UPDATE BREAKING NEWS: Spanish Agri-food industry on alert as truckers strike

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18:07 (November 7) – The food industry has been put on alert following this morning’s truck driver strike announcement.

With fears that the shortages experienced in March will be repeated when some food processors were forced to close.
Then some were unable to deliver their food whilst others were unable to get supplies of raw materials needed for their production. 
As a result the entire agri-food and hospitality value chain has called on the government to demand security and supply of products and raw materials at what they say is “a particularly critical time”.
Among the organisations calling for the government to act are the major food retailers, Hostelería de España, the agricultural organizations COAG and UPA and the business associations AECOC, ACES, ANGED. 
They have reminded the government that last time strikers “prevented the free entry and exit of vehicles from companies, logistics centres and farms supplying raw materials.”
That they say not only resulted in shortages and tensions between parties, but also cost the industry millions. Many of these have been struggling to keep their heads above water as the cost of raw materials and energy having hit the sector hard. 

With Christmas only weeks away, the say the strike will be damaging: “especially to thousands of SMEs that are already going through a very delicate moment, as a result of the current situation.

“We are an essential and strategic sector, as demonstrated in the recent crises we have suffered, and we believe that the time has come for the Government to adopt measures that guarantee the proper functioning of the food chain and the supply of food and beverages to the whole population in any situation.”

At this stage the retailers have said consumers should not panic as that will only add to what could become a difficult situation. Instead, they said people should be aware that supplies may become limited in time, but also, they should wait to see what action the government takes in heading off the strike. 

12:32 (November 7) – Spanish truckers have announced a new nationwide strike that will start from this Sunday, November 13.

Announcing the two-day strike on Monday, November 7, the Platform in Defence of Transport said that the strike had been called to denounce those that expect them to work at a loss.

The “platform” represents small transport businesses and self-employed drivers who were behind the strikes in March this year.

In response the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, told LaVanguardia that the Ministry is preparing an inspection plan in the sector that will be announced in the “coming weeks.”

Delegates from the platform had met to assess the latest measures announced by the government, which include a new law to prevent carriers from working at a loss or a new package of 450 million direct aid. The measures are in addition to those already approved in 2021 and April 2022 including the 20 cents reduction in the cost of fuel.

They also include a prohibition for drivers to load and unload, the limitation of waiting times in loading and unloading areas to one hour and the reinforcement of transport inspection or aid for abandonment of the profession.

The platform has accused shippers of not adhering to the law saying that they would like to see more policing of the laws, including inspections and controls by the Guardia Civil.

The last time Spanish truckers announced a nationwide strike, some shortages were experienced in parts of the country. It did, however, result in the positive for all motorists of the reduction in the cost of fuel.

This time the strike is to force the government to better police its own laws in protecting those in the industry.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.