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Metro strike to hit Barcelona during Mobile World Congress

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Photo: Mobile World Congress
09:51 CET+01:00
Barcelona Metro will grind to a halt on February 22nd and 24th - the first and last day of the biggest mobile trade fair in the world.

Barcelona Metro workers will strike during one of the busiest weekends for the city's public transport system, it has been announced.

The strike will take place on February 22nd and 24th, coinciding with the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest trade fair for the mobile industry.

Metro workers, during a mass meeting held on Thursday, "unanimously" rejected the proposal put forward by Barcelona Metropolitan Transport (TMB) for a new collective bargaining agreement, instead opting to go ahead with the two-day strike.

TMB said that between 30,000 and 40,000 people used the Barcelona metro during last year's Mobile World Congress and predicted that that number would rise in 2016.

The public transport company criticized the workers for making the decision "in little more than half an hour" and "without enough time to evaluate the offer" according to Spanish daily El País.

The rejected offer included changing the contracts of 250 metro workers from temporary to permanent by 2020, with workers arguing that the number of workers on temporary contacts will rise to around 600.

Catalonia's regional government has vowed that the metro will run at 50 percent during rush hour - 6.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 8pm.

It will run at 30 percent during the rest of the day.

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Meanwhile, Catalan Government Railways, the region's train service will be putting on more trains to cope with the increased demand of the Mobile World Congress trade fair.

The Mobile World Congress 2016 will take place in the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona from the 22nd to 25th February. 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the 2015 Mobile World Congress, during which members of feminist protest group Femen staged a protest against Facebook for censoring topless photos. 

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