Two Bulgarian union federations form joint strike committee

Bulgaria’s two major trade union federations have formed a joint strike committee but it is an open question whether this signals that they will take to the streets in alliance with national anti-government protests.

The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and trade union federation Podkrepa said on November 11 that they had formed a unified national strike committee “because of the need for joint action on the current socio-economic situation in the country”.

The announcement came as the current Bulgarian Socialist Party government had tabled the proposed 2014 national budget in Parliament, against a background of the approval rating of the cabinet plummeting to a further all-time low and with anti-government protests reinvigorated by an increasingly assertive protest by university students who want the government out.

The union federations announced the joint strike committee after a discussion on the student protests and the anti-government protests, the latter having continued daily since mid-June and which the more reliable opinion polls have shown to have majority public support.

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