Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Huge Spanish Passenger and Freight Transport Disruptions This Week

Biggest Unions Announce Crippling Strike
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – A General Strike has been called for the 29th March which will see mass demonstrations crippling city centres and air freight and passenger flights ‘significantly disrupted’. That is the outlook according to the UK Foreign Office after the country’s two biggest unions announced their intentions to bring public transport and other services to a halt.

The stoppage is timed to precede what is believed will be the most austere Spanish budget ever announced one day later when the newly elected Conservative administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy instigates economic measures he himself has called 'very, very stringent’. It is widely expected to mean €50 billion+ reductions in outgoings, with public sector workers subject to pay freezes and privatisations plus social spending cuts across the board.

Following the vote to strike by the two top unions, Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) and Comisiones Obreras (CCOO)the entire country is likely to down tools as with unemployment running at close to 25%, most of whom are young adults, there will be no shortage of bodies on the street to protest and everything from public transport to manufacturing affected. The logistics sector will of course suffer with factories closed and sporadic action expected across ports and airports but additionally comes the news that pilots of Iberia will hold their own stoppages from the 9th April every Monday and Friday for at least a month to protest the launch of budget airline Iberia Express.

The series of industrial actions, no matter how large, are unlikely to divert a Government which has been instructed to cut expenditure or there will be no more money to prop up the country’s economy which is in such desperate straits.