Protesting truckers in Santander last week. | Efe


The Platform for the Defence of the Freight Transport Sector has reiterated that its strike will continue until the Spanish government responds to its demands. The president, Manuel Hernández, said on Sunday that "as things stand, we have no choice but to continue striking".

Referring to Friday's meeting with the minister of transport, Raquel Sánchez, Hernández stated that there had been "no kind of progress". "Everything is based on promises."

Stressing the seriousness of the situation facing members of this platform, he added that he believed that the government has "sufficient tools to articulate any decree and any law that responds to the demands of the sector and therefore allows us to work, which is our greatest wish".

Hernández insisted that the strike was not losing strength, pointing to a Friday protest in front of the ministry of transport which was "a resounding success"

He explained that hauliers were warning as early as last October that the sector could "collapse" if measures were not adopted to prevent contracting at a loss. "Five months have passed and the government has not taken this into account. It costs us less not to work than to work. The situation is chaotic."

It is necessary to distinguish between this platform of self-employed truckers and small businesses and the employers associations represented on the National Road Transport Committee. These associations agreed with government proposals presented on Thursday last week for a cut in the price of diesel and for legislation to address precisely the grievance that the platform is highlighting - contracting at a loss.

However, this legislation is unlikely before July, which is why Hernández wants the government to act now in establishing a temporary solution, which could be in the form of a decree.

In the Balearics, a strike that was planned for Monday has been called off. It is possible, though, that some truckers, members of the platform, could be striking. Action locally hasn't been the issue, however; supplies from the mainland have been. There is a view that picketing of ports will stop, but that will depend on action by members of the platform.