By Chris King • 08 October 2021 • 1:44
Renfe calls off the train strikes.
Late on the evening, Thursday, October 7, Renfe has finally reached an agreement with the Spanish Union of Train Machinists and Railway Helpers (SEMAF). As a result, the 24-hour strikes that have been crippling train services since September 30, have been halted.
Catalonia in particular had struggled, with a bare minimum service running in the region for the last five days. Normal service should now be resumed, after meetings that went on throughout Thursday between the two sides.
According to a company statement, the agreement with the union “contemplates a series of measures to progressively recover the services suppressed by the pandemic,” which, according to Renfe, was already being carried out.
For this, the company claims, “the incorporation into the service of new Renfe drivers, who must pass the necessary training and homologation processes prior to starting the activity of driving passenger trains, is essential”, something that has been delayed due to the coronavirus the company alleged.
Raquel Sanchez, the Minister of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda, said in her Twitter account that the agreement endorses measures that Renfe already had in place, such as the recovery of services and the incorporation of new drivers.
According to a statement from SEMAF, Renfe has decided to “meet the demands to recover the public service that the company provided to citizens before the COVID. The Renfe Group has agreed to recover all the trains, all the templates. and the integrity of the public company and its employees”.
According to SEMAF, Renfe sought to “remove trains to eliminate personnel. They even left populations without any service”, they stressed. In their statement, the train drivers expressed their regret for the strike action “caused by Renfe”, pointing out that they too had to make a living, as reported by laopiniondemalaga.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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