UGT Secretary General in Euskadi, Raúl Arza, has positioned himself this morning against the general strike called in the Basque Country by the ELA and LAB unions by January 30. He has considered that the strike and the mobilizations “are a tool” that the workers and their representatives have “but it cannot be an end in itself.”
In the presence of policy makers such as the Minister of Economic Development and Infrastructure, Arantxa Tapia, or the mayor of Vitoria, Gorka Urtaran, who have attended the opening of the day ‘Save the industry’ organized by UGT in the capital of Alava, Arza has said that he misses the authorities “who put names” when they refer to unions “because we are not all the same”. He has reproached ELA and LAB for its call for stoppages by January 30, as it understands that there are “other alternative measures” to claim rights.
Arza has asked the Government to reduce the cost of energy “because it cannot be that for our companies the price is 50% more expensive than in Germany or 40% in France.” And has expressed his Concern about the high unemployment rate among the group of people over 45, above 58,000 in Euskadi or 1.6 million unemployed nationwide. “We are talking about more than 50% of the unemployed and do not resign ourselves to thinking that these people cannot have an opportunity to return to the world of work.”
UGT, said its head in Euskadi, will put all its efforts in «Improve working conditions for workers» and has recognized that “we will need the immigrant population” to replace all the people who will retire in the coming years. “Although there are political parties that are against” immigrants, “in Euskadi they will be necessary.”
For its part, Pedro Leaves, general secretary of the UGT industry federation at national level, has denounced the «Continuous attacks» to industrial companies from different sectors when generating industrial activity «Is not going against the environment».
In his opinion, it is “compatible” to have “modern, more competitive companies that create stable jobs with clean energy and industrial policies.” You cannot generate social alarm ».