Resolution on Airbus union members indicted in Spain

Resolution adopted by the ETUC Executive Committee at its meeting on 11-12 March 2014

On 29 September 2010, Spain’s main unions the CCOO and UGT (Comisiones Obreras and Unión General de Trabajadores) called for a general strike to express their opposition to the policies implemented by the national government regarding labour issues, which represented a sharp decline in the rights of workers.

The right to strike is a fundamental right enshrined in the Spanish Constitution, which must be protected especially when exercised.

Early in the morning on the day of the general strike, several hundred Airbus EADS -CASA workers in Getafe (Madrid, Spain) gathered at the entrance of the workplace to express their support of the strike.

The presence of a large number of anti-riot police units at the factory gate, and their attitude towards the workers gathered there, created a climate of tension. Police behaviour did not help keep law and order but rather favoured the various incidents that took place and led to the use of weapons by the riot police, who fired at least seven shots.

Following the serious incidents that took place on the day of the general strike and the subsequent police report, the Magistrate's Court began a hearing concerning allegations made by the prosecution against 8 union members from the CCOO and UGT which could lead to imprisonment penalties of eight years and three months each and a total of sixty-six years in prison, plus a security of € 31,059.52 to which the defendants must respond jointly and severally.

The Executive Committee of the ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) expresses its solidarity with the 8 trade union members from Airbus - Spain who on 29 September 2010 defended the rights of workers, and demands the removal of the prosecution case against these trade unionists, making it clear that the right to strike and freedom of association cannot be criminalised.

The Executive Committee of the ETUC supports the demonstration on 14 March at the factory gates of Getafe and sympathises and supports all actions convened by the trade unions CCOO and UGT aimed at securing the freedom of the accused union members.

This resolution is also calling for other similar resolutions to be taken at national level in support of the 8 Spanish trade unionists and rejects anti-union practices which have led to the current situation in Spain.