Little support from the sector for transport strike Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
transport sector strike

MADRID – After Wednesday afternoon trade association Fenadismer openly opposed the planned strike by carriers in Spain and thus joined employers’ organisations CEOE, Ata and Cepyme, Fetransa are now also dropping out. It seems there is little support for the transport sector strike.

Together, these organisations represent tens of thousands of SMEs and the self-employed in the transport sector. The resistance represents another setback for the Platform for the Defense of Freight Transport, which has announced an employers’ strike by carriers from next Monday, November 14. 

Transport sector strike is loosing support

The consultation of industry associations and companies affected by the cessation of transport from November 14 is growing. CEOE, Cepyme and Ata launched a strong joint statement opposing the employers’ strike. They believe that the legislative measures taken do not justify the pressure measurement. Now the Spanish Federation of Discretionary Freight Transport (Fetransa) joins this opposition by not supporting the strike. 

The strike will cause “irreparable damage” 

Fetransa believes that this strike will lead nowhere. Furthermore, it will cause “irreparable” damage to the sector, the economy and society as a whole. The platform led by Manuel Hernández thus remains unsupported. In a statement, the federation explains the strike is trying to lead the smaller transport companies to a “dead end”. A road that will only lead to “frustration” and “disillusionment”. 

In their opposition, they consider it particularly serious that the sector is again called for an indefinite strike promoted by this platform and its spokesman. They believe that Hernández contradicts himself by criticising the government’s royal decree of August on economic sustainability measures in the transport sector. 

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Fetransa opposes Manuel Hernández 

“Either he doesn’t understand the rules he claims to have negotiated, or he’s just seeking conflict for the sake of conflict,” the federation notes. Fetransa calls for respect for the rights of all carriers. The organisation again insists that carriers cannot be forced into another indefinite strike like the one in March 2022. 

The platform finds measures insufficient 

Unlike Fenadismer and the Spanish Freight Transport Confederation, the Platform Defense for Freight Transport is not part of the National Committee for Road Transport (CNTC), the representative body of the sector. By laying down their work for an indefinite period, the platform asks them not to work at a loss. According to them, the government’s promise to reduce transport costs is not being fulfilled. 

Which measures? 

Among the various measures that the government has taken and negotiated with the platform – especially the self-employed – is the law that should prevent carriers from operating at a loss. In addition, there is the measure of 20 cents per litre discount on fuel and a new package of €450 million in direct aid to carriers. 

The situation for the sector has improved with measures 

Fetransa represents more than 30,000 SMEs and freelancers in the transport sector, representing more than 60,000 vehicles. Fetransa believes that the sector is not in the same “critical” situation as it was at the beginning of the year due to the increase in fuel prices. This led to the Platform calling a 20-day strike, which Fetransa did comply with at the time. Now the organisation is convinced that the measures taken after the work stoppage have enabled the carriers to increase their rates. In addition, they make use of bonuses and direct support to compensate for the increase in fuel prices. It is hoped that these measures will be extended by the government from January. 

Minister: “Nobody wants a strike” 

Meanwhile, Minister Raquel Sánchez of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda is confident that the Platform will eventually rectify. The minister urges the government to do everything it can to fulfil its obligations to the sector. She expressed her respect for the mobilisation but emphasised “no one wants a strike” that will harm the road freight sector itself and the whole of Spanish society. 

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