Workers say 'yes' to new deal and call off refuse collection strike
Limasa workers called off their strike on Friday lunchtime after a deal made with the city hall was accepted by the workforce. The end to the strike comes after eleven days in which rubbish from homes and businesses piled up on the streets.
An eight-hour meeting at the city hall ended in the early hours of Friday morning with the announcement of a deal that was approved by the Limasa workforce at an assembly later that day.
An immediate start to the clean-up operation was announced and the city is expected to be back to normal by Wednesday, in plenty of time for the Holy Week processions.
Limasa employees started an indefinite strike on Tuesday 1 March, demanding a return to the working conditions employees enjoyed under the 2010 work statute. These include a productivity bonus, every weekend off, the option to work on public holidays (140 euros per day) and a Christmas hamper worth 68 euros.
Negotiations have been ongoing and the deadlock looked to be broken when an agreement negotiated between the union representatives and company, represented by the city council, was reached last weekend. However, this was rejected by the workforce on Monday night.
Despite the concessions awarded by the council in their negotiations, the workers have said the strike will go on until all of their demands have been met. These now include being able to work overtime to make up for their loss of earnings during the strike.
However, mayor Francisco de la Torre maintained his stance. He said on Wednesday:“We are not going to relinquish anything else. We have met almost 100 per cent of the demands.”
Support for mayor
This provoked a demonstration outside the City Hall on Wednesday as more than 300 people gathered to condemn the “mafia” and show their support for the mayor who added:“The people feel that the city is being blackmailed. We hope that they will see sense.”
The state of the rubbish in some parts of the city has seriously impeded pedestrian right of way, forcing people to walk into traffic. In other areas, containers were set on fire, with around twenty on Monday night alone. At time of writing the total exceeded 150.
On Tuesday, this threat to public safety led the council to contract a private waste management company to carry out collections in the most-affected areas (the city centre, Cruz del Humilladero and Carretera de Cádiz). By Friday, the collections were to become compulsory for health and hygiene reasons, weakening the workers’ stance.
A committee representing Limasa called this measure “gravely irresponsible and a provocation to Limasa’s workers”.
Some of the vehicles carrying out these collections needed a police escort as some Limasa employees tried to prevent them from doing their work.
Last week, minimum services were imposed on Limasa employees by the Junta de Andalucía who decreed that 50 per cent of the rubbish in the city centre should be removed and 40 per cent elsewhere. However, these demands were not met, with workers complaining of faults with vehicles.
Meanwhile, the rubbish has been piling up on the city’s streets at a rate of 500 tonnes a day.source surinenglish