Teachers in Croatia joined 250,000 workers in the country in stopping work for two hours on Tuesday. The strike closed primary and secondary schools in many parts of the country, as well as shutting down transport networks.

The stoppage was called by the Croation Union Federation in solidarity with knitwear workers and workers in a medical rehabilitation centre, who have not been paid for months. The plight of the unpaid workers was used by the unions as an illustration of the kinds of practices, which would become common place if a new Labour law is passed. The law will see employers having sweeping rights to hire and fire workers and extend working hours.

The changes have been called for by international investors, keen to make money from the country, who argue that the 'inflexible' labour laws are preventing them from setting up business in Croatia. The country has suffered greatly since the crisis of 2008 and unemployment in the country is running at 22%. Making the poor pay for the crisis is of course the usual medicine prescribed by international corporations and their spokespeople in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This takes the form both of slashing public services and attacking labour rights, as is happening in Croatia.

Unions are threatening an escalation of action if the government goes ahead and implements the new labour law.