This midnight begins the transport strike that could cost 600 million a day

Concentration of truckers in Puerto de La Luz. / Juan Carlos Alonso

The protest is due to the non-compliance by the shippers (customers of the carriers) of the law that prohibits working below costs

EFE Madrid

The carriers begin this midnight the indefinite strike called by the National Platform in Defense of the Transport Sector that could cost the economy 600 million euros a day, as it is a cessation of activity due to campaigns as important as 'Black Friday' or Christmas.

This forecast of losses has been made by the OBS Business School professor Eduardo Irastorza, according to data extracted from the report on 'Black Friday', during which it is estimated that sales in Spain will increase by 706%, although the record in the European Union it could be marked by Germany, where the rise is expected to be 2,418%.

The platform, which brings together the self-employed and small businesses, although its number of associates is not known, is mobilized in protest at the non-compliance by shippers (customers of carriers) of the law that prohibits low-cost work and free participation of drivers in loading and unloading tasks.

This is the same organization that, last March, carried out a transport strike that lasted twenty days, generating serious problems in the supply chain.

Unlike that protest, to which some other associations such as Fenadismer, Fetransa or Feintra joined, on this occasion, both the employer organizations and the sectoral organizations grouped in the National Committee for Road Transport (CNTC), have not supported the strike .

As a consequence of that first strike and a previous threat from the CNTC in December 2021, between March and August two royal decree-laws were approved with measures to improve the situation of the sector agreed between the national committee and the Ministry of Transport.

At the beginning of August, Royal Decree-Law 14/2022 on economic sustainability measures in the field of transport was published, which incorporates modifications to Law 15/2009 on the land transport of goods contract, to try to guarantee that the price of transport exceeds the effective individual costs and expenses incurred by the carrier.

However, the small carriers denounce that the loading companies "continue not offering or paying prices that give reality to the costs that truly give rise to a fair, healthy and viable economy", as well as the passivity of the Administration in the control of law enforcement.

For this reason, in a letter sent at the end of October to the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, the platform suggested a list of changes (copied from the French transport code) to the royal decree law of August to ensure that it achieve the desired objectives.

The ministry promised last Thursday, in a meeting with the management of the platform, to "strengthen" inspections to ensure that carriers do not work below their costs and approve, in the coming weeks, a 2023 inspection plan, which will include for the first time a specific line of action to control prices, delinquencies and loading and unloading, in accordance with the approved regulations.

The platform requested that these commitment announcements be included in a document signed before midnight this Sunday, so that the carriers know that they are going to be fulfilled and in what period, in order to be able to assess the cancellation of the strike, which is not has happened, so the mobilization continues.

During the first day of strike, this Monday, the transporters will participate in a demonstration in Madrid that will make a walking tour from the Plaza de Carlos V (Atocha) to the Ministry of Transport, and in which the platform hopes that associations will also participate from other sectors such as agriculture, livestock and hospitality.