European Workers Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 January 2014

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 December 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madrid garbage collectors strike against lay-offs and wage cuts

By Alejandro López, 14 November 2013

Thousands of garbage collectors and gardeners have been on indefinite strike in Spain's capital Madrid since November 5.

Portuguese public sector workers strike

By Jordan Shilton, 14 November 2013

A strike of Portuguese public sector workers, in opposition to further austerity cuts of €3.9 billion, including wage cuts of up to 12 percent, received the support of 70 percent of the workforce.

BAE Systems shipyard closures in UK threaten nearly 2,000 jobs

By Paul Mitchell, 13 November 2013

Nearly 2,000 jobs are to go at shipyards in the UK, with no opposition from the trade unions.

UK: Campaign for “living wage” conceals falling pay rates

By Barry Mason, 12 November 2013

The “living wage” pay rate, set up by the Living Wage Foundation, is set at just £1.34 above the official UK minimum wage and has no statutory basis.

British unions deepen collaboration with glassmaker Pilkington over job losses

By Danny Richardson, 12 November 2013

The 140 jobs to be lost with the closure of Pilkington’s Float Glass Line at Cowley Hill, St Helens, comes on top of 150 job losses at the company earlier this year in the same town.

Romanian teachers protest austerity policies

By Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir, 12 November 2013

WSWS reporters spoke to education workers at a November 6 protest against austerity in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

Pseudo-left groups cover for a rout engineered by Britain’s unions

By Paul Mitchell, 11 November 2013

The most grotesque of the recent capitulations by the unions took place on October 24, when the Unite union ended the Grangemouth dispute.

Irish unions complete sellout of Dublin Bus workers

By Jordan Shilton, 9 November 2013

Drivers at Dublin Bus face pay cuts and changes to working conditions in a multi-million euro savings programme, as a result of the trade unions blocking any opposition.

Upsurge of strikes and popular anger in France at mass sackings, tax hikes

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2013

Workers led protest marches and occupied factories across France yesterday, amid explosive anger at the policies of French President François Hollande.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

8 November 2013

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

UK teaching unions call off strike action

By Tania Kent, 5 November 2013

The calling off of a national teachers’ strike exposes the role of Britain’s pseudo-left groups, who have provided a crucial cover for the trade union bureaucracy.

UK probation officers vote to strike

By Paul Veevers, 5 November 2013

Probation officers in the UK to strike against privatisation as their trade union, Napo, negotiates terms of a private sector service.

UK lecturers and academic staff stage one-day national strike

By Robert Stevens, 2 November 2013

Rallies were held in major cities throughout England and Scotland.

Protest strikes at German department store chain

By Dietmar Hennning, 31 October 2013

The Verdi trade union organised isolated protest strikes at Karstadt last Friday and Saturday aimed at concealing the union’s role in wage and job cuts.

Unite union hands victory to INEOS in Scotland’s Grangemouth refinery lockout

By Steve James, 28 October 2013

The Unite trade union has agreed to massive attacks on workers’ pay, pensions and conditions, as well as a three-year strike ban.

UK postal workers vote to strike

By Tony Robson, 23 October 2013

The floatation of Royal Mail is the last in a series of privatisations stretching back over 30 years.

Britain: INEOS launches assault on Grangemouth refinery workers

By Steve James, 21 October 2013

Transnational INEOS has utilised the Unite union’s sabotage of a planned strike at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland to escalate plans to impose attacks on workers’ jobs and livelihoods.

German technology manufacturer Loewe declares bankruptcy

By Konrad Kreft, 12 October 2013

With the support of the trade unions, Loewe has laid off around 35 percent of its workforce in less than six months.

Greek university strike enters fifth week

By John Vassilopoulos, 8 October 2013

Greek trade unions, where the pseudo-left Syriza party plays a key role, are working to isolate and defeat the 5-week strike of university administrative workers.

UK teachers in regional strikes as unions seek accommodation with government

By Tania Kent, 4 October 2013

Teachers across several English regions struck this week in the latest action to protest government attacks on their pay, conditions and pension rights.

UK regional teachers strike provides no answers

By a Cambridgeshire teacher, 4 October 2013

The teachers unions’ rally in Cambridge during Tuesday’s regional strike demonstrated the role of the unions and their pseudo-left supporters in preventing a united mobilisation of teachers against the attacks of the Conservative/Liberal coalition.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

4 October 2013

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

UK bakers union winds up Hovis strike

By Tony Robson, 30 September 2013

In the name of flexibility, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union has agreed to reduced hours and cuts in pay.

Germany: Salzgitter AG cuts over 1,500 steel jobs

By Sven Heymann, 27 September 2013

In helping to impose the job cuts, the IG Metall union and the works council are playing a decisive role in offloading the crisis onto the backs of the workers.

Spanish Socialist Party toes US line on Syria

By Alejandro López, 23 September 2013

The efforts by Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) to whip up support for US-led threats against Syria is aimed at distracting public attention from the social catastrophe for which it is responsible.

UK teaching unions announce limited strike action

By Tania Kent, 23 September 2013

Concerned that opposition will develop outside of their control, the UK’s teaching unions are organizing a token show of resistance as the coalition government presses ahead with yet another round of attacks on education.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 September 2013

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

Britain: Labour leader praises unions for working with employers to cut pay and hours

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2013

TUC figures show that British workers' pay fell by more than £10 billion annually and was 7.5 percent lower in 2012 than on the eve of the recession in 2007.

