Strikes in Spanish Railways


On 31 March 2010, workers in the Spanish public railway companies Renfe-Operadora (public transport operator) and ADIF (infrastructure administrator) carried out a 24 hour strike.The strike was organised by the Federal Railway Union of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), a radical anarchist influenced union.

From 2005, when the government segregated the old public  company called RENFE into two different companies (the operator and the infrastructure administrator), both the working conditions and the service to citizens have deteriorated drastically.

This is a consequence of policies focussed on maximising profits so as to prepare the railway for its privatisation: private capital wants to take control of the public services, once it has been “reorganised”, leaving workers with reduced rights as well as only maintaining the more profitable services.

The conflict arose in Renfe-Operadora is a professional reclassification implemented without the participation of workers. This saw the abolishment of professional groups and the creation of a triple wage system, as well as an increasing deregulation of the working hours, all of which are accompanied by discriminatory treatment of the different working categories of staff.

One of the worst affected professional groups is the high speed train drivers, whose category is going to be dissolved according to the company’s plans. These workers are going to begin their strikes, organized by CGT, from 11th March to 30th June.

In ADIF workers are suffering a stealthy dismantling of the public company, with unilateral adjustments of the working conditions. There are also conflicts in the passenger’s stations without any intention from the company or the Ministry to find a solution.

Both enterprises have played dirty to try to hinder the Strike. RENFE-Operator Direction obtained an agreement with a minority of the workers in the corporatist train driver union and the UGT in the early hours of the eve of the strike..

 The company also tried to conceal from the public and the press the existence of the Strike. ADIF Direction claimed not to accept the skeleton services imposed by the Ministry and threatened to fire the workers that were fulfilling their duties.

CGT intends to continue fighting either alone or with those unions willing to fight against the privatization of public services and against the deregulation of the labour laws.



Sindicato Federal Ferroviario de la CGT

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter