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Carriers maintain the strike scheduled for before Christmas due to the stagnation of negotiations with the Government

The unemployment is maintained. This is the conclusion reached this Thursday by the Spanish Merchandise Transport Confederation (CETM) which, on the occasion of an Extraordinary General Assembly for the approval of accounts, has analyzed the call for a strike scheduled for days 20, 21 and December 22th. The association indicates in a statement that, despite the small advances in the negotiations with the Government, the situation that led the National Road Transport Committee (CNTC) to call the demonstration, in practice, remains the same.

The employer's association is currently in the dialogue phase with the Ministry of Transport to improve the working conditions of truckers. In a slow march of about thirty vehicles, these workers demonstrated this past Wednesday through the streets of Madrid under the slogan SOS: Transport says enough is enough for give visibility to the problems suffered by the road freight transport sector. Among them, a sharp rise in costs (especially fuel), which drivers find it difficult to pass on to customers.

Alejandro Ortega, manager of the company Transportes AOG & LRM, which has four vehicles and three employees, told EL PAÍS that every month he must take into account 1,300 euros more in expenses due to the increase in the price of diesel, which is added to workers' salaries and Social Security costs. Faced with this extra cost, this carrier has come to consider the possibility of stopping some of its trucks, since it has been working at a loss for months.

Among other demands, they also highlight the prohibition of loading and unloading vehicles and the construction of safe rest areas. According to the carriers themselves, the sector is mainly made up of small and self-employed companies that have little bargaining power, so in the end they are forced to give in to customer conditions. In the same way, according to the CETM statement, the possible imposition of tolls – another of the demands claimed by the distributors – “endangers the viability of transport companies and, consequently, the recovery of the Spanish economy.”

The associations of the sector are not throwing in the towel and neither are they giving up the battle for loss. They assure that they maintain the negotiating spirit, although at the moment a next meeting is not scheduled and they are waiting to receive a written proposal from the Executive that specifies and details the measures to protect the rights of these workers and thus achieve some progress towards reach a deal.

In the absence of initiative on the part of the Ministry, the truckers have agreed to maintain the planned cessation of activity before Christmas, which could hinder supplies on key days for the holidays. From the National Federation of Transport Associations of Spain (Fenadismer) they trust that before Monday the two parties will sit down again to negotiate, although, for now, “the only news is that there is no news.”

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This result is very far from the latest statements by the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, who has noted that the Government has already solved all the demands that the employers' association of transporters has requested through a package of ten measures. However, it has not yet specified details in this regard.

Roadside assistance will not be guaranteed during the days of the strike

The roadside assistance companies have warned that they will join the national strike scheduled between December 20 and 22, hence the breakdown assistance and vehicle repairs may be delayed or not be carried out during these days.

Currently, aid operators continue to go through very difficult times due to the economic crisis caused by increases in production costs and abuses in the imposition of service conditions by some of their suppliers. As reported by the Road Aid Companies network in a press release, these difficulties are putting the viability and development of their work at serious risk, “seriously affecting mobility and maintaining road safety on all public roads. ”.

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