British unions try to head off new strike threat at Brighton council

By Paul Mitchell, 12 September 2013

The actions of the Green Party-led council in Brighton have exposed the claim of the pseudo-left that the organisation represents a progressive alternative to Labour.

UK: Wigan Hovis workers bring strike action over zero hours contracts

By Tony Robson, 11 September 2013

Workers at Hovis site in Wigan, north west England, decided to vote on strike action after 26 redundancies were made in April and agency workers on zero hour contracts taken on.

Germany: GM-Opel workers fear Bochum plant will close in 2014

By Dietmar Henning, 10 September 2013

Opel workers fear that General Motors intends to close its plant in Bochum, Germany sooner than previously announced.

Irish doctors vote for strike action

By Jordan Shilton, 10 September 2013

Facing intolerable working conditions as a result of an 8 percent health budget cut, Irish junior doctors have voted in favour of strikes.

Unite trade union ends DHL-Jaguar Land Rover dispute

By Danny Richardson, 7 September 2013

A massive vote for strike action by workers employed by the logistics firm DHL had the potential to halt production at Jaguar Land Rover sites, but this was sabotaged by the Unite union.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

6 September 2013

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

Eastern European migrant workers face slave labour in Germany

By Anna Rombach, 30 August 2013

Many workers from Bulgaria and Romania seeking work in Germany as a result of the austerity measures of the EU are denied minimal social rights.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

30 August 2013

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

Retired German auto workers fight for pension increase

By our correspondent, 26 August 2013

Former Opel workers held a demonstration at the company’s Bochum plant last Wednesday to demand an increase to their pensions.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 August 2013

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

The EU and the attack on European workers’ wages

By Julie Hyland, 15 August 2013

A new study by the UK’s House of Commons Library finds that European workers’ wages have fallen drastically since the Wall Street crash five years ago.

New management at German giant Siemens to introduce further cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 15 August 2013

Hit by the economic downturn, Siemens, Germany’s third largest industrial concern, has announced plans for further cuts.

Dublin Bus workers sold out by unions

By Jordan Shilton, 15 August 2013

Another strike by bus workers, protesting attacks on working conditions, pay and drivers' schedules, has been ended by the trade unions.

One million UK workers on zero-hour contracts

By Liz Smith, 7 August 2013

An estimated one million UK workers are employed by major companies on “zero-hour” or “on-call” contracts, without the right to any guaranteed pay or benefits.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 July 2013

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

19 July 2013

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

Postal union ends unofficial strike as UK government announces Royal Mail privatisation

By Mary Smith, 13 July 2013

Postal workers in Peterborough, England took unofficial strike action last week

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 July 2013

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

DHL workers supplying UK Jaguar Land Rover plants vote to strike

By Danny Richardson, 12 July 2013

A strike by workers employed by logistics firm, DHL, who supply three Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) car plants in England, could halt assembly production in Merseyside and the West Midlands.

British unions isolate refuse workers fighting wage cuts

By Paul Stuart, 29 June 2013

The GMB trade union, in collaboration with Green Party-run Brighton & Hove council, have called off a bitter strike by workers protesting cuts in pay.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 June 2013

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 June 2013

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

Workers in Britain suffer the greatest fall in wages since the 1930s

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2013

Wages, adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 15 percent in the UK over the last five years.

France: How the Workers’ Struggle group is helping to shut down the Aulnay car plant

By Antoine Lerougetel and Pierre Mabut, 17 June 2013

On May 17, CGT branch spokesman Jean-Pierre Mercier signed a deal that puts the seal on the Aulnay car plant’s closure by 2014.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

14 June 2013

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 June 2013

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

Trade unions in alliance with management against Berlin transport workers

By Franz Schobert and Carola Kleinert, 29 May 2013

Verdi and the Municipal Employers’ Association (CAV) reached a deal last week for the 13,000 workers at Berlin’s transport company BVG.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 May 2013

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

Works council in Bochum seeks to stifle opposition to GM-Opel plant closing

By Dietmar Henning, 24 May 2013

The chairman of the works council at the GM-Opel factory in Bochum called a meeting at the plant gate which halted production for several hours following the recent confirmation by management that it planned to close the plant.

ThyssenKrupp to slash 3,000 jobs

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 22 May 2013

ThyssenKrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger announced the axing of a further 3,000 jobs worldwide.

Unions sabotage Irish bus workers strike

By Jordan Shilton, 17 May 2013

According to reports, up to 95 percent of services were affected, including major routes in Dublin and longer inter-city connections.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 May 2013

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

Greek teachers defy military mobilisation orders

By Christoph Dreier, 16 May 2013

Greek teachers have voted to oppose the mobilisation order of the government and begin strike action on Friday.

Germany: Opel Bochum workers denounce union sellout

By our correspondents, 11 May 2013

GM Opel workers are incensed over the betrayal carried out by the IG Metall trade union.

Lufthansa: Verdi union agrees to 30 percent pay cut for airline workers

By Ernst Wolff, 9 May 2013

Verdi union negotiators have approved the setting up of three low-cost subsidiaries at Lufthansa, the largest European airline, paying up to 30 percent lower wages.