Updated on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 – 02:04
Yesterday the strike collapsed part of the Cercanas de Madrid network
Several passengers transit the Cercanas de Madrid-Atocha station during a day of unemployment of the Renfe driversFERNANDO VILLAREFE
The Renfe machinists’ strike has already crossed its equator Without any signs of finding a short-term solution, because yesterday, the fourth day of unemployment, the breaches that Renfe made some workers of the minimum services caused a collapse in the Cercanas de Madrid network to the point that the company recommended to travelers who chose alternative routes.
The fear is that if the tension continues to rise, may affect mobility on the Pilar bridge, since for Thursday and Friday (departure) and Monday and Tuesday there are more stoppages planned. Those of Friday, Monday and Tuesday, in addition, are 24 hours.
At first these days there have been no problems with the AVE and long distance trains, because the minimum services “have been fulfilled 100%”, explain Renfe sources, who trust that there will be no problems, despite the chaos generated yesterday, the same day that the convening union, Semaf, announced a rapprochement in the dialogue with the company.
For Medium Distance trains an average of 65% of the usual services had been established, and for High Speed and Long Distance, 72%.
Since the start of the strike, the tension has increased. The company accuses the drivers of not coming to their post and neglecting minimal services. On the other hand, the union first said that the workers had not received the corresponding notifications, and now they insist that the employees in charge of executing these services are complying with it.
Two weeks of unemployment
Last week the problems were in Catalonia and Valencia, and to a lesser extent in Madrid. Yesterday it was the Community’s turn. Travelers who were at the Cercanas de Sol station even had to be evicted before noon as the trains could not be operated due to non-compliance with minimum services. Emoresa and the union have apologized to the users affected by the conflict.
According to Renfe, the machinists who had to cover the minimum services they are not reporting to their posts, that makes their trains do not leave the head and, therefore, do not let the next ones enter, thus causing congestion in the tunnels. Some trains had to stay in the middle of the track. Renfe even recommended that users use alternative means of transport, except on the C-5 line (Mstoles El Soto-Atocha-Fuenlabrada-Humanes).
It was the fourth strike day of the eight total. Yesterday Semaf, who represents 85% of these workers, pointed out that “a dialogue has been opened, which we hope will bear fruit and the management will be pleased to convene the Strike Committee”, the body established to resolve the situation. Semaf insists that drivers required to perform minimum services have reported to their posts.
Last week scenes of chaos were experienced and 400 trains were suspended on Thursday and another as many on Friday for these breaches. They claimed that they had not been informed, something that the company denies. In fact, this weekend Renfe has sent more than 9,000 notifications through registered letters and burofax to make sure workers receive notices. Some of those who failed to comply with services last week have already been filed for serious misconduct.
Their claim is not salary nor do they ask for an improvement in their working conditions. They denounce that trains have been suppressed with the excuse of Covid that they have not yet recovered and that there is employment that has not been filled. They also claim integration in the provision of services by Renfe, to avoid their possible transfer to the Generalitat.
In addition to yesterday’s strike, there are partial summons for Thursday (from 12:00 to 16:00 and from 18:00 to 22:00), another 24 hours for Friday, coinciding with the operation from the Puente del Pilar. Monday and Tuesday the 24-hour stoppages continue.
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