Spanish truckers and farmers march to protest over working conditions and fair prices in Madrid. | SUSANA VERA

An informal group of Spanish truck drivers, whose protests earlier this year paralysed the country, started a new strike today to demand changes to road freight regulations and protest at the rising cost of living.

The Platform for the Defence of Transport called for another open-ended strike today seeking changes in road freight regulation to protect their margins and keep their costs down.

The unofficial truckers’ group launched a one-month strike in March that brought Spain’s supply chains to a halt.
Reports from local media in crucial supply chain centres in the port of Barcelona and the wholesale food markets in Madrid and Seville, the country’s fourth largest city, said traffic was normal this morning.

Truck drivers are planning a demonstration in downtown Madrid in front of the Atocha train station.
The protest comes one day after a large demonstration against Madrid region’s public health policy and 11 days after a general demonstration against the rising cost of living called by the country’s main unions.

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The truckers’ strike in March and April led to food shortages, a bout of inflation and hurt economic growth in the first quarter.
The truckers eventually obtained a 1 billion euro package that included rebates on the price of diesel fuel and a 1,200-euro cash bonus.

The strike by hauliers on the mainland will cause supply problems in the Balearics.
The president of the distributors association in the Balearics, Bartolomé Servera, has expressed his concern about the impact of the industrial action. Servera says that, as was the case when there was a strike in March, many trucks will be unable to leave mainland ports.

He stresses that there won’t be shortages but accepts that over the first four to five days of the strike there could be supply problems with some fresh products. In the event that the protests continue for longer, the problems will get worse.

He adds that there will be an impact on Black Friday (November 25) and that, if the action drags on, Christmas shopping will also be affected. He explains that it can take between ten and fifteen days to return to normality after protests end.