Wed Jun 30th, 2010 at 06:05:44 AM EST
Originally published on June 29, 2010
|Metro prepara un plan con autobuses privados si los huelguistas deciden el paro indefinido · ELPAÍS.com||[The Madrid] Metro prepares a private bus plan in case strikers decide on an indefinite stoppage - ElPais.com|
|El consejero de Transportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, Jose Ignacio Echeverría, ha confirmado hoy que Metro de Madrid ha diseñado un plan de autobuses privados que cubrirían los recorridos de las líneas del metro si mañana los trabajadores deciden ir a la huelga indefinida a partir del 1 de julio. Hoy, los intentos de Metro de intentar abrir, con apoyo policial, la línea 8 del Metro de Madrid (de Nuevos Ministerios al aeropuerto de Barajas) fracasaron. Decenas de agentes antidisturbios se desplazaron pasadas las cuatro de la tarde a los andenes de estaciones de Nuevos Ministerios y de la Terminal 4, en Barajas, pero tras unas dos horas, la circulación no ha logrado restablecerse y los policías se han replegado. Los ciudadanos de Madrid han vivido una jornada de caos en los transportes por la huelga total de metro (sin servicios mínimos) ratificada anoche en asamblea sindical en respuesta al recorte salarial del 5% que ha aprobado el Gobierno regional.||The Transport Councillor of the Madrid Region, José Ignacio Echeverría, has confirmed today that Metro de Madrid has designed a private bus plan to cover the routes of metro lines if tomorrow the workers decide to go on an indefinite strike after July 1. Today, Metro's attempts to open, with police support, line 8 of the Madrid Metro (from Nuevos Ministerios to the Barajas airport) failed. Tens of riot police moved after 4 pm to the platforms at the Nuevos Ministerios and Barajas Terminal 4 stations but, after roughly 2 hours, traffic failed to be reestablished and the police have withdrawn. Madrid's citizens have lived a day of transport chaos due to the Metro general strike (without minimal services) ratified yesterday in a union assembly in reaction to the 5% wage cut approved by the regional government. |
|La Comunidad de Madrid asegura que el ministro del Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, ha telefoneado a Esperanza Aguirre para ofrecer el apoyo de su departamento. La Delegación del Gobierno (dependiente del Ministerio del Interior) ha desplegado 4.000 policías y guardias civiles -3.500 más que un día normal- en las instalaciones del metro para reforzar la seguridad por la huelga. Esta noche las autoridades analizarán si hay que aumentar la presencia policial de cara a mañana.||The Madrid Region claims that the Interior Minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has phoned [regional president] Esperanza Aguirre to offer his department's support. The Government Delegation (dependent from the Ministry of the Interior) deployed 4,000 police and guardia civil - 3,500 more than on a normal day - at the Metro facilities to reinforce security due to the strike. Tonight the authorities will analyse whether the police presence needs to be increased tomorrow.|
promoted by Jerome
Things are heating up in Spain as [Socialist Union] UGT says that the non-enforcement of the minimal services in the Metro strike is a warning for [next September's] General Strike
. As part of Zapatero's austerity programme, state employee salaries are to be cut by 5 to 10%. A couple of weeks ago a strike by state employees was rather unsuccessful, but still the Unions called a general strike in September. Today there was also a general strike in the Basque Country
, with some arrests and prosecutions reported after unrest
The government has also tightened the budget of regional and local governments, and these have reacted by copying the 5% wage cut policy. Today was the second of three days of strikes by the employees of the Madrid Metro. Under Spanish law, when there is a public sector strike the firm and the employees must negotiate a "minimal service" level. However, the unions claim that Metro de Madrid imposed an "abusive" 50% minimum service level, and the unions reacted by going for an all-out strike. The three-day strike was an attempt to force the hand of the Madrid government with the threat of an indefinite strike starting on the 4th day, July 1st. I'd say, given today's rhetoric, that the likelihood of the strike going on into July is quite high.
The situation was serious enough for the Ministry of the Interior to send riot police to try to break the pickets on the metro line linking the centre of town with the airport. It is very uncommon for Spanish authorities to attempt to use force to break strikes. The last instance of this was in 2008, when truckers blocked the roads around Madrid (see the diary Post Peak Iberia by Luis de Sousa). However, it's one thing to clear a road blockage and another thing to force people to work. While the clearing of the truckers was successful, today's attempt to open the Metro line to the airport wasn't.
I'm afraid social unrest can only get worse "going forward"...
Update [2010-6-30 14:58:30 by Migeru]: Today the workers' assembly decided to continue the strike with 50% service on Thursday and Friday, not strike over the weekend, and leave open the possibility of continuing the strike after Monday July 5...