The strike and the mobilizations of the carriers has reached its tenth day with factories and stores at half gas due to the lack of products and raw materials, after the large companies in the agri-food sector have warned about the possible lack of supplies to continue their activity if there is no agreement between the Government and the organizations that They maintain unemployment despite the Government’s proposal to discount diesel with 500 million euros.
The Government meeting with the National Transport Committee, which was scheduled for next Friday, it has been brought forward Finally this Thursday. The meeting with the representatives of the sector, among which the platform calling for the strikes is not, will be attended by the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, and the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, who will bring concrete proposals and will not leave the table, According to sources to TVE, until there is an agreement.
The Minister of Transport has said, in statements to journalists in the corridors of Congress, that ctrusts in an agreement with the carriers and that they will do “everything possible” to reach an agreement. “We are not concerned about anything other than that,” he said.
At the meeting, which will be this Thursday at 11:30 with the carrier associations, Fenadismer has also advanced that “it will not leave the table” until the “effective aid measures that carriers need” are specified to compensate uncontrolled increases in fuel prices.
However, the platform calling for the strikes has already warned in recent days that they will not cease their protests until the minister sits down with them to negotiate.
Unemployment costs 130 million a day to the food sector
The indefinite strike of road freight carriers has a cost for supermarket chains of 130 million daily, according to what the main organizations that represent the food chain have assured in a press conference. The representatives of the Agro-Alimentary Cooperatives, the industry (FIAB and Aecoc), the distribution employers’ associations (Anged, Asedas and Aces) and Hospitality of Spain, have recognized that the protest has caused supply problems and that once it is called off, even It will take days to get back to normal.
Large companies in the food sector have already been forced to interrupt their manufacturing processes and temporarily close its plants due to lack of supply such as Calvo, Azucarera, Cuétara, Dcoop, JaenCoop, Agrosevilla or feed factories. Others such as Danone, Estrella de Galicia or Heineken-Cruzcampo have announced that they will have to do so soon if the strike persists.
At the moment, the company Danone has already stopped one of its dairy factories in Spain due to the lack of raw materials, while two others are at risk of closure. A water factory has also stopped.
The Government, “convinced” that there will be an agreement this week
Shortly before knowing the advance of the meeting with the representatives of the sector, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has been convinced in his response to the PP spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, in the control session of the Government in Congress, what this week The Executive will reach an agreement with the transport sector to “cushion the rise in the price of fuels, especially diesel” and “to make together a great plan that responds to the consequences of the war in Ukraine and to approve it on March 29”, he added.
Sánchez said later, at a press conference on the occasion of his visit to the autonomous city of Ceuta, that is “convinced” that they are going to reach an agreement because the government “has all the will“, understands the demands of the sector and is going to do “everything that is” in his power and that this Thursday they are not going to get up until an agreement is reached “that is possible, feasible by the Spanish authorities and sustainable from the point of view of from a financial point of view and, above all, adapted to the needs and urgencies of such an important sector”.
For her part, the Minister of Transport, said when asked in the control session in Congress about the situation of the transport sector by the PP deputy, Andrés Lorite, that the Government is “sensitive” and has attended “in numerous occasions” to the National Committee for Road Transport, and that thanks to this it has reached “historic agreements” included in a royal decree law approved last week. “The most carriers are working“, assured the minister, although “many could not last week because there were violent incidents”, and she mentioned that stones and sticks were thrown, trailers were burned and wheels were punctured.
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, admitted this Tuesday, in an interview on RNE, “concern” in the Government for the transport stoppage and demanded “empathy” to reach an agreement through dialogue that serves to “return to normality as soon as possible”, after the Executive reached an “important agreement” in the National Land Transport Council that “It has not been ratified by all the strike carriers”, so they will continue to “adopt measures” to “recover normality”.
Since the strike of the carriers began on March 14 until 8:00 a.m. this Wednesday, the National Police and the Civil Guard have 61 people arrested and 445 investigated or reported in recorded incidents. In addition, they have escorted 5,757 carrier convoys.
Carriers march along the roads of the main cities
The president of the National Platform for the Defense of Transport, the organization that called the strikes to which other employers have joined, Manuel Hernández, defended this Wednesday on Facebook that the carriers who support the strike that is putting agri-food distribution in check are “very close to achieving their goals“.
Carriers and other groups affected by the rise in fuels march again this Wednesday in multiple demonstrations called throughout the Spanish geography. ANDn Barcelona, together with farmers and taxi drivers, have staged a slow march, from the airport to the Parlament, through the main streets of the city. Around 300 taxis and 6 truck tractors, according to the Urban Guard, according to Efe, have demonstrated causing traffic problems throughout the morning.
Near a thousand carriers with their trucks have staged a slow march this morning in Madrid from the Wanda Metropolitano stadium which has slowed down traffic on the M40.
The trade union organizations CC.OO., UGT, UPTA, Uatae, Facua and the State Confederation of Neighborhood Associations (CEAV) have also called for demonstrations throughout Spain to protest against the rise in energy prices. The general secretary of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, interviewed in La Hora de La 1, has called the carriers who support the strike to “responsibility” and the Government “to negotiation”.
Meanwhile, the fishermen’s brotherhoods have not gone out to fish since Monday precisely, also because of the rise in fuel prices. The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, and the organizations of the fishing sector are going to address this Wednesday in a meeting, the measures to face the crisis due to the rise in diesel, within the strike called by the National Federation of Fishing Associations (FNCP) to protest profitability problems.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.