Spain Set For Slow Lane As Truckers Plan Christmas Strike
Spain’s national haulage association announced last week a three day lorry strike which if goes ahead is likely to lead to widespread disruption of Christmas deliveries – including food.
The leaders of the CNTC association (Nacional del Transporte por Carretera) which represents lorry drivers Spain – many of whom are self employed – have accused both the government and supermarket clients of exploitative behaviour.
The drivers assocation claim to have been particulary badly hit by the recent rise in diesel prices which account for around 40% of driver costs, and has been described as the “deathblow to a sector that has been struggling since before the pandemic”.
The strike is due to run from midnight on December 19th to midnight on December 22nd. The dates are likely to disrupt supply chains and Christmas goods deliveries for the seasonal festivities.
Negotiations over a package of requests the association presented last year – including prohibiting drivers from loading and unloading merchandise, building safe rest areas and state support to offset rising fuel prices have broken down.
The CNTC released a press statement saying: “Our clients, in the present economic situation… profit from the dominance afforded to them by current regulation around road transport contracts, which itself is provoking a huge lack of professionals drivers in the face of degrading and inhuman conditions.”
The Transport Minister, Raquel Sánchez, played down the strike threat saying that: “I am convinced that through dialogue and agreement we will be able to overcome this crisis and avoid the strike that has been announced.”
The strike comes amid a widespread global shortage of haullage drivers which according to the Spanish newspaper ABC needs 15,000 drivers to make up the shortage in Spain.