Truckers: Nobody at the wheel | To live | Great Reports

The transporters’ strike puts the brakes on. The National Road Transport Committee (CNTC) and the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda They have reached an agreement in principle that has led to the cancellation of the strike scheduled for December 20, 21 and 22. This strike, announced last November, threatened the supply of many products for next Christmas. Thousands of transporters had planned to stop to make visible the battered working conditions they have suffered for years. Theirs is a mistreated trade that demands dignity and respect.

The swords have been raised for several weeks but, finally, the bosses have managed to stabilize the price of diesel in transport contracts, the prohibition of loading and unloading by the driver or the reduction of waiting times , among other claims. An important step that, in principle, improves the conditions of a vital sector for our economic activity. Road transport contributes about 5% of the Gross Domestic Product National (GDP). After the agreement many self-employed drivers or employees of small companies are cautious, it remains to be seen how their demands will materialize.

In To live we have talked to Soraya, with Call and with Oscar, three carriers with a lot of road behind them. All three are autonomous. In your day-to-day, there is no shortage of endless days of work, between driving, waiting, loading and unloading. “You know what time you start working but hardly ever when you finish “they explain. A solitary job that also involves spending many days away from home sleeping in the cab of the truck or in any makeshift hotel. “I have missed many moments with my family and the childhood of my children. They are things that do not return “Oscar, the most veteran, comments nostalgically. Another of the problems that the sector has is the generational change, none of the three is surprised when asked this: “The salary you have left is ridiculous, how are young people going to want to work on this?”Chema laments. Nobody wants to be a truck driver anymore. There is no relay. In Europe, about half a million carriers will be needed in the coming years, the employer’s association estimates that in Spain about fifteen thousand will be needed. The sector recognizes that it is not an attractive job and, in the medium term, this can become a serious problem for the logistics sector and for national and international trade (90% of freight transport in Spain is carried out by road and 80% % of our exports to Europe are moved by trucks).

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“Although I am in this by vocation, the sector is getting worse”explains Soraya. The road is no longer just a man’s thing, she is a good example. A lover of trucks since she was little, it runs in the family, she got her license when she was very young and since then she has not stopped driving all over Spain and Europe. “I told my father that to be happy I wanted to drive a truck. It was always very clear to me “. In Spain, only 14% of carriers are women and, although there are more and more, it is still a sector where there is an overwhelming majority of men. Hard, lonely and poorly paid work drives many out of this profession.

A few hours after the agreement between the employer and the Government, Soraya, Chema and Óscar continue to make miles and miles of roads. They continue working, completely dedicated to a job they love, hoping that the situation in the sector will definitely improve.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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