CGT calls for a General Strike in Madrid and its region
CGT has called for a general strike in Madrid and its region on 11th November. For this strike, and on the basis of a vast array of shared demands, the union has brought together different unions and social organisations that are similarly concerned by the current situation in
The different governments have privileged economic rather than health and social criteria in their response to the collapse of the health system. In fact, the healthcare system is being privatised even at this time of pandemic for the sole benefit of private companies. Where are the public hospitals we need? What measures are being taken in care homes? What means have health and socio-sanitary workers at their disposal? What about those who cannot get a job, those are being ejected from their houses? What about the most underprivileged, who do not have a home neither a job?
It is yet unknown whether public schools will stay open. Due to spending cuts, there is not enough staff (including healthcare staff), the number of students per classroom does not allow for the safety distance to be kept, and there are no means for distance learning and to guarantee attention to diversity. People are forced to take overcrowded buses, undergrounds and regional trains to get to their work and study places, which increases the rates of contagion. The use of private, more polluting means of transport is encouraged instead. The selective confinement of certain areas within the region of Madrid has had a clear ideological bias, targeting mainly working class neighbourhoods.
The extraordinary funding to cope with the effects of the pandemic are not been used properly. More should be spent in healthcare, education, cleaning and key areas in the regional government such as employment, labour inspectorate, social security and social services, in order to increase their staff and improve their working conditions. Precarity must be eradicated in all sectors affected (home care, hospitality, logistics…) and their workers should be provided with better infrastructures. More money must be devoted to increase the rate of public transports in the region. The use of these funds, which in the last instance come from our very pockets, must be transparent. The regional government should undergo a public audit about its use. This is particularly important because funds have already been assigned by mechanisms that are exempt from such kind of public control.
Care homes, social and healthcare services (including those dealing with mental health) must be publicly audited taking into account their finances, the quality of their services and the application of preventive protocols, and those responsible for any infringements should be held responsible. In the case of serious offences, agreements between public institutions and private providers must be terminated, and the management of care homes must be assumed by the governments with the participation of their staff and users. For CGT defending public services entails demanding that they become public again. The pandemic has evidenced lacks in public services that privatisation has only made worse. Staff in privatised sectors such as attention to functional diversity, social intervention, nursery schools, and educational leisure suffer from an increasing precarity, and this affects the quality of services funded with public funds. The regional government, within its sphere of competence, must develop coherent and coordinated prevention protocols against the coronavirus in work places, the healthcare and education systems, transportation, hospitality, cultural activities, and so on. It must also take action to prevent the spread of infections – such as by limiting movement to work places -, strengthening the labour inspectorate as a tool against frauds, and use all its legal capacity to suspend dismissals, evictions and the payment of basic services for the most vulnerable population. It must supplement the Minimal Basic Income and dependency pensions.
We stand in defence of a different form of social organisation, one in which people are effectively equal, liberties are respected, the environment is cared for, one in which each and every one of us can have access to public services that are truly adequate, free and universal.
LET US ALL STRIKE!
The above call was sent to the GMD mailing list on November 7th, 2020.