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Carriers call off strikes scheduled for Christmas Eve

Carriers will not go on strike on Christmas Eve. The Committee and the Ministry of Transport have reached an agreement “in extremis” this Friday, so the employers' strike that was set between Monday and Wednesday of next week is suspended. This was announced this Friday by the National Road Transport Committee (CNTC) after reaching an agreement with the negotiating part of the ministry that has promised to resolve some of the requests of the sector. Among them, the prohibition of the driver's participation in loading and unloading operations, “the sector's historic claim to benefit the working conditions of its workers.”

In the same way, the carriers highlight that they have also agreed to halve waiting times, after which the carrier will be entitled to compensation, as well as the treatment to be given to drivers at loading centers and download.

Along the same lines of achievements, the department headed by Raquel Sánchez, has committed to the CNTC to incorporate in an “imperative” way into the Law, the clause for stabilizing the price of diesel in transportation contracts, “without the possibility of an agreement otherwise”. On the other hand, Transport and the sector have agreed on the non-implementation of tolls for heavy transport without reaching a prior agreement with the Committee.

Finally, regarding the possible increase in the load capacity of trucks, “any modification will be made progressively and only in certain transport specialties, always with the participation of the CNTC, a measure adopted in the interests of sustainability and efficiency and as a manifestation of the transport sector's commitment to improving the environment. “

All these measures had been demanded by the sector in recent months, but until now they had been rejected by Transport. Reason why the strikes had been called at the gates of Christmas. After six meetings with the representatives of the Ministry, the talks have finally forged.

“Our sector has been demanding government intervention for years to balance the playing field between transport companies and customers who hire their services, so that the former can stop the erosion of their margins that is imposed by supervening costs such as increases in income. fuel or introduction of new rates. To this end, it was necessary to achieve an urgent modification of the regulations, as has been agreed “, points out Marcos Basante, president of the International Road Transport Association (Astic), who adds that” in the same way, it was necessary to radically end the habitual imposition that professional drivers perform, in addition to their work, that of warehouse waiters in the loading and unloading areas. The Ministry has well understood that this is a serious problem that also required urgent regulatory changes “.

This agreement can help other sectors such as agriculture to negotiate and follow the same path.

Criticisms from the distribution

The agreement reached by the carriers has not been well received at all in some sectors. The Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (Aecoc), which had been critical in recent weeks with the carriers for the strikes called, regretted yesterday that the loading companies “have been excluded from the dialogue and negotiation table.” Especially because of “the great impact that a large part of the measures that were part of the negotiation have for them,” such as the elimination of the driver's participation in the loading and unloading processes.

“While waiting to know the details of the agreement reached, which we will analyze in detail, it is important to continue working from a collaboration model that ensures the competitiveness and productivity of the sector, especially in the current context of economic recovery”, they have added from Aecoc in a statement.

In any case, the distribution positively values ​​the suspension of strikes, “which would have caused irreparable damage to companies and the economy as a whole.” Although they send a message to the carriers when remembering “that the companies in the sector have been forced to incur high costs after having to advance their supply of products that could perfectly have been avoided.”

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