By Chris King • 13 March 2022 • 20:20
WATCH: Huge anti-squatting protest defending elderly couple in Madrid's Fuenlabrada
Credit: Twitter @enrikegperez77
An indefinite strike by carriers is due to begin in Spain tomorrow, Monday, March 14, starting at 00:00. It has been called by the unions, in protest against increasing fuel costs in the country, and the working conditions of transport workers.
This strike has been brought by the Platform for the Defence of the National and International Road Freight Transport Sector, after it was approved by its National Board of Directors.
A spokesperson for the platform said the strike was taking place because “90 per cent of transport companies, both medium and small, are in a situation of total bankruptcy, and working conditions are totally precarious, with consequences that are directly paid for by employed drivers”.
The agreement reached with the employers’ associations by the Government before Christmas, to call off the threatened strikes, which was reflected in a decree-law approved by the Council of Ministers on March 1, is insufficient, declared the platform.
A host of claims have reportedly been addressed to the Ministries of Transport and Labour, but since it has not obtained a satisfactory response, the platform has decided to maintain the strike “indefinitely”.
Among its requests are that the contracting of road freight transport services below operating costs be prohibited, and that intermediation in the transport contract be limited to a single contractor. It also demands the prohibition by law of loading and unloading by drivers, and a decree that limits these tasks to a maximum time of one hour from their arrival, or from the agreed time.
Its table of demands also includes a request for security monitored by the State in rest areas, creation of new rest areas that respond to the current flow of vehicles located throughout the road network.
Also included are retirement at 60 years, from a profession classified as high-risk, and recognition of all occupational diseases arising from this work, for both employees and self-employed.
The decree approved by the Government on March 1 establishes the obligatory revision of the price of transport in the event of the variation in the price of fuel. This covers from the moment of contracting, until the effective completion of the delivery, linked to the indices that are published on the website of the Ministry of Transport.
Last Friday 11, once the strike had been confirmed, Jaime Moreno, the general director of Land Transport, summoned repesentatives of the National Transport Committee to a meeting.
After this meeting, the Ministry announced in a statement that Raquel Sanchez had agreed with the organisations of the sector to study new support measures in the face of the impact of the war in Ukraine on the energy costs.
Faced with the strike call, the Fenadismer union issued a statement this weekend in which it asked that those carriers who voluntarily want to join the strike should be respected, and that those who choose to continue providing their activity must be respected.
The union stressed that it will demand “the immediate implementation of the National Plan of measures in which the Government is working, to respond to the economic impact of the crisis in Ukraine, among others, those related to alleviating and curbing the increase in fuel prices”
“The situation has become unsustainable due to the unstoppable and daily increase in the price of fuel, which currently represents more than 50 per cent of the operating costs of the activity. In these circumstances of absolute volatility, and the irrational nature of the fuel market, carriers can not pass on these increases”, the federation added, as reported by 20minutos.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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