One of Spain’s top labour unions, the UGT FICA-A, called off a strike at the ITV stations all over Andalucía that had been planned for the 8th.
The threat of a strike was a result of the news that the Junta, now under the PP and C’s (conservatives) had been contemplating privatising this public entity. The strike was also going to be about improving labour conditions in these vehicle inspection stations.
The Vice Prime Minister of the Junta, Juan Marín, denied that such plans were afoot, whilst pointing out that the EU does not permit monopolies and that at any moment an admonishment will be handed down from Brussels.
Union leaders see this explanations as a way of ‘preparing the ground’ for an eventual sell out.
Veisasa (the ITV public entity) employs 1,500 workers and has 70 ITV stations spread across Andalucía. It has a budget 3.7m euros but has pulled in around 20 million euros every year for quite some time. In fact, it is the only public company belonging to the Junta that actually makes money.
“It’s fundamental that this service remains within the public sector as safety on the roads depends on these inspections,” said the spokesperson, adding, “Veiasa sets the standard for other autonomous regions in Spain.”
On the day before the strike action, the 7th, a draft agreement was reached between the Junta and the UGT in which the former pledged to look into the deficiencies in the working conditions at the ITV’s.
The UGT considers that the new Director General for Industry is well disposed towards finding a solution, for which reason the labour union is willing to give negotiations chance, whilst at the same time calling on other labour unions to join them in strike actions should these talk fail.
The UGT wants stability in employment and new jobs to counter the ‘serious lack of personnel;’ something that the Junta has hitherto refused to contemplate.
It also demands that Veiasa should be defended as a public entity.