By Kevin Fraser Park •
Updated: 10 Nov 2023 • 9:10
Train strikes in Spain
A train strike has been called in Spain by the unions representing Renfe and Adif staff. The dates are November 24 and 30 as well as December 1, 4 and 5.
The unions agreed, at meetings held on Tuesday November 7, to call for the strikes due to the uncertainty generated in the workforce because of the transfer of the management of Rodalies, Catalonia’s suburban train service, to the Generalitat.
The transfer of Rodalies to Catalonia came about as part of a political agreement between political parties, designed to facilitate the investiture of temporary prime minister, Pedro Sánchez. This decision has triggered a series of union concerns that have led to the call for strikes.
It means that, in the middle of the December long weekend, Spain is facing a crucial situation with national strikes likely to paralyse the rail networks at a time when many train journeys are expected throughout the country. The choice of these dates is not accidental, as it seeks to maximise the impact and visibility of the protest.
The central concern of the unions revolves around the transfer of the day-to-day management of Rodalies. They have asked the Ministry of Transport for guarantees to preserve the rights of Renfe workers, the entity currently in charge of the service. This concern reflects the uncertainty about the employment future of the rail workers.
The government has said that the agreement between the PSOE and ERC parties is purely political and does not yet address technical aspects regarding management of the rail network. However, the lack of detail has generated uncertainty among the workers, who see the strike as a way of pressing for answers and concrete guarantees about their future employment.
The strike, in principle, will affect the entire Spanish rail service, covering Cercanías, Rodalies, AVE, medium and long distance services. This impact could lead to chaos in travel during the December long weekend, affecting thousands of travellers throughout Spain.
In the midst of this conflict, the question arises: how will the situation be resolved? The prospects for resolution depend to a large extent on dialogue between the unions, the government and other parties involved. The search for consensual solutions and a commitment to workers’ rights are crucial elements in overcoming this crisis and avoiding a prolonged impact on rail service.
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Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.
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