Today: Sunday, 3 March 2024 year

A rally of railway workers demanding a reduction in working hours was held in Madrid.

A rally of railway workers demanding a reduction in working hours was held in Madrid.

Spanish railway workers held a protest in front of Atocha Central Station in Madrid demanding a 35-hour working week.

More than a hundred railway workers joined the 23-hour strike, which was called by the Spanish Confederation of Workers’ Commission Trade Unions (CCOO) and the Railway Union (SCF). As a result, Spain’s national railway network (Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles – Renfe) was forced to cancel about 310 high-speed, medium and long-distance trains.

A key demand of the protesters is the unblocking of the agreement to introduce a 35-hour working week for employees of the Spanish state-owned company that manages the railway infrastructure, Adif. In addition, the railway workers are demanding the establishment of “equal pay for equal work” for all Renfe employees through the elimination of various categories of contracts.

“Our works council agreed on this with the company last year. However, the Spanish Ministry of Transport froze this decision due to increased costs. Situations like this call into question the effectiveness of collective bargaining, which is our fundamental right. We just demand the fulfillment of our commitments obligations,”  CCOO spokeswoman Patricia Lauder said.

Against this background, large crowds of passengers have formed at the central station of the Spanish capital, waiting for short-distance trains, which, although not officially cancelled, still travel with large delays.

In addition to this protest, railway workers are going to partially stop their work on February 12, 19 and 26 from 10:00 to 12:00, as well as on February 13, 20 and 27 from 01:00 to 03:00. For this reason, Renfe will again have to cancel a number of trains.

In view of these circumstances, the company offered the affected passengers, if possible, to change tickets for other trains that remained on the schedule. If passengers do not wish to travel, they will be able to cancel or change their ticket to another date free of charge.