• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Costa del stink: Rubbish piles up in Malaga bin men strike
Rubbish piling up in Malaga this week. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Costa del stink: Rubbish piles up in Malaga bin men strike

Jessica Jones · 10 Mar 2016, 12:11

Published: 10 Mar 2016 12:11 GMT+01:00

Workers at Limasa, the company in charge of Malaga’s rubbish collection service, have been striking for nine days, and the city is feeling the strain under more than 4,000 tonnes of discarded rubbish.

Since the strike began on March 1st, bins have gone unemptied in the city, causing locals and officials alike to lose patience with the Limasa workers, who are striking over working conditions.

They are protesting plans to cut annual holiday leave as well as calling for all the conditions of employment agreed upon in 2010; the last time conditions were validated, to be reinstated.


Photo: AFP

A 400-strong group of locals gathered outside Malaga town hall on Wednesday to protest the strike.

"They have no shame," a 55-year-old woman told newspaper El Confidencial. "We pay our taxes and they make a lot of money," she added, referring to comments made by the councillor in charge of rubbish collection, Raúl Jiménez, that the average salary of the rubbish collectors was €35,000.

To make matters worse for authorities in the southern Spanish city, over 150 overflowing rubbish bins have been set on fire, city hall officials have confirmed.

Early on Wednesday morning, firefighters were called out to 26 fires in rubbish containers around the city; two of which caused damage to cars parked nearby.

"God, this is inhumane, we are going to choke," tweeted one Malaga resident alongside a video of a burning dumpster.

Effect on tourism 

The strike could have serious implications for Malaga’s traditional Holy Week celebrations, which draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

German tour operators have reported a downturn in bookings to the city as a direct result of the rubbish strike, reported regional newspaper Diario Sur.

"The images of the strike are doing a lot of damage," the president of the Association of Coastal Hotel Owners (Aehcos), José Carlos Escribano, said this week at the ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show.

Locals have been publishing photos of the mounting rubbish on social media.

City hall response 

On March 9th, Malaga's City Hall announced that the accumulating rubbish could pose a "public health hazard' and  had therefore contracted two private companies to clean up the city.

Story continues below…

The piles of trash also "posed a significant security risk for people or vehicles" added to the danger of rubbish being set alight.

The City Hall announced on Thursday morning that it had rejected the latest proposal from the Limasa workers and sent them a coutner-offer, which included the stipulations that the workers must not strike in 2016 and 2017 and do away with the practice of hereditary job positions within the company. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain’s Gasol heading to Rio Olympics despite Zika fear
“My commitment to the team is bigger than the fear of what may happen,” Gasol, left, said. Photo: AFP

Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol will go to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he announced in comments published Saturday, after considering skipping the Games due to fears over the Zika virus.

Radicalism or safety first? Spain wavers before vote
Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, on the campaign trail last week. Photo: AFP

How will the far-left do in Spain's second general election in six months?

Brexit
Brexit: fresh calls for Catalan vote on secession from Spain
Separatists in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have for years lobbied for an independence referendum. Photo: AFP

Could Brexit lead to the fracturing of Spain?

Gibraltar stands defiant against Spain after Brexit vote
Gibraltar's First Minister said there would be no negotiating with Spain. Photo: AFP

Gibraltar's Chief Minister made very clear that the British Overseas Territory would not bow to pressure from Spain after Brexit.

Brexit
Anxiety over Brexit damage to UK-Spain bilateral trade

The Local canvassed the views of British businesses in Spain to see what they thought about Brexit.

Brexit
View from the Costa: British expats fear time in sun is over
British people enjoy a drink on a terrace in Ohriuela. Photo: AFP

After Brexit, many British expats feared on Friday their golden time in the sun could be over...

Brexit
Black Friday: Spanish markets plummet with news of  Brexit
The IBEX has fallen 12 percent since Brexit result. Photo: AFP

Spain’s IBEX suffered the worst fall in its history on Friday after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Brexit
Rajoy: British expats will have same rights in Spain...for now
Rajoy urges Brits to keep calm and carry on. Photo: AFP

Spain's premier on Friday sought to reassure Britons living in Spain after the Brexit vote, saying that for now, they would keep the same rights to live and work there.

Brexit
Will Brexit affect Sunday's general election in Spain?
Spain goes to the polls again on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Spain's conservative interim Prime Minister looks set to benefit as his countrymen fear economic repercussions from the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Brexit limbo: What happens next for expat Brits in Spain?
Is a storm brewing for British expats? Photo: AFP

So what happens now for Brits in Spain? Nothing too dramatic, but a lot of uncertainty amid legal limbo.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
National
Giant inflatable poo goes walkies from town square
Lifestyle
Spanish study proves fat really ISN'T bad for you
National
President Obama announces three-day visit to Spain in July
International
Couple found dead on yacht in Catalonia after 'drugs binge'
National
Hotting up! Spain set for hotter than average summer
International
'British expats could lose right to live in Spain' warns Rajoy
3,405
jobs available