Wednesday, December 8

Unions and employers reach a preliminary agreement to end the metal strike in Cádiz

After 10 hours of negotiations throughout this Wednesday, the unions UGT and CCOO and the employer’s association of the metal have reached an agreement principle after nine days of strike. They have not yet left the meeting and, as a union source explains, “nothing has been signed.” However, union sources have confirmed this pre-agreement. Afterwards, the text with the details (which is being drafted) will have to be ratified with the workers’ assemblies. Moncloa sources affirm that in the last stages of the negotiation, the Minister of Industry Reyes Maroto has been involved to achieve consensus between the parties.

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However, there are the nine days of strike in which a people fed up with so much job insecurity have been shown. Nine days with barricades, informational pickets and conflicts with the police. The objective was to make the outrage of the workers clear from the outset and faith that it has been achieved because throughout the country they have become aware of the situation of the metal industry in Cádiz and the province in general.

After some general stoppages in the form of a warning, the indefinite strike began on the 16th. The first days were marked by the mobilizations in the Avenida de Astilleros de Cádiz. One of the main arteries of the city was collapsed and, with it, the traffic of a good part of the Cadiz capital. It was becoming very clear that things were very serious. It was no longer about concentrations in the vicinity of the plants of large companies in the area. There was a firm intention to be noticed.

It was a strike that affected the auxiliary companies, which had been pursuing a new agreement for three years. One with better conditions and that, in addition, it is fulfilled. The workers had bared their teeth and it remained to be seen the performance of the majority unions, CCOO and UGT, which were under suspicion by some of the SMEs after their performance in the negotiation of the closure of the Airbus plant in Puerto Real.

The turn of the events, with daily altercations, caused the Ministry of Employment, Training and Autonomous Work of the Junta de Andalucía to request a meeting between the unions and the FEMCA (Federation of Metal Entrepreneurs of the province of Cádiz). On Wednesday 17 there was the first meeting between the parties with the autonomous body as arbitrator of the contest. The positions were far apart, as much as in the months of previous conversations.

The first proposal of the employers offered a period of validity from 2021 to 2024, with a salary increase of 2% each year (in the case of 2021 retroactively from June 1) except in 2024, which would be 2.25%. At the end of this interval, if the CPI had been higher than these percentages, The difference between the rise in the cost of living and the salary increase would be paid in a single payment.

A second proposal was then launched, with one year less valid, until 2023. In this case, a salary increase of 2% would be collected in each fiscal year. By maintaining the unions as a requirement the annual review of the salary tables, The mediators launched their own proposal with an increase of 1.5% to be applied in 2021, rising to 1.75% in 2022 and 2023. All the options were rejected by the workers’ representatives, who wanted an agreement of only two years , with the requirement that the increase in the real CPI be transferred to the salary tables each year.

The first week of the strike did not clarify the situation and the second began with the feeling that the police forces were not going to allow access to Cádiz to be cut off. Workers began to denounce “indiscriminate” charges on Monday and the El Río San Pedro neighborhood became the epicenter of the clashes, near the Dragados and Navantia Puerto Real factories. The tanks appeared and the image circulated throughout the country.

It seemed clear that the forces of order had intensified their actions and it was demonstrated in the demonstration on Tuesday, which was more crowded and more rugged than last Saturday.

In parallel, there have been five negotiation meetings. Five of them with a break between the attendees and clear disagreement. It seems that after this extremely long sixth meeting, with the mediation of the Board, the light is seen at the end of the tunnel.

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