14 March ETUC call heeded: Europe-wide, workers act against the war

Submitted by Anon on 21 March, 2003 - 1:54

Millions of workers stopped work at midday Friday 14 March in protest against a possible attack on Iraq, following a call from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The ETUC called for trade unionists to demonstrate their disagreement by halting work for 15 minutes at noon.
In Germany, where polls show an overwhelming majority of people opposing a war, the strikes briefly halted vehicle production at three Volkswagen factories and a DaimlerChrysler plant. Trams ground to a halt in the eastern city of Halle. Unions said more than 150,000 workers took brief strike action.

Italian unions state that workers downed tools from Sicily in the south to Turin in the north. Activists hung a six-yard rainbow peace flag from a bridge in Pisa, while workers in numerous factories sounded horns to mark the strike.

Czech employees interrupted work at hundreds of workplaces at noon, they signed resolutions, protest sirens were wailing at some enterprises and people wore special ribbons.

Thousands of workers in Switzerland observed five minutes of silence in protest against a war in Iraq. The Swiss Trade Union Federation organised the action and Rolf Zimmerman, secretary of the Federation, said workers in Bern, Zurich, Geneva and other cities took part.

Treading carefully through the minefield of the UK's anti-union laws, trade unionists here also plan action and protests. If your workplace or union is planning anything, or if any protest occurs when war begins, let us know. Reports such as these can give confidence to other groups of workers who oppose the war and who want to do something against it at work.

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