Aktualisiert: 5. Feb.
With the call "Strike is not a crime!" workers and activists in Austria showed solidarity with colleagues in Bulgaria who are on trial for strike.
On November 9th, medical staff in Dobrich, one of the largest hospitals in Bulgaria, decided to strike. They demanded better conditions and a decent wage. We reported on this earlier: Bulgaria: Hospital on strike since November 9! LINK
136 of the striking workers were charged because of the strike! The slogan: "Strike is a right and not a crime!" was raised and solidarity was developed among the people in Bulgaria, but also beyond its borders. Most recently, another round of negotiations took place on January 11th. On this occasion, further actions of solidarity were organized in Austria.
In Linz, as well as in Vienna, attention was drawn to the situation of the colleagues in Bulgaria on the streets and especially in front of hospitals. As we were told, special leaflets were made and distributed, which also drew attention to the partly catastrophic conditions in the health sector in Austria. It says: "Let's take an example from the health staff in Bulgaria, who unite, defend themselves and fight! Let us show our solidarity. Immediate acquittal for the 136 accused nurses!"
The support for the strike has been great. Many people are of the opinion, "yes, they should strike here too!". "Because", as one supporter said, "there are just more and more cuts, whether for the patients or in the salaries of the employees..." People in solidarity on the street, as well as health care workers themselves, participated in the actions and also shared their situations:
"I am a nurse here at the General Hospital in Vienna. They wouldn't believe me if I told them what the conditions are now. How many beds are now standing in the corridor. Many among us want to quit. It is good what they are doing in Bulgaria, that they want to struggle. We need that here too. But here there is often a different mentality, where 'everyone looks out for themselves' and keeps their heads down."
"During Corona, they made an event ban here on the forecourt of the General Hospital. They said it was for protection from the 'covidiots,' but I said right away that's so the workers can't protest!" Supporters who wanted to show solidarity with the workers in Bulgaria were also chased away from the entrance of the General Hospital, because they distributed leaflets!
The negotiation on January 11th did not bring any result yet, another round will follow on March 1st. All the more important that there are messages and actions of solidarity for the struggling colleagues in Bulgaria. "One thing is clear: their struggle is justified and also represents the concerns of hundreds of thousands of employees and patients, both in Bulgaria and in Austria!“