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14 November 2012
Unite, Britain's biggest union, has issued a statement in full support of trade union members across the European Union taking action against austerity.
The Unite statement reads: "Unite stands in full solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are taking strike action today in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Belgium and Italy.
“This unprecedented European-wide day of action is a fitting response to the obsessive austerity programmes being implemented by European governments under the direction of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank .
“Every indictor, so far, shows that austerity is not working. Economic growth is falling through the floor, unemployment is going through the roof, and poverty and misery are spreading on a massive scale.
“Our union Unite represents 1.5 million workers and - with other UK unions - has been engaged in a bitter struggle against the UK government's vicious austerity programme for over two years. We have faced massive layoffs, cuts to our pensions and huge cutbacks to our essential public services, but we are determined to continue our fight.
“As European trade unions we must build on today's day of action, strengthen our solidarity and fight for a change in the disastrous policies being pursued by the European Commission and member states. We need a real alternative based on solidarity that puts investment and reinvigorating growth at the centre of its agenda.
“The moves towards the unification of Europe in the post-war period contributed hugely to embedding peace and stability in this continent. What is being pursued now will only cause unrest and despair and runs the risk of tearing Europe apart once again.
“It is time for a full change in direction, Unite salutes the actions of our colleagues and stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow trade unionists taking action today."