The Basque unions -with the exception of UGT that does not participate in these mobilizations – gathered some 30,000 protesters in the streets this Wednesday to feed the image of “chaos” – as defined by the Vice-Legends Josu Erkoreka– in public services managed by the PNV. The first day of strike to which 150,000 Basque civil servants had been called had a special impact on public education (40.6% of teachers) and public transport. The nationalist unions demand salary increases of 10% but the Government of Urcullu He is trying to deactivate a strategy that is directly linked to EH Bildu’s objective of defeating him at the polls in the 2024 regional elections.
The pre-campaign of the Basque elections already has Eneko Andueza as an official candidate for president and with Javier de Andrés as an unofficial candidate awaiting the congress that will take place on November 4 as president of the Basque PP. But, in addition, the electoral battle is not only being settled in the institutions and in the media between the parties, but the majority of the Basque unions have been putting pressure on the PNV for months. The demonstrations that took place through the streets of Euskadi and, above all, the statements of the Basque union leaders placed the party of Urkullu and Andoni Ortuzar at the center of his criticism.
“Urkullu looks like a driver going in the wrong direction on the highway,” he denounced. Igor Arroyounion spokesperson a patriot LAB that on October 16 he had met with the PNV leadership headed by Andoni Ortuzar. A symbolic appointment of the PNV with the union center closest to EH Bildu that contrasts with the radical confrontation that Ortuzar’s party maintains with SHEthe union pampered for decades by the PNV and of which Andoni Ortuzar himself is a member.
The political battle raised by the nationalist unions against the PNV is based on a platform of demands that exceeds the powers of the Basque Government. The mobilizations called and the two days of strike throughout the Basque administration – the next one will take place on November 19 – have among their demands that Iñigo Urkullu guarantee a 10% salary increase. However, the salary increases of Basque civil servants are limited to 2.5% plus two variables of 0.5% agreed by the Government of Pedro Sánchez with CCOO and UGT.
The protests by the Basque unions – including CCOO – not only demand a salary increase well above that defined by the central government, but also that the Basque administrations do not allow limits to increase the number of civil servants, disregarding the established replacement rates.