New transport strike in Spain called off for the time being

by Lorraine Williamson
transport strike averted

MADRID – The delegation in Córdoba of the Platform for the Defence of Transport decided on Sunday not to strike again for the time being. The transporters want to work together with the government on a definitive Transport Chain Act. 

This law, the draft of which has already been drawn up, must ensure that carriers no longer have to operate below cost levels. Miguel Barrero, the spokesman for the platform in Córdoba, explained to that during the meeting the carriers learned that the draft law prohibits the sector from operating below the cost of any cargo. 

Bill to be revised 

However, he added that the presented text still needs to be revised. To do this properly, the ministry has set up a working group. The platform is part of this working group and therefore has put trust in the government to work it out together. Moreover, the doors to negotiations would have been closed anyway if the platform had gone through with its strike plans. 

If no agreement is reached, a new strike is not excluded 

Barrero emphasises that if the ministry does not comply with these wishes, a new transport strike cannot be ruled out. 

This new strike threat comes almost three months after the last transport strike that paralysed much of Spain’s freight transport. At this time, supply problems arose in many parts of Spain. And, consequently, supermarkets also received fewer products. This led to consumer hoarding behaviour, as a result of which the shelves in countless supermarkets were empty for days. 

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Package of support measures 

After this mobilisation, the government and the carriers reached an agreement. This included a package of support measures of €1 billion. One of the most notable measures is the bonus of 20 cents per litre of fuel, as well as other forms of tax support. However, the sector’s main demand remains unfulfilled. They want the government to regulate and prohibit loss-making work by law. 

The sector points out that “the decision to operate at a loss rests with the transport companies themselves”. After all, they decide to provide a service to a customer at an already agreed price. 

Vulnerable role of the self-employed in the sector 

The problem is that large companies and transport organisations are faced with the self-employed who are often forced to take on contracts that are loss-making in the face of rising fuel prices because of the fierce competition and in order not to lose their customers and market. 

The platform represents 85% of the sector in Spain. About 7,500 freelancers with about 10,500 trucks are included. 

The other transport organisations, such as Fenadismer, which is represented in Córdoba by Usintra, do not consider it necessary to take any pressure measures for the time being, as there is a commitment to have the above law before July 30. 

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