The economic crisis which began in 2008 hit Spain harder than any other country in the European Union. They set eurozone records in 2011 with 21.3% unemployment and 43.5% youth unemployment. In an attempt to put a stop to the rapid collapse of the Spanish economy, the government passed sweeping employment changes in 2010. These changes made it easier for employers to hire and fire workers and increased the retirement age from 65 to 67.
In December 1950, the municipal authorities in Barcelona increased the cost of tram fare by 40%. Working class families were outraged. The cost of living had been rising and the price of food was at an all-time high. On February 8, 1951, an anonymous leaflet circulated throughout Barcelona, calling for a boycott of the city’s trams to begin on March 1 until the fares were returned to their regular price. As the date of the boycott approached, citizens from across the city began to make their anger known. On February 22, groups of individuals united in protest a
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a small country in Middle Africa that was a colony of Spain (Spanish Guinea) until 1968. Since a violent military coup in 1979, President Teodoro Obiang has ruled the country with the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea. In 2008, journalist Peter Maas called Obiang “Africa’s Worst Dictator” due to rampant corruption within the government and accusations from human rights groups of murder and torture.
The strikes in April and May of 1962 in Asturias (the coal mining center of Spain) were executed by the miners of Asturias and were a direct challenge to General Francisco Franco’s regime. Although the mines were privately owned and operated, the state dictated the wage rate and workers’ rights. The Spanish Communist Party played a significant role in the working class’s success against the fascist dictatorship. The “economic stabilization plan” created by the Franco government called for a wage freeze.
The Asturian strikes that occurred in the summer of 1963 were the second major challenge to the Franco dictatorship over the span of one year. The first challenge had occurred in the spring of 1962 (see “Spanish coal miners challenge Franco dictatorship, 1962”). As with the strikes in 1962, the 1963 strikes began in the privately owned mines of Asturias during the last week of July 1963. In total, the miners’ executed their strike for 60 days, finally stopping the strike at the end of September. By the end about 40,000 to 50,000 workers had participated in the campaign.