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Metro strike to cause chaos in Madrid this weekend

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Metro strike to cause chaos in Madrid this weekend
Photo: VivirElTren.es/Flickr
11:18 CEST+02:00
Madrid Metro workers have called a strike for this weekend - from May 21st until May 23rd - in protest over work conditions and holidays.

The strike coincides with a particularly busy weekend in the Spanish capital, which will host the final of the Copa del Rey on Sunday when Barcelona will play Seville in the Vicente Calderón stadium, home of Atlético Madrid. 

Madrid is also welcoming US rock legend Bruce Springsteen, who is play a concert on Saturday in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.

The metro will be running at between 69 percent and 84 percent of normal service and all stations will remain open, the government of the Community of Madrid confirmed. 

Metro drivers are asking that they finish shifts at the same station where they started, arguing that in the current system, they waste around 30 minutes per shift travelling back to the station where they left their bags and belongings.

They are calling for this "lost time" to be offered as holiday - which they have calculated as 14 extra days per year.

"It was fine in the 90s, but these days Madrid's metro system is very big. It takes an hour and a half to go from one end to the other. We get on at one point and we don't know where we will finish," a spokesman for the metro drivers told Spanish daily ABC.

But Madrid Metro has reacted angrily at the demands, calling them "unacceptable" and "disproportionate".

"The drivers' posts are on the metro lines where they work, not specific stations," a Madrid Metro spokesman said. "Because of the needs of the service, they begin and end in different places."

The spokesman added that metro drivers already have 24 days off in summer and 27 days in winter, as well as seven extra "personal days". 

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