MADRID – The indefinite carrier strike in Spain entered its ninth day on Tuesday. New employers have come forward to join the strike that is causing problems in the supply chain of mainly food and petrol.
More truck drivers are temporarily laying down their jobs despite the support the government promised the sector on Monday worth €500 million for the purchase of fuel.
Among the new employers joining the strike and mobilisations is Fenadismer. That is the main association of carriers, which calls for more specific measures to alleviate the situation in which workers in the sector find themselves. According to the general secretary, Juan José Gil, the carriers will only reconsider their position if the government specifies the announced support measures.
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The president of the Association of the Self-Employed (ATA) Lorenzo Amor, interviewed on TVE 24 Hours, denounces the fact that after eight days of strike and “protest by thousands of independent carriers and three marathon meetings” the government left Monday morning “without any specific proposal” and that in the afternoon it suddenly offered €500 million in aid “without specifying anything”. That is why the strike continues.
On the other hand, the president of the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport (CETM), Ovidio de la Roza, believes there are no reasons to continue the strike. According to him, “the vast majority of the demands made have already been resolved through the December agreements published in the Government Gazette on March 2. At the same time, he believes that the measure taken by the government is progress, but closer should be specified.
The marches of truck drivers will continue to spread throughout Spain this Tuesday. Fifty carriers in Barcelona support the strike indefinitely. They focus on the entrances to the port. Sources there explain that the pickets make it impossible for approaching trucks to enter the port area.
54 people arrested and 399 incidents
Since the transport strike started on March 14, the National Police and the Guardia Civil have arrested 54 people and investigated a further 399 in connection with incidents. In addition, they escorted 4,519 truck convoys, the Interior Ministry reported. This also included a convoy between León and Brugos with humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The loads consisted of personal hygiene products, medical supplies, warm clothing, and non-perishable food.
A new meeting between government and carriers on Friday
Next Friday, Transport Minister Sánchez hopes to meet again with the employers’ organisation and the unions to further specify the amount of aid. She reiterated that the Platform for the Defense of Road Freight Transport, the initiator of the strikes, is a minority “that has tried to escalate, blocked work and caused a lot of crisis and tension”.
Prime Minister calls on carriers to resume their work
Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez urged the carriers to resume their activities on Monday. This was after he announced a fuel price cut for them at the meeting with the National Transport Commission (CNTC).
The complicated situation at hand
Meanwhile, Minister Planas of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food have warned that the transport strike threatens the food supply in agriculture. He foresees a complicated situation if the sector and government do not agree quickly. “The government has made a very solid offer to respond to the problems of the transport sector. Furthermore, a good constructive attitude is needed from all of us,” Planas said in an interview with Cadena SER.
Mainly shortages due to hoarding behaviour
According to Planas, despite some “incidents”, the wholesale markets are still “almost normal!” and there is only an “occasional” shortage of products in the supermarkets. A defect that is not only the result of the strike but also because consumers have bought up to 20% more.
Representatives of farmers in Castilla-La Mancha asked for minimum services for feed carriers. According to them, this should be regarded as a basic need. They demand urgent solutions. The feed is running out, the animals are stuck on their farms and the situation is “painful” and “desperate”.
Dairy industry and carrier strike
Sources from the National Federation of Dairy Industries call the operation of the factories “very critical”. This qualification applies to Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, the Region of Murcia, and Andalucia. They told this to Efeagro. The supply here is below the “minimum”. The company Lactalis has called on “dialogue so as not to let the situation get worse”.