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Indefinite metalworkers strike in Spain's Cadiz region kicks off with clashes

The indefinite strike of metalworkers in Spain’s southwestern province of Cadiz kicked off on Tuesday with burning barricades and clashes with police.

Strikers congregated around the doors and stopped production at locally emblematic companies like Airbus, Navantia, Dragados, Alestis, and Acerinox. Using barricades and bonfires, they also cut off traffic to the industrial zones in several points of the province, including the capital Cadiz and the Campo de Gibraltar.

“All the (involved) companies slated to start a new shift from midnight have stopped production,” Antonio Montoro, the head of the FICA-UGT Union of Cadiz, told Spanish news agency EFE.

The strikes began relatively calm until a group of strikers started throwing rocks, cobblestones, and screws at police in the city of Cadiz. Police responded by firing rubber bullets, according to local daily La Voz de Cadiz.

Two police officers were slightly injured when their car crashed into a light post that had been knocked down by protesters. Police said they arrested one person.

Head of the FICA-UGT Union of Cadiz Antonio Montoro condemned the vandalism but accused the Federation of Metal Companies of Cadiz (FEMCA) of “riling up” the workers by offering an “indecent” labor proposal.

Around 25,000 workers were called to strike, but the true number of those who took part in the picket lines is unclear. Montoro said 98% of workers took part in the strike, while FEMCA says just 15% of workers participated.

According to the UGT, one of the unions responsible for the strike, workers will continue picketing until the FEMCA comes up with a “coherent agreement that adapts to the current economic situation and the workers’ need for labor security, especially after the particularly difficult years (of the pandemic).”

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