 19 February 2014

Evictions have provoked widespread protests in defence of those unable to pay their rents or caught in the mortgage trap.

Gautier-Sauvagnac affair reveals employer payoffs to French unions

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 19 February 2014

French employers’ leader Denis Gautier-Sauvagnac was sentenced to a year in prison for illegally funding the unions.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

14 February 2014

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French automaker PSA plans to slash jobs at Poissy, shift production to Asia

By Stéphane Hugues, 11 February 2014

PSA is intensifying the exploitation of its work force, relying on speedup and job cuts in Europe while preparing a major production shift towards Asia.

Workers ignore token union protest against French Socialist Party’s cuts

By Pierre Mabut, 11 February 2014

The unions denounce opposition to social cuts from the left as aiding fascism, even as they negotiate austerity measures with the Socialist Party government.

Support the London Underground strikers!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

11 February 2014

All those workers who have seen their jobs and living standards decimated must come to the defence of the London Underground workers.

London Underground strike shuts down capital

By Michael Barnes, 6 February 2014

A two-day strike beginning Tuesday evening by London Underground workers brought the capital to a standstill.

The Irish trade unions, the pseudo-left and the Dublin lockout centenary

By Jordan Shilton, 5 February 2014

A series of events has been staged over the last months to mark a century since the great Dublin lockout, which began August 26, 1913, and ended January 18, 1914.

Attacks on wages and jobs at Electrolux in Italy

By our correspondents, 4 February 2014

Electrolux intends to close its northern Italian plants unless workers’ wages are drastically reduced.

RMT rail union calls off London Docklands Light Railway strikes

By Tom Pearse, 30 January 2014

Providing no details, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said planned industrial action was suspended “following the receipt of improved offers on pay and across a range of other issues.”

German union calls off strike by European air traffic controllers

By Dietmar Henning, 27 January 2014

Through a coordinated strike throughout Europe, air traffic controllers wanted to protest EU plans to restructure European airspace.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 January 2014

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Care workers strike against Glasgow, Scotland City Council

By Stephen Alexander, 22 January 2014

The council’s introduction of a new 12.5-hour shift pattern will result in a pay cut of around 7 percent for 182 workers.

London Underground workers to strike against ticket office closures

By Michael Barnes, 18 January 2014

Budget cuts of 12.5 percent have been imposed on Transport for London (TfL) by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Thatcher planned to use army against 1984-1985 British miners’ strike

By Robert Stevens, 11 January 2014

The documents reveal that the government, in alliance with the National Coal Board, had a secret “hit list” to close many more coal mines than the 20 originally announced.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 January 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 January 2014

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 December 2013

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Germany: Thyssen Krupp launches further attacks on workforce

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 16 December 2013

Chief Executive Hiesinger has announced further restructuring measures, including job cuts and wage reductions.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 December 2013

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Greece’s 2014 budget lays out more social attacks

By Christoph Dreier, 11 December 2013

On Saturday the Greek parliament passed a budget for 2014 that includes further spending cuts and layoffs.

Renewed strikes at Amazon sites in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 7 December 2013

The miserable working conditions at Amazon have been ignored by German trade unions for years. Now, the Verdi union is utilising the conflicts at the online retailer to further its own interests.

German IG Metall union supports grand coalition government

By Dietmar Henning, 5 December 2013

The IG Metall union has given its clear support to the formation of a grand coalition between the Social Democrats and the conservative parties.

Scotland: Unions call off strike at Stirling City Council

By Steve James, 5 December 2013

After months of negotiations, the unions have conceded to all of the councils’ demands and are advising workers to accept the deal in separate ballots.

Workers protest closure of Spanish cooperative Fagor

By Alejandro López and Carlos Hernández, 26 November 2013

The collapse of the Fagor cooperative demonstrates that such organisations are not an alternative to capitalism, as their promoters proclaim.

France: The fraud of Mélenchon’s “Fiscal Revolution”

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 November 2013

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the French Left Party, has called for a “Fiscal Revolution” in response to mass opposition to the Socialist Party government.

UK Socialist Party mounts its defence of the union bureaucracy

By Paul Mitchell, 25 November 2013

The Socialist Party’s Socialism 2013 conference was a desperate exercise in covering the exposed rear of the trade union bureaucracy.

German union seals shutdown of GM-Opel’s Bochum plant

By Dietmar Henning, 22 November 2013

IG Metall has reached a deal with GM-Opel management confirming the shutdown of the Bochum plant by the end of 2014.

Unions spearhead assault on Scottish teachers

By Steve Alexander, 22 November 2013

Scottish teachers vote to reject latest pay offer, as trade unions continue to sabotage widespread opposition.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 November 2013

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Pupil support assistants strike against Glasgow City Council

By Stephen Alexander, 21 November 2013

The Unison trade union is seeking to restrict the struggle of pupil support assistants against Glasgow City Council to an innocuous localised protest.

Greek government threatens university employees with martial law

By Christoph Dreier, 20 November 2013

Four decades since the Greek junta attacked the Polytechnio in Athens, the Greek government is again threatening to attack protesting university staff and students.

Unions end Madrid cleaners’ strike

By Alejandro López, 20 November 2013

The unions have ended a bitter strike by refuse workers in Madrid, signing a concessions agreement.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 November 2013

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