Platform calls for new strikes from November 14
After the celebration of its provincial assemblies during the weekend, the association reactivates the mobilization considering that the laws approved this year to improve the situation of the sector are not enough.
There will be new stoppages in transport from Monday, November 14. Platform in Defense of the Transport Sector, which has already convened the sectoral mobilizations in the second half of March, reactivates the protests considering that the laws approved this year to improve the situation in the sector are not enough and are not reaching base carriers. This was communicated this Monday by representatives of Platform after holding various provincial assemblies this weekend, which have supported the resumption of the strikes.
Manuel Hernández, president of Platform, has reported that 86% of those attending the assemblies have voted in favor of the strike, 12% against and 2% have abstained. Although he has not detailed the number of voters or associates. Those who have already shown themselves against these strikes are the majority employers in the sector -which, unlike Platform, are integrated into the National Committee for Road Transport-.
The first demand of Platform is that the Spanish law specifies the items of the transport costs, below which it is not possible to work
Platform has been demanding for weeks that the so-called Transport Chain Law, which was approved in August with the aim of preventing carriers from working at a loss, be modified. The association led by Hernández asks that the similar French law be looked at and that seven modifications be included.
His first claim is that the Spanish law specifies the items to calculate transport costs, an indicator below which it is not possible to work. The Ministry has underlined at all times that the law will in no case impose minimum rates. With the Decree Law approved in August, it is each carrier that has to justify its costs and, based on this individual calculation, it is prohibited to work below it. The text of the law explains that to calculate that cost, each carrier can use “the cost item structure of the cost observatory prepared by the Ministry of Transport“, but not the price set by the observatory, which is a mere indicator .
What Hernández claims is that the law includes what are the items that carriers must include in their calculation: “Fuel, vehicle maintenance, the cost of waiting for loading and unloading in warehouses”, the president of Platform has listed. In his view, the Decree Law that is currently in force is “too ambiguous” and allows carriers’ customers to calculate these costs: “Now it is the shippers who make that calculation and tell the carrier, ‘if you want it you take it and if you don’t leave it’“, Hernández explained in a huddle with journalists after the press conference.
LOADING AND UNLOADING
Loading and unloading, prohibited by law for truckers since September, is another of the regulations that Platform believes is not being complied with. For Hernández, the law came into force “in a very positive way, because the warehouses did not force truckers to load. But this lasted a month. In October we have seen that they have already forced drivers to load again.”
In this sense, Platform calls for greater controls and stronger sanctions both for the prohibition of loading and unloading and for the Transport Chain Law. Hernández has insinuated that the Executive allows shippers to break the law without being sanctioned. Less than a month ago, the Ministry of Transport clarified that road traffic agents cannot request the consignment note (where the price of the transport to be carried out must appear, among other obligatory mentions), but that this is controlled by the Inspection of Transportation in companies. For Hernández, this was a way of disavowing the Civil Guard and he has demanded that the agents also collaborate in the inspections of the consignment note “because they are the ones who are at the foot of the road with the drivers, in addition the Transport Inspection itself has denounced that they lack means”.
COMMITTEE AND PLATFORM
In addition to the specific requests, in the struggle of Platform there is an underlying fight to hold the representativeness of the sector against the majority employers. This entity does not have a seat in the National Transport Committee, the official dialogue body of transport associations with the Ministry, but it already demonstrated its strength in March. Then he managed to get the Government and the Committee to meet to approve a series of emergency measures, including the diesel bonus and direct aid for trucks and vans. And although the Ministry assures that it only negotiates the measures with the Committee, on more than one occasion it has met with members of Platform to explain these measures and thus appease new protests.
CETM, the majority employer within the Committee, has already distanced itself from these strikes. It has also received harsh criticism from Astic and UNO Logística. Fenadismer, which mainly brings together the self-employed and small businesses, has called an extraordinary assembly this Wednesday with its territorial organizations with the aim of establishing its position, which is expected to be contrary.