The workers of the Barcelona cleaning and garbage service threaten a strike in the city from September 21 to 26, coinciding with the La Mercè festivities, the patron saint of the Catalan capital.
Strikes grow 20% with inflation triggered at the gates of the wage battle
UGT, the majority union in the four companies into which the contract is divided, denounces that the workers have not received the salary increases for 2021 and part of 2022, payments that should have been made last July.
“Officially, we have no record of anything. In practice, the companies and the City Council pass the ball, but we cannot let it go”, explained the president of the Federation of Public Services of the UGT, Ramon Cebrián in statements to Beteve.
The strike, which has already been called by the union, would last the five days that Barcelona’s festival continues. The date has been chosen “intentionally” to make “more noise”. Cebrián has recalled that the workers have been threatening this mobilization since August, if the payment of salary increases was not made effective, something that “had never happened”.
From UGT they have assured that “we do not want to do it [la huelga]” and has recalled that there is still room to cancel it, if the payments are made during this month.
Otherwise, Barcelona would be involved in the first garbage collection strike for 40 years. In 1982 the workers stopped the services due to a lack of understanding with one of the concessionaire companies. That strike was resolved quickly, in part, because a few months earlier, in February 1981, the workers had been on strike for 12 days due to the lack of agreement between the workers and the concessionaire on salary conditions.
After almost two weeks and tons of garbage not collected, the strike was settled after an agreement that meant a wage increase of 14% and three more days of holidays for the workers.
Last year, in April 2021, Barcelona was about to break the long streak of decades without strikes in the sector due to the freezing of workers’ salary tables, which have been in place since 2018. Then, an agreement in extremis prevented the strike, which had been called for a duration of five days.