Updated on Monday, 4 October 2021 – 13:35
The stoppages are not motivated by working conditions, but what they demand is that part of the workforce and the trains lost by Covid be recovered.
In the image, the North Station of Valencia during the second day of the Renfe machinists’ strike. BIEL ALIÑOEFEParos Live Renfe strike
The Renfe machinists’ strike that started on Thursday last week has done so with chaos, delays and crowds at the stations and an exchange of accusations between the calling union, Semaf, and the company. The strikes continue today, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday, and Monday and Tuesday of next week, coinciding with the Pilar bridge. These are the keys to the conflictWhy are the machinists on strike Their demands have nothing to do with the working conditions of the machinists. They say that the management “is dismantling” the company. They denounce that trains have been suppressed with the excuse of Covid that they have not yet recovered, that there is employment that has not been covered and that there are irregularities in the new incorporations and personnel mobility processes. Renfe denies it, says that there is no reason for this strike, since the company “is complying with the employment plan agreed with the unions.” What does Renfe allege? According to their data, at the beginning of the year it had 5,250 drivers, expect 454 of them to retire in 2021, but the incorporation of a total of 920 new drivers, which would put the total number of drivers at 5,720. A part of them has already joined the service, according to Renfe. but others need specific training and certification. As for the train frequencies, many were suppressed because there was no mobility during the hardest months of the Covid but they have been recovering. What are the working conditions of the machinists? The strike is not produced by a claim in this regard. The drivers are not asking for more salary or better conditions, but, they say, they make the stoppages to ask for “the recovery of the suppressed trains with the excuse of the Covid and the staff that they have been cutting.” A machinist can charge between 28,000 and 43,000 euros per year without counting the accessories. A chief machinist, for example, charges 35,000 euros, plus a driving supplement of about 7,600, according to the company’s salary tables. To this is added another supplement for training and travel expenses per day, such as allowances. Why has the conflict with the company worsened? Last week, during the first two days of the strike, more than 800 trains that should have circulated because they were part of the minimum services did not do so because the drivers who would have to have them operated did not show up. Semaf alleges that they did not receive the letter of minimum services, that they were not notified. Renfe assures that this notification was delivered to them and that the absences are unexcused. It has already filed several of the workers for this reason. Are delays also expected this week? In theory there should not be, because throughout the weekend Renfe has sent more than 9,000 notifications (burofax and certified mail) so that the Machinists receive their letters of minimum services in hand and there are no problems in this regard. What role does the liberalization of the sector play in this problem? This year and in 2022, competitors will enter Renfe within the market, after the liberalization of the sector. The French SNCF, which operates in our country with its low-cost high-speed train Ouigo, has already done so, and the entry also of the Italian Ilsa promise to revolutionize high-speed. Renfe, for its part, already operates with its low cost Avlo AVE.
According to the criteria of
The Trust Project Learn more