The strike of carriers paralyzes several factories and causes shortages of some products in supermarkets | Economy

Several factories in the steel and dairy industries have stopped their production this Thursday as a result of the transporters’ strike called by the Platform for the Defense of Transport, which also affects the supply of fresh products in large wholesale markets and fish markets. The psychosis due to a possible shortage of supplies has caused massive purchases by consumers of items such as milk and oil, emptying the shelves of some supermarkets. The Ministry of the Interior has reinforced the action against the informative pickets that support the indefinite strike that celebrates its fourth day this Thursday, and has deployed more than 15,000 troops and organized convoys of trucks guarded by the Civil Guard to guarantee transport. The Government has denied that the strike is due to the increase in the price of fuel, as its conveners maintain, whom it accuses of provoking “a boycott encouraged from hatred and extreme right-wing positions”, in the words of the minister spokesperson, Elizabeth Rodriguez.

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has insisted that the Government will act with “forcefulness” to avoid incidents on the roads during the carrier strike, but also in the adoption of “urgent and necessary” measures for the sector , but has warned that he will not meet with the organizers of the strike, because the only valid interlocutor in the sector is the National Committee for Road Transport (CNTC), the body that brings together most of the transport associations, but in which the Platform calling the strike is not represented. The minister made these statements in the Congress of Deputies whose plenary session approved on Thursday the validation of the Royal Decree Law with the extraordinary measures for the improvement of the conditions of the transport of goods that was agreed in December with the CNTC.

Much more forceful was the Minister of Territorial Policy and spokesperson for the central government, Isabel Rodríguez, who considers that the strike called by “a minority party” is “a reaction that seems oriented, that seems to be approached by positions of the extreme right”. “We must clearly express ourselves and reject the violent attitude of a minority that wants to tarnish it as if it were an act of exercising the right to strike, when it is a full-fledged boycott and is encouraged by positions of hatred that do not favor dialogue, coexistence and to face with strength a moment of such difficulty “as the current one”, Rodríguez pointed out after the meeting with the general secretary of the Andalusian PSOE, Juan Espadas, at the party’s headquarters in Seville.

Rodríguez has insisted that this is not a workers’ strike, but “violent acts that prevent other workers from exercising their right to work and that, furthermore, they do so irresponsibly, since at this time these actions are not only generating the insecurity of the carriers who do want to work, but in some cases they are giving as a consequence that in some cases we may be left without supplies of some food or some important merchandise for the primary sector”.

With the representatives of the Transport Platform out of the negotiations and demonized as “violent” from the “extreme right”, the Executive has decided to treat the strike as a matter of public order. The Ministry of the Interior has instructed the State Security Forces and Corps to deploy to all points of the road network where incidents occur due to the stoppage of a sector of carriers to proceed to identify those pickets that cause incidents by their participation in illicit acts that occurred in logistics platforms for essential goods, according to Interior sources. In total, 15,520 troops are part of the device, of which 8,398 are civil guards and 7,122 police officers.

The order emanates from the coordination center (CECOR) created in the Ministry since yesterday, and which meets three times a day, with the participation of police commanders from all bodies, including regional police. The Secretary of State for Security has communicated to all the Government delegations the indication to reinforce all the police devices entrusted with the task of “organizing and securing convoys of carriers of essential goods”, according to the aforementioned sources. From the Interior they point out that the Security Forces and Bodies have been acting “from the first moment with the triple objective of guaranteeing the supply of essential goods, the operation of essential services and the right to work of the majority of carriers that do not support the illegal strike”, they added.

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Empty warehouse of the fruit and vegetable company Navio.
Empty warehouse of the fruit and vegetable company Navio.Albert Garcia (THE COUNTRY)

Stopped factories and shortage of products in supermarkets

Apart from the political dispute, the strike of carriers is already noticeable in several industries, which have paralyzed factories due to lack of supplies, and in the arrival of fresh products to the markets. In addition, the news about a possible shortage of supplies has caught on among the citizens and has unleashed a wave of advance purchases in hypermarkets and supermarkets, where products such as milk, oil and frozen foods are beginning to be scarce on the shelves, as has been verified by this daily in several supermarkets in Madrid and dozens of consumers denounced on social networks.

In heavy industry, unemployment is also taking its toll. The Acerinox plant in Los Barrios (Cádiz) stopped the steelworks this Thursday, the facilities’ first phase of production, due to the lack of lime supply caused by pickets caused by carrier strikes. In Asturias, ArcelorMittal has announced that it is stopping part of its production due to the impact of the transport strike.

The coercion of carriers not adhered to the strike is being especially violent in Galicia, in the north of Spain and in Andalusia, making it difficult to distribute fish throughout the country, according to a statement from the Sea Products Committee of the association of manufacturers and distributors AECOC (integrates the leading companies in the sector from all over the country. The fishing sector demands support so that the strike stops blocking fish markets and ports, making supply difficult. “Inshore and deep-sea vessels are held at various points of Spain and hundreds of tons of fresh fish have been blocked without being able to be marketed”, they add. The actions of the pickets are putting at risk the integrity of professionals and the sale of fish in many Spanish markets. It is not tolerable that their actions harm an essential and strategic sector such as fishing”, explains the president of the AECOC Seafood Committee, Eduardo Míguez.

Since the start of the strike last Monday, hundreds of tons of fish have been blocked in ports and markets. The case of Galicia is “especially worrying”, because the deep-sea vessels are unloading their catches in the ports and cannot redistribute the merchandise. In the case of Andalusia, the inshore fleet has been forced to moor ships in many fishing ports as the sale of daily catches is not guaranteed.

Mercamadrid has unloaded 65% of its usual merchandise this Thursday. So far this week, it adds a 50% decrease in downloads due to the strike. In Mercacórdoba, conditions are worsening and during the early hours of the morning hardly any fresh fish has entered and barely 30% of fruit and vegetables, so the fishmongers will remain closed for another day. The influx of retailers to stock up on products has not exceeded 60%

The organizations that represent the value chain of mass consumption from the beverage industry to large stores (ACES, Aecoc, Anged, Asedas and FIAB) reported that the strike is beginning to cause significant problems for companies in the sector such as the lack of supply in factories, difficulty in supplying points of sale and the paralysis of industries. Associations such as Avianza (avian meat sector) have affirmed this Thursday that the situation is “critically” affecting both the raising of birds and the distribution of the product in the supermarket channel.

As soon as the dairy sector, one of the most affected by the strike, the Interprofessional Dairy Organization (Inlac) has claimed this Thursday “responsibility” for not paralyzing the activity and has said that the shortage of milk and dairy products is already being noticed in the Linear because of transport blockage. Specifically, it warns that the collection of milk from farms, packaging, processing of dairy products and distribution to supermarkets is in danger. The Valle de los Pedroches Agro-Food Cooperative (Covap), based in Pozoblanco (Córdoba) and which has 4,500 associated ranchers, is suffering the consequences of the strike, although for the time being its facilities “continue to function”. Covap is an important supplier to companies such as Mercadona and El Corte Inglés.

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