It seems that electricty consumption across Spain is running at 10,9% lower than normal for a weekday – about what you’d experience on a normal festivo.
For those of you who have to be up to the minute with strike news, El Mundo has a cunning app on their frontpage which shows up, on a degree of seriousness, every incident happening today connected with the general strike: http://www.elmundo.es
El Pais is somewhat more excitable than El Mundo, running an entire frontpage dedicated to the strike with pictures of people throwing stones. They’re linking into people’s twitter feeds allowing citizens to update on strike action “where you are”. Great use of technology, but rather disappointing: just about every single post I’ve seen so far is along the lines of “I’m at work and so is everyone else….”
Most private workers who are unionised seem to have turned up to work, it’s just the big unions that have forced everyone to stop work today. The unions denounced a number of “empresarios” who they claimed were threatening workers with the sack if they didn’t turn up; in turn, a number of workers have complained of harassment from their local union rep when they said they wouldn’t stop work for the day.
El Corté Ingles is getting it in the neck from pickets, especially in the north. “I don’t believe in the unions or the need for a strike” said Maria (29) on twitter, waiting to get past the pickets outside her place at work at the Bilbao El Corté Ingles. “It’s cold out here and I’d rather be inside” she added plaintively.
Locally, everything is going on nicely, with the exception of Canal Sur TV – someone pulled the plug at midnight and it seems it still isn’t back on. Rather disappointing. I even went along the AVE works this morning; nobody seems to be about, I was hoping for at least one picket. I’ve got my lighter ready, and there is a temptingly full rubbish bin outside the townhall…………
3 strikers arrested in Seville for kicking a policeman, and 3 more injured in Huelva when they tried to set light to a rubbish bin and instead set themselves on light (carajillos for breakfast, I imagine). And some idiot in Madrid threw herself in front of a delivery truck which was trying to run a picket outside a printing press (printing El Razón, it seems) and got run over. Even the local union rep seemed unable to bring himself to blame the driver.
Joking aside, it seems that the reason that the government insisted that rubbish workers were denied the right to strike (all rubbish services are forced to operate at 100% capacity, at least in Andalucia) is to prevent build ups of rubbish that can be lit / thrown. Clever!