This tag is associated with 17 posts

Spain’s disposable workers

If a weapon is given to someone, it is normal to use it when needed. And that’s exactly what Spanish businesses are doing with the legal weapons that they have been given to hire and fire workers at their  convenience. As a result, the labour market has become a roller coaster, up and down in … Continue reading

Fast Facts: Gender Social Inequality and Austerity in Europe

Europe’s austerity fetish and longer term neo-liberal reforms promoted by Big Business, Governments and the EU Commission hurt women disproportionately. Here’s a few facts to illustrate the point.   Europe wide  The gender pay gap is around 16% It ranges from more than a quarter (27%) in Estonia to around a fiftieth (2%) in Slovenia. … Continue reading

Spain in 2014: Not a Prosperous New Year

By Esther Vivas We have entered 2014 a little poorer. For those of us with a job, our salaries have been frozen, or even cut; only a few can expect a rise in the New Year.  Furthermore, the price of electricity, public transport and water are increasing. 2013 ended with the controversy over a threatened … Continue reading

Why precarious work deepens the crisis

By Guglielmo Forges Davanzati According to the CGIL union, workers employed with temporary contracts earn an average salary of about € 800 per month in Italy, and are predominantly based in the public administration and in the South. The OECD certifies, with respect to our country, that temporary work affects mainly young people under the … Continue reading

Who will represent the educated precariat?

The crisis in Spain and elsewhere has accelerated the emergence of a new social group , making it much more visible in the media and in social and political terms. But unions and the are failing to respond to their needs, argues Bruno Estrada* The crisis in Spain has accelerated the emergence of a new … Continue reading

Italy in the Summer: A Bel Paese for tourists, not so beautiful for the workers

By Roberta Manieri Employers blame the crisis and the need to cut costs. From Italy’s South to the North, workers are being blackmailed into accepting increasingly exploitative working conditions, say unions representing workers in a sector employing around a million people Quality, dignity and professionalism should go hand in hand with the job. Even more … Continue reading

Austerity swells Spain’s precariat by two million

Spain’s precariat has swollen to more than 20.6 million – or  43.74% of the population, thanks to rising unemployment, wage and welfare cuts, according to the tax officials’ union. Since 2007, austerity and neo-liberal reforms have meant two million more Spaniards live in households with incomes of less than 12,000 euros a year, finds a … Continue reading

Italy’s precariat protest as recession continues

‘We are not choosy,’ say a group of ‘precarious’ workers in the latest of a string of protests against the insulting remarks made last month by Italy’s labour minister Elsa Fornero about the country’s struggling unemployed youth. In a gesture protest they ‘cleaned’ streets to show their willingness to engage in useful projects for Naples. A … Continue reading

Austerity leaves 27% of Spaniards in poverty

Twenty-seven percent of the Spanish population are living in poverty thanks to a toxic combination of regressive welfare and labour reforms, rising unemployment, cuts to living standards and public services, and privatisation. The country has a growing army of working poor, according to a new study by Fundación Primero de Mayo, the think tank of … Continue reading

Occupy Sunday: Italy’s Shop Workers Campaign Against Extended Opening, Exploitation

By Paola Natalicchio The Tuscan shopping centre I Gigli is a tetris of rectangles and cylinders of cement and windows located halfway between Florence and Prato. It is 15 years old, with more than 14 million visitors a year, 134 stores and 1,800 employees (the average age under 40). Until last February, as in all … Continue reading

Portugal’s March 12 movement celebrates birthday with manifesto

One year ago,  the Portuguese people woke up, lifted our heads to resist. At the call of three young precarious people, 500,000 indignant citizens demonstrated in the streets across the country, and proposed alternatives to the authoritarian austerity of socialist and right-wing governments who were at one with the European leaders and the IMF. This … Continue reading

Being young in Sicily: not easy

Premier Mario Monti recently warned young Italians that they shouldn’t expect ‘a job for life’ which was ‘monotonous’. Other ministers have suggested young people in Italy were pampered and complained too much. This was all said in a bid to justify plans to further deregulate the labour market and pile more austerity upon austerity. For … Continue reading

Italy’s precariat grows

Two million seven hundred thousand Italians are now in jobs without a permanent contract, new official figures show. There was a 7.6% rise (+160,000) in workers on short term contracts with two thirds of this growth affecting Italians under 35 years of age, according to Istat, the national statistics agency. The figures in detail: In … Continue reading

Monti, Italy and jobs for life

Italian premier Mario Monti hasn’t been in the job long, but is already the new darling of the European elite. So much so that some political pundits have dropped ‘Merkozy’ – the Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy duo – for the ‘Merkonti’ trio. Certainly, his economists’ training and measured, articulate manner, contrasts favourably with his … Continue reading

Belgium: Expanding precariat drives up poverty rates

15% of Belgians live under the poverty line with the expansion of precarious forms of employment a key factor, the first nationwide annual study of the issue shows. Children and elderly (65+) are the most badly affected, with poverty rates of 18.5% and 19.4% respectively The poverty line is set at Euros 973 a month … Continue reading

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