MADRID – With the constant price increases, more and more people in Spanish society are having a hard time. In a country that pays relatively low salaries, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many groups to make ends meet. Therefore, strikes and the threat of a strike are the next stages.
In many industries, high inflation driving up the cost of living for workers and companies’ refusal to match salaries are creating a lot of stress in the workplace.
The collective ‘riders’ are also threatening a strike. The riders in Spain condemn the violation of the law passed by the government in 2021 that regulates their work. Despite this, they suffer daily under the conditions of this work and if nothing changes, there will be a strike.
Moreover, almost all delivery drivers work as bogus self-employed, and there is no registration of working hours. Furthermore, they are subject to extreme uncertainty and have problems with the maintenance of their vehicles. The biggest platforms in this area are Uber and Glovo. If the riders want to organise themselves in a union, they are fired. “What we’re asking is to be recognised as direct employees of the company,” said one of them.
Strike of healthcare workers in Madrid
Health workers from public hospitals in Madrid have taken to the streets to denounce the “high temporality” in the public health system in Madrid (Sermas). They further complain that their experience and specialisation are not taken into account when handing out permanent jobs.
The additional indefinite strike includes medical personnel, labour and officials providing services in public hospitals. According to the strikers, this is the only way the government may listen to them. They have stopped working since Tuesday morning. However, a minimum service provision has been agreed with the authorities. This is 50% among medical personnel. And, moreover, 100% in urgent sectors such as dialysis, emergency care, ICUs, oncology or operating rooms, among others.
Then there are the call centre employees on a ‘war path’ demanding a monthly salary of over €800. The CCOO and UGT unions have called for one day of strike per month for an indefinite period from 13 May. With an average salary of €800 per month, temporary contracts, part-time work and the obligation to always sound friendly and attentive on the phone, the situation for many call centre employees is untenable.
“Whoever calls us should know that the person on the other end of the line barely makes it to the end of the month,” the president of the UGT service federation said at a press conference on Tuesday. The unions are trying to break through the wages that have been frozen for two years in the collective labour agreement. About 120,000 workers are being called on to strike until the conflict is resolved.
Education strike in Catalonia
Education unions announce four strike days until the end of the course in Catalonia. Two strike days are mentioned – May 25 and June 9 – and two partial ones, May 17 and June 2. These follow five days of the strike last March. Of the list of demands presented by the unions, cutting the start of the school year forward by one week is one of them. As well as the new curricula and the model decree, the reversal of the austerity measures of ten years ago and the ministry defending linguistic ‘immersion’ and converting the temporary positions of many teachers into permanent jobs.