Woman Driving Almeria Bus, Sacked For Taking Female Health Stop

Almeria Bus Driver's Dismissal: Gender Bias Suspected?

Stock image of woman in pain. Credit: siam.pukkato/Shutterstock.com

Is it fair to dismiss someone for prioritising passenger safety?

On a recent journey between Almeria and Valencia, Encarna Aznar, the sole female driver for the Bacoma bus line, part of the ALSA group, was dismissed for halting the bus at an unconventional rest area. This decision was made despite her suffering from severe menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding due to endometriosis, a condition the company was aware of, according to Nuis Diario, Monday, August 28.

A Necessary Detour for Safety

‘I had to stop urgently so I could clean myself,’ Encarna said. She emphasised that drivers often divert to different rest areas in situations like sudden fatigue, as recommended by the DGT. ‘Ultimately, it’s about stopping to ensure the safety of the passengers,’ she stated, noting that they only get two breaks during a ten-hour night trip.

A Year of Constant Pressure

The CGT Andalucia union has raised concerns about Encarna’s treatment, suggesting her dismissal was gender-based. They highlight the ongoing discrimination and pressure she has faced, making her work environment nearly unbearable.

‘Matters such as directly discriminating against her by not giving her a single weekend off since January 2023, unlike her peers, penalising her and then the social court of Almeria overturning the penalty as excessive and unfounded, being the spokesperson for the CGT union section and demanding adherence to wage and occupational health laws,’ the union detailed.

On Monday, a gathering took place at the Almeria intermodal station to raise awareness of this injustice against Encarna, who was recently honoured by the company for her exemplary driving skills.

Statement from CGT

The CGT expressed their disappointment that women’s health issues, which can be debilitating, are often dismissed. ‘By ensuring her own safety and that of the passengers, or by demanding legal compliance, she is unfairly targeted, showing that this male-led company prefers only men in Bacoma,’ they declared.

Adding to the controversy, Encarna’s dismissal came while she was on leave. The union criticised companies like Alsa for exploiting the slow legal system. ‘Aware of the judicial delays, which clearly breach the LRJS (Regulatory Law of Social Jurisdiction), they can mistreat an employee simply because she’s a woman.

By the time a final verdict is reached, she will have gone a long time without an income or unemployment benefit. Facing daily necessities, she might be compelled to seek another job,’ they expressed.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.