Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

AltAusterity Digest #96 April 25-May 1, 2019

This week in Austerity News:

May 03, 2019

The Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE) of Spain has emerged as the clear winner of Sunday’s elections in Spain. While the PSOE failed to win a majority, it surged past its traditional rivals, the Popular Party (PP), which lost 71 seats. The polls also marked the new far-right Vox party taking 24 seats as they enter national parliament for the first time. The anti-austerity party Podemos took 42 seats, representing a loss of 29 seats. Currently, the PSOE are aiming to govern alone, though with the support of Podemos and a few other smaller parties. The PSOE currently holds 123 seats, with 176 needed for a majority.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) will be laying off 99 teachers due to cuts to provincial funding. HWDSB chair Alex Johnstone has condemned the move saying that it will create added difficulties for students considering 26% of students attend special education classes, a high number speak English as a second language, and one in five students lives in poverty. Despite the Education Minister Lisa Thompson saying no teacher would “involuntarily” lose their job, moves to increase class sizes from an average of 22 to 28 over the next four years will almost surely result in job losses.

Thousands of Argentines have hit the streets again as part of a two-day national strike over rising poverty and unemployment brought on by President Macri’s austerity programme. There were at least 27 arrests during the strike and march as Security Minister Particia Bullrich called for the protestors to foot the $406,089 bill to deploy over 6,000 members of security forces. In Buenos Aires services including banks and schools were closed while hospitals were only attending to emergencies. The economic crisis in Argentina reached its peak in 2018 as inflation hit 47.6% in a context of stagnant wages. The value of the peso was also halved. In response Macri accepted a $56.3bn IMF deal that included numerous austerity measures.

On May Day 2019 workers around the world have demanded higher wages, better working conditions, maternity leave, an end to discrimination against temporary or foreign workers and an end to austerity. Workers and protestors clashed with police as asserts were made in Puerto Rico, Italy, Russia, France, Turkey, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and a host of other countries. The largest clashes were seen in France where 330 arrests were made as 7,400 police officers were deployed in Paris alone. Police used tear gas, flash grenades and rubber projectiles. According to the Interior Ministry 24 protestors and 14 police officers were injured.

That's it for this week's Digest! Check back next Friday morning for another edition, or subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly roundup. We'll also Tweet each time we add new content, so you can keep up with our work @AltAusterity and join the #altausterity conversation.