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LATEST: Hundreds of trains cancelled as Spain begins rail strike on Friday

The Local Spain
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LATEST: Hundreds of trains cancelled as Spain begins rail strike on Friday
The last rail strike that was scheduled to take place in November and December 2023 was called off at the last minute. (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP)

Hundreds of Cercanías and long and mid-distance Renfe trains have been cancelled as Spain begins the first of several days of rail strikes throughout February on Friday 9th.

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Workers belonging to Spain’s state rail operator Renfe and the country’s rail infrastructure manager Adif are set to strike at different points throughout February 2024.

The first strike date will be a 23-hour stoppage on Friday February 9th, called by Spanish trade union CCOO.

Spain's national rail operator Renfe has cancelled 310 long and mid-distance trains on Friday as a result, including high-speed AVE trains.

A further 330 long-distance trains and 641 mid-distance ones will also be affected. However, Spain's Ministry of Transport expects that the legal obligation of operating minimum services will reduce this number.

Renfe will offer affected passengers alternative tickets at the closest possible time to their initial trips, otherwise travellers have the option of cancelling and being reimbursed, or choosing another journey of their suiting. 

Cercanías commuter trains in Madrid are also going suffer disruptions on Friday as a result of the strike. During peak times, only 75 percent of the usual rate of Cercanías trains will be operational. 

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The country’s other main union UGT has called various partial strikes nationwide for 2-hour periods every Monday in February, that is on February 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th . 

Both have also called strikes for Friday 16th and Saturday 17th on Catalonia’s Rodalies trains. These stoppages will occur between 07:00 and 09:00 and 15:00 and 17:00.

Unions have called the stoppages to denounce that agreements relating to workers’ 35-work week at Adif and the elimination of income categories at Renfe have not been implemented.

Pepa Páez, general secretary of the CCOO Railway Sector, has said that the objective of the strike is to protest "the administrative hijacking" of the agreements reached.

The last rail strike that was scheduled to take place in November and December 2023 and which called for 30,000 rail employees to stop working was called off at the last minute after unions reached a deal with the Spanish government.

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