Food employers talk about “national problems” while the government tries to soothe the spirits by not meeting the sector’s aid.
On the ninth day of the strike, the problem is far from resolved. Spain faces a strike by operators whose vision is a “national problem”, the impact of which is starting to multiply, between concerns about the future of the industry and a possible national shortage.
A tentative deal announced by the government on Monday, providing a $500 million bonus for specialty diesel, “still to be finalized”, did not have the desired effect and was even rejected by strikers who found it “despicable”.
The problem is already horizontal. Faced with the outage of a large portion of road freight, industries such as food multinationals have raised alarm bells. The image of a supermarket with empty aisles could multiply, while urging immediate solutions to avoid confusion.
Warning for food employers: Supply and 100,000 jobs at risk
Large consumer groups have come together to demand a “maximum urgent” solution to a “national problem” that has endangered the continuity of product supply and more than 100,000 jobs.
The companies are demanding an end to shipping disruptions and a focus on picketing, and they are demanding an end to “coercion” of carriers that continue to operate, with serious repercussions in some cases.
Which brands are affected
Numerous industries and brands have announced (or threatened) disruptions to their activities since the strike began early last week.
In the former, basic names in national food products such as Calvo, Cuetara, Azucarera or olive oil companies Dcoop, JaenCoop or Agrosevilla have confirmed that they have temporarily closed their factories due to lack of supplies.
Other companies, such as Danone or the Estrella de Galicia or the Heineken-Cruzcampo brewery, have made immediate intentions to do so for the same reason.
Most Touched Industries
The dairy industry itself is one of the most affected, especially due to the perishability of its products. As early as last Wednesday, it announced it would halt most activity starting Thursday, and it has been boycotting in recent days, with supplies “below the minimum” but still operating.
Dawn has broken on the fishing grounds and the fleet is at anchor in most of Spain’s ports for a second day, awaiting the government’s presentation of “emergency measures” on Wednesday to ease the crisis caused by rising diesel prices. The suspension of slaughtering was large-scale in Andalusia and the Mediterranean coast and in Asturias, and more unequal in the rest of the Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay.
At supply levels, sources consulted by EFE said that on these dates, fish and shellfish receipts at the fish market and the central market would be 70%, which would be normal, while the supply from the small stalls was normal.
As for the fruit and vegetable sector, which falls under the FEPEX federation, there has been talk of a “very serious impact” if the Road Traffic Safety Corridor is not activated. “There is no normality on the road now. Problems continue, delays in delivery to destination and accumulation of merchandise on site and in cold storage continue to occur,”FEPEX detailed in a statement.
Less noticeable in large markets
The empty shelves of sunflower oil, milk and cereals in many supermarkets and national hypermarkets are not reflected in large “marketplaces” such as Mercamadrid or Mercabarna. In the capital, activity registered this morning had grown to 90 percent of its usual level on a Tuesday in March.
When is the negotiation?
For now, the distance is long because the main road between the government and the National Road Transport Board, the sector’s employers, does not include entities calling for a strike. At that meeting, plans for a $500 million bonus for professional diesel were announced, a measure to be finalized on Friday. While CNTC generally applauds her, some bosses do the opposite.
Immediately, the national and international cargo transport defense platform in charge of the strike, known as the Platform, rejected the agreement, saying it would not include it in the negotiations, warning that the strike would not happen as long as this situation did not change. Nor will it change.
Already at night, their manifesto found new allies, including part of the official sector and members of the CNTC. Employers’ association FENADISMER, one of the largest with 32,000 companies, FETRANSA and FEINTRA rejected a plan they considered to be aggressive but insufficient because of “lack of specificity and strength”.
Manuel Hernandez, a spokesman for the platform, noted that “we feel despised” and that these will end when “the minister wants” to receive them and listen to them. “But for real carriers, truck drivers, not those who hire us,” he added in an interview with Canal 24 Horas.