Will transport strikes be revived in Spain?

by Lorraine Williamson
Transport strike

The national leadership of Transport Platform, the umbrella organisation of the independent hauliers that caused logistical chaos across Spain in March, has voted ‘unanimously’ in favour of putting the brakes on trucking again. Therefore, more transport strikes could be looming.

The truckers say that the Spanish government is not keeping its part of the bargain. And, furthermore, that the new weight limit measure increases road insecurity for everyone. 

The Transport Platform is now issuing the following message: ‘This is why we say that at this time we cannot allow all these events to continue and hence the unanimous decision of the deputies to call an indefinite National Strike’  

Saturday will be decisive 

National Platform members will vote on Saturday, 5 November, at 5.00 pm. This will take place in 14 regional meetings across the country. And the outcome will decide on whether or not to endorse the national delegates’ decision and revive the transport strike in Spain. Organisers are calling for “maximum attendance” at the votes this weekend “because of the gravity of the situation”. 

What do carriers want? 

The transporters entered into negotiations with the government in April and an earlier proposal to resume the strike was rejected in late June. Now they argue that the Transport Ministry is not abiding by the agreements. 

According to them, the Ministry of Transport “is not taking the necessary measures to monitor and, where necessary, punish irregularities”. They accuse the Transport Inspectorate of ‘not putting pressure on this’. They also feel that, two months after it was agreed that transporters should not load their trucks, ‘there are already reprisals against drivers who do not accept the compulsion to keep unloading their trucks’. 

Lack of inspectors 

According to Plataforma, the Ministry has said there is ‘a lack of inspectors’. 

They warn of the danger on the road that would result from the adoption of a new maximum weight measure for trucks: the addition of four tonnes per truck, which ‘would mean a saving of one truck in six trucks for shippers’. They oppose regional tolls ‘when they already cannot cover the actual costs’. 

Much at stake 

During the national transport strike in March, employers in agriculture, transport and distribution estimated losses of €600 million. And a loss of 100,000 jobs. The president of the CEOE, the Spanish institution representing Spanish business. said in the spring that ‘we cannot allow the country to stand still’. Some car factories ceased production and there were serious problems in the fresh produce sector. 

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