Renfe has suspended 259 High Speed services and Long Distance and 635 Medium Distance for the five days of strike called by the Spanish Union of Train Drivers and Railway Helpers (Semaf) to report “staff shortages” and “security deficiencies.”
The train drivers will go on strike on February 16 and March 2, 3, 9 and 10, so the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has had to set essential minimum services, which have forced Renfe to cancel a series of trains.
To make the right to strike and the right to mobility of citizens compatible – taking into account the need for greater personal distancing due to Covid-19 -, the minimum services in Commuter lines will be 100% at rush hour, that is, there will be no impact, while the rest of the day will be 75%.
On trains of Middle distance Y Avant The minimum services will be 65%, therefore, of the 1,841 trains scheduled for those five days, 1,206 will circulate in minimum services, which means the cancellation of 635 services.
On the other hand, in the AVE and Long distance the minimum services will be 72%. Of the 935 trains of this type affected by the strike during those days, 676 will circulate in minimum services, after having canceled 259 services.
The list of unaffected routes is published on the Renfe website. For travelers whose train is affected by the minimum services and, therefore, is not included in the list included in the resolution, Renfe has established a series of measures.
Thus, passengers affected by suppressed trains will be offered, whenever possible, to travel on another train at the time closest to the one purchased. If you do not wish to travel, you can cancel or change your ticket without any cost. In a statement, the company regrets the inconvenience that this strike may cause to travelers.
Variable production premium
Renfe sources recall that Semaf was the only union with representation on the negotiating committee that refused to sign the extension of the 2nd Renfe Collective Agreement, approved with the favorable vote of CC.OO. Y UGT and abstention from CGT.
The refusal of Semaf It was due to the aspiration that all the drivers would charge the variable production premium, not being linked to the production carried out and considering the trains suppressed during 2020 due to Covid as carried out, which would bring it closer to 100% variable compensation.
At the same time, the same sources indicate that the union has started a campaign not to facilitate practical training in driving cabs to the aspiring machinists, which, together with the delays due to the pandemic, is paralyzing the training and hiring processes, thus complicating the replacement of workers who leave in 2021.
Currently, there are 233 people pending training processes and another 272 in the selection process. In the absence of these delays in the training processes, the workforce of machinists it would be higher than a year ago.
For its part, Semaf warns that the public company is “deliberately” delaying the entry of personnel, which has caused the loss of more than 700 jobs in the last year, which joins the replacement “zero forecasts” for 2021.
On the other hand, it denounces that the complete maintenance of the trains is not being carried out, which increases the number of trains that are not in safe conditions to provide the service and suppress them from the services.
“The only solution the company offers is to pressure workers to drive trains that are not in safe conditions to run, in addition to coercing drivers to work shifts that are not theirs to cover the staff shortage. Increasing the risk assumed by company workers and users and continuously violating labor rights, “says the union.