Thousands demonstrate in Madrid for civil rights

March 14, 2011 - 0:0

MADRID (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people marched on Sunday in a demonstration called by the Spanish labor union the Confederation General de Trabajo (CGT) for civil rights.

The demonstration, supported by various social, political and international organizations, was held against the Spanish government's social pact and in favor of the distribution of employment, wealth, retirement at 60 years old and a 35-hour working week as means of creating employment.
The march began in the Calle Alcala and passed through the center of Madrid before ending in Paseo Camoens and took place in a positive atmosphere created by the presence of diverse organizations and several thousand demonstrators.
It ended with several speeches and a concert held in Paseo Camens. Among the speakers was CGT General Secretary Jacinto Ceacero, who made a speech criticizing the government of Jose Luis Zapatero and other labor unions.
“This mobilization serves to show that after the signing of the social pact between government, employers, the unions UGT and CC.OO, the workers should not fall into a state of depression nor should we feel depressed,” he said.
“We should not delegate our protagonism, we should continue to vindicate ourselves and carry on fighting for our rights which have been taken away by the agreement of the recent Social Pact, the labor and pension reforms, wage cuts and the elimination of unemployment benefits,” said Ceacero.
The union leader then looked ahead to the future battles in the Spanish social agenda, which he sees as: “the reform of collective bargaining and the privatization of public services.”
The CGT, which expressed its satisfaction with the demonstration, stressed that it was not the end of a campaign, but the continuation of the struggle which began with the general strike of Sept. 29 last year.
The CGT repeated its call to action to continue the workers' struggle against the loss of social and labor rights of the working class and other popular sectors of society.