Metalworkers strike in Cadiz brings production to a standstill

A strike called by unions has caused the interruption of all activities at manufacturing plants on the Puerto Real industrial estate in Cadiz.

A strike held by almost 20,000 metal workers in Cadiz has seen protesters light bonfires and construct barricades to block all access roads to the industrial zone in Puerto Real used by Airbus, Navantia and Dragados. The strikers are demanding a pay review, which unions say should now be possible now that the pandemic has almost gone and manufacturing is virtually back to normal.

Strikers put up barricades and lit bonfires last night to block all access to the industrial zone in Puerto Real Cadiz. image: UGC FICA

The Secretary of FICA-UGT in Cádiz, Antonio Montoro, said that all nightshift work had come to halt and that the response from the workers has been very positive. Tuesday, November 16 has started without incident, with peaceful gatherings at the doors of the factories. The strike was called due to a stall in negotiations over a pay agreement between the unions and the employers.

Unions representing the workers are demanding a wage increase that the employers say they cannot implement as they are only just recovering from the financial effects of the pandemic. All attempts at reaching an agreement, including an Extrajudicial Service for labour disputes, have failed so far, which have given rise to the indefinite strike that started today.

A two-day strike was called last week, which also led to traffic cuts and demonstrations.

A preliminary agreement was reached last week between the management of Airbus and unions in the inter-company committee, UGT and CCOO, which paved the way to close the plant in Cadiz. Some machinery and production personnel will be relocated to the Bahía de Cádiz Center (CBC) in El Puerto de Santa María, which will remain the only Airbus industrial facility in the province of Cádiz.

The Government has arranged special surveillance and control of these protests with officers from the police intervention units (UIP) despatched from Seville together with prevention and reaction units (UPR) from the entire province, who are controlling the access points and entrances to the factories, including the main urban and interurban travel routes.

The Guardia Civil is giving extra traffic support in the Bay of Cádiz and has also deployed units to the industrial estates and companies in the Campo de Gibraltar area, with reserves available in case security deployment needs to be increased.


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