Significant following of the strike defending public services and the consolidation and creation of public employment

May 03, 2021
In light of the dramatic situation of the public employment in the Basque Country, with employment ratios that are way below the European average, and a very high rate of outsourcing, particularly in the feminised sectors, and with the highest temporary work rate of the Spanish state and of the EU, over 40% in all the fields, ELA, LAB, CCOO, SATSE, ESK and Steilas called a strike for the 22nd of April in the Basque public sector as a whole to defend the consolidation and creation of public employment.

The organisers valued the generalised following of the strike very positively, which was observed by many people in spite of the abusive minimum services decreed by the Basque Government, reaching 100% of minimum services in many of the services in the healthcare sector.

During the day-long strike and in spite of the mobility restrictions derived from the pandemic situation, over 18,000 people took to the streets of the Basque capital cities demanding a fair solution to the unsustainable situation of job insecurity that they have to bear. Igor Eizagirre, General Secretary of the Public Services Federation of ELA, ELA-Gizalan, having qualified the day as “successful”, in spite of the abusive minimum services imposed, emphasised that “the temporary job situation in the public sector is a scandal and if we want to change the situation it is essential to mobilise people.”· During his speech he denounced that 40% of the workers in the Basque public sector – 60,000, are temporary workers, to which another 120,000 outsourced workers must be added; this abusive use of temporary contracts by the different administrations may only be explained as an essential first step towards the outsourcing and privatisation of public service.

In spite of all the difficulties, the workers from the public sector highlighted that in this exceptional situation being experienced by the public sector, political leaders and parties must urgently do everything in their hands to create public employment, in order for the 60,000 temporary workers to be able to consolidate their jobs and bring an end to the privatisation policy that is occurring in the public sector.