National rail strike in Spain on track for end of September

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RED LIGHT: The rail network could grind to a halt

SPAIN’S largest trade union has called a national strike across the country’s rail network on 29 September – and it could coincide with strike action that is due to hit all Spanish airports on the same day.

The  CC.OO.  union that represents workers at the train operator Renfe and infrastructure company Adif is calling for more jobs and better pay.

The national strike will be from 0:00 am to 11:00 pm on 29 September and could affect local, regional and the high-speed AVE network.

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The union  has denounced both companies saying they have staffs so small that it is detrimental to service and the safety of trains as well as a deterioration of infrastructures and rolling stock due to lack of maintenance.

Manuel Nicolás Taguas, general secretary of the CC.OO., railway sector, explained that the union “has no other choice” as talks with the  Ministry of Public Works,  Renfe and Adif have hit the buffers.

According to data from the union, the two public companies total a total of 26,000 workers, compared to the 32,000 they had in 2005.

The union say, “Almost 6,000 jobs have been lost that will have to be recovered if the rail quality standards in Spain are to be maintained” 

At the end of July, Renfe had to cancel a total of 274 AVE and Medium and Long Distance trains as a result of the strike called by the CGT union.

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