At the end of the protest march, metal workers and police clashed in southern Spain, demanding wage increases in accordance with the country’s soaring inflation rate
MADRID-At the end of a protest march in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz on Tuesday, metal workers and police clashed, demanding higher wages in response to the country’s soaring inflation rate.
The police used rubber bullets to disperse protesters trying to set up roadblocks on the streets of coastal cities.
This demonstration marked the eighth consecutive day of protests and coincided with a strike that affected the entire province of Cadiz to support the struggle of metal workers.
Driven by energy costs, Spain’s inflation rate has risen to its highest level in many years. In October, it was 5.5%. This has angered many people whose wages have stagnated. The province of Cadiz has also lost hundreds of jobs, with an unemployment rate of 23%, one of the highest in Spain.
The unions representing metal workers and employers have been negotiating for several days, but no agreement has been reached, even though they said the negotiations will continue.
José Muñoz, secretary-general of the Metal Workers Association FEMCA, told the local public broadcaster Canal Sur that employers provide a 2% salary increase, which can be negotiated annually. He said that the union does not accept this.
For the past week, workers have been cutting off roads and bridges to Cadiz. They also lit some cars and roadblocks. There were no injuries or major damages. The overall tone of the protest is peaceful.
Most of the jobs in the metal industry in the province are in shipbuilding. Cadiz is a city with a population of 116,000 on the coast near the Strait of Gibraltar. It is a blue-collar city with deep-rooted trade unions.
There are 700 metal processing companies in the province of Cadiz, employing approximately 20,000 people.