Unions call off Renfe strike but warn they will ‘be vigilant’

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The unions have called off the strike in Renfe and Adif, which was due to start on Friday, following an agreement with the Ministry of Transport, although the usual supply of trains may be slightly affected as the Vox union has also called a general strike for this on Friday.

Both the calling unions and the ministry, with Oscar Puente making his debut as department head, have confirmed the call for a five-day strike involving around 15,000 Renfe and Adif workers.

According to Transport, Puente has committed to guaranteeing the participation of the Renfe and Adif unions in the negotiations and to “respect and protect at all times the social, labor and transit rights of all employees of both public companies.”

Thus, “the negotiations for the transfer of management of Rodalies in Catalonia, which includes the creation of a new operator, and for the identification of a partner for Renfe Mercancías, are being carried out with the participation of the legal representation of the employees,” to whom the available information was made available and with which they will develop solutions to overcome any conflicts,” the ministry said in a statement.

Creation of a permanent dialogue table

In this sense, “to ensure the search for consensus in these processes,” a permanent dialogue table will be set up between the parties “with the aim of conveying the vision and the railway model represented by the workers of Renfe and “Adif”. .

Therefore, a first meeting was convened before December 15th to follow up on the agreement and discuss the points contained therein.

For their part, the unions warn that they will remain vigilant to ensure that everything agreed is respected and assure that otherwise they will call new strike days again.

Renfe cancels train cancellations

As part of the minimum offer set in response to this strike and that of the Vox Solidarity union, the cancellation of 1,550 medium, long-distance and high-speed trains and a further 990 freight trains was planned for Friday.

In this regard, Renfe warns that while all canceled trains will be “rescheduled” at night, they will try to ensure that the 5,000 thirteen trains that run every day can do this – the one route (timetable), one driver and have an inspector, etc. – “There may be special changes in rail traffic during the first hours of Friday.”

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In any case, the company adds that the minimal imbalances that may occur “will become normal as the morning progresses” and points out that, if possible, affected travelers will be offered to travel on another train closer to the schedule than the one purchased.

If you don’t want to travel, you can cancel your ticket free of charge or rebook it for another date. Cancellation or modification operations can be carried out in all Renfe sales channels.

In addition to this Friday, strikes were called for November 30, December 1, 4 and 5, the latter coinciding with the Constitutional Long Weekend.

The reasons for the protest

The General Corporate Committees of Renfe and Adif (SEMAF, CCOO, UGT, SCF, CGT and SF) decided to carry out these mobilizations in early November, after an agreement was reached between the PSOE and the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) on the transfer of the Rodalies- Service with seven votes for the inauguration of Pedro Sánchez and the choice of a strategic partner for the freight business by Renfe.

According to the Rodalies agreement (Cercanías de Catalunya), the staff as well as the infrastructure and rolling stock will belong to a third company with the Generalitat as majority partner, with the aim of separating the operation and infrastructure of the railway network from General Interest (RFIG), emphasize the Trade unions.

The Renfe and Adif committees reject the separation of both companies because it violates the rights of workers, who would no longer be protected by the collective agreements of both companies, and the exit from operations and infrastructures (roads and train stations). the RFIG, which would move to a regional model outside the European system.

Regarding the “covert” privatization of Renfe Mercancías, the unions have indicated that it involves the creation of a minority company owned by Renfe and the “transfer of management to a private company”.

This project intends to transfer the main assets of the public company, such as the best vehicles (locomotives and wagons), to the new private company, leaving Renfe Mercancías with the oldest mobile fleet and the least profitable services warned.

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