Can Lithuanian government withstand solidarity of its working class?
Lithuanian teachers union just announced continuation of nationwide strike. They are demanding raises in salary and increase overall education spending. It is worth mentioning that all of these steps were a part of Lithuanian government electoral promises back in 2017, yet to this day, they have done nothing.
«To fulfill all demands, we need at least 118 mln euros. Our salaries were lowered in 2009, and we still cannot achieve pre-crisis level» – said chairwoman of Majeysky’s district teachers union branch.
The government, in its turn, stated that 2020 budget is still in discussion, and they will do everything in their power to find necessary funds for education workers (average teacher salary in Lithuania is about 750 euros per month).
First local strikes started in the end of 2018, and they immediately gained media attention, which forced Lithuanian authorities to remove education minister from the office. It had pacifying effect on strikers, and they expected government to fulfill its obligations. Now 2019 is nearing its end, and money are nowhere to be found!
But the big difference between previous and current strike is that now it is also supported by other unions, such as high school teachers, healthcare workers and firefighters. This show of solidarity give much more weight to their demands, and it makes working class the force to be reckoned with. The question is how Lithuanian government will deal with it? Time will tell.
And, as for us, Russians, we must admit, that in terms of solidarity, we can learn from our Baltic neighbours.