Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/662/11430
Huge protests against job insecurity
OVER 300,000 people took to the streets in Lisbon and ten other Portuguese cities on Saturday 12 March to protest against unemployment and job insecurity. 200,000 people demonstrated in Lisbon and another 80,000 in Portugal's second city Porto.
27 year-old Joao Labrincha, who is unemployed and one of the organisers, said: "Half of Portugal's active population is either unemployed or precarious [on temporary contracts], which shows that the situation is untenable."
Official unemployment stands at 11%, some 620,000 people, of whom nearly half are under 35 and more than 10% are graduates.
The right-wing PS minority government passed a savage austerity budget last November in order to satisfy the demands of international finance capital and the EU to reduce the budget deficit. This led to a three million-strong general strike, organised by the trade unions.
Speculation has increased recently that Portugal will follow Greece and Ireland in being forced to accept a bailout by the EU and IMF.
- In Italy, a 24-hour general strike involving public and private sector workers, protesting against job insecurity, poor working conditions and privatisation of public services, took place on Friday 11 March.
Public transport systems in many cities were brought to a halt. In January the unemployment rate reached 8.6% with nearly 30% of unemployed Italians under the age of 24.
See www.socialistworld.net for more
In The Socialist 16 March 2011:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party campaigns