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Buses, trains and roads: How the strikes across Spain this month will affect you

This week sees the start of strike action designed to bring chaos to Madrid commuters and those escaping for the December "puente" across Spain.

Buses, trains and roads: How the strikes across Spain this month will affect you
Photos: AFP/Depositphotos

Petrol/gas stations

Workers unions have called strikes at fuel stations across Spain on December 5th and 9th coinciding with the busiest travel days over the long weekend and with the COP25 global climate change summit taking place in Madrid.

Some 55,000 workers will go on strike in an ongoing dispute over new employment contracts with unions demanding a pay increase of 1.5 percent for 2019 and 0.7 percent for 2020.

They argue that they are now expected to carry out duties that now include serving food as well as running a service station shop and working the pumps and are also protesting plans that will see their uniform allowance cut.

Workers will stage a demonstration outside the IFEMA conference centre on Thursday December 5th to coincide with the COP25 summit.


Renfe workers will down tools on Thursday December 5, the day when many people across Spain will head off for the 4 day long weekend known as the December puente.

Three stoppages have been planned during the 24 hour period, meaning trains will be affected between the hours of midnight and 4am, between 11am and 3pm and between 8pm and midnight.

Renfe workers have also called a strike day later in the month on December 20 to coincide with the busy travel weekend as everyone heads home for the holidays.

The strikes will affect long distance trains, high-speed (AVE) trains as well as Cercanías commuter services, although Renfe haven’t yet announced the cancellations.

Madrid Metro

Commuters in Madrid should be aware of two days of strikes on the metro system. The Solidaridad Obrera union have called for 24 hour stoppages on Tuesday December 3rd and December 10th and a day of partial stoppages on December 13 (between midnight and 1am, 5.30 and 7.30am and between 5.30pm and 7.30pm).

Metro Madrid has to guarantee a minimum service of 59 percent but the stoppages are likely to cause problems for those attending the COP25 climate change summit at IFEMA where delegates have been provided with free metro tickets to reach the conference centre.

Metro workers are continuing their protest over lack of workers’ rights with particular regard to the asbestos scandal.

EMT Buses

Madrid buses run by EMT will be affected by a 24 hour strike on December 3 and December 10 and a 2 hour strike called for December 13.

A minimum service of between 40 percent and 50 percent will be in place but expect overcrowding and delays.

The industrial action comes after negotiations for more personnel stalled as well as in protest at planned privatisation of the transport company.

A demonstration will take place at 5.30pm outside City Hall in Cibeles.


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Rail strike: 271 trains cancelled across Spain on Friday

Just in time for the big Christmas exodus, Spanish rail operator Renfe has announced the cancellations for Friday 20 December when workers are downing tools in an ongoing battle over workers’ rights.

Rail strike: 271 trains cancelled across Spain on Friday

A total of 271 services have been cut on a day when many travellers will be heading away at the start of the Christmas holidays.

The cancellations include 39 high speed AVE or long distance services and 232 medium distance trains during ta 23-hour stoppage called by the CGT union between midnight and 11pm.

Compulsory minimum services were set by the Transport Ministry at 90 percent for AVE and long distance, 63 percent on medium distance.

The ministry said some 28,231 passengers would see their journeys disrupted.

Renfe is offering full refunds or to change tickets for other available routes at no extra cost, however routes are expected to be busy as people escape for the holidays.

Cercanías trains, which serve commuters coming into the cities, will also be affected and will be running at minimum services of 75 percent during peak times in Madrid and at 50 percent during the rest of the day.

Other cities will see a minimum service of 65 percent during rush hour and 46 percent during the rest of the day.

For a full list of services during the strike check the announcement by Spain's Ministry of Transport CLICK HERE

READ ALSO: Introducing Avlo: Spain's new low-cost, high-speed (bright purple) rail service