By Andrew Atkinson

Spanish farmers could be set to join the truck drivers transport strike that has been announced on December 20-22.

Spanish farmers are reported to be frustrated by poor economic conditions – echoed within Europe.

“There is a tsunami of social unrest in Spain at the moment,” Spanish media write.

Norwegian press highlighted the situation in Spain as the country’s truck drivers become increasingly dissatisfied with high fuel prices – and the proposed measures around tolls.

Amongst other unsatisfactory areas within the industry are the lack of toilets and shower facilities whilst on the road.

Farmers’ costs have skyrocketed – the reason why those within agriculture are unhappy, underlined by fertilisers and seeds costs significantly increasing.

Fuel, water and electricity costs have also increased in recent months.

The cost gap between what farmers have to pay and what they get paid by the consumer has now become too large.  Several farmers are threatening to close down operations, including dairy farmers, who deem pay to be very poor, according to reports.

Spain’s National Road Transportation Committee (CNTC) announced a three-day strike, between December 20 and 22, to protest what it calls the government’s failure to address a crisis in the sector.

In a press release issued, the CNTC, which represents freight truck drivers in Spain, accused the administration of neglect, arguing that all reasonable channels of negotiation have been exhausted.

The strike was called following a meeting with Jaime Moreno, the managing director of Ground Transportation.

The CNTC said the action was in response to the ‘exorbitant rise’ in the cost of diesel, which it described as the deathblow to a sector that has been struggling since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Diesel represents approximately one-third of the industry’s costs.

The CNTC is open to further negotiations with the Spanish government.

“Only radical and urgent change from the government and clients – in reference to the companies that hire trucking services – can prevent this conflict,” the document stated.

If strike action is not called off, it could negatively affect the supply chain ahead of Christmas.

The last National strike from the sector took place in June 2008, at the beginning of the financial crisis, and lead to massive bottlenecks and fuel shortages.

In the press release, the committee alluded to several years of negotiations on issues including banning drivers from having to load and unload freight, the Euroviñeta road toll for heavy transportation, creating safe rest spaces and the automatic renewals of fees that reflect the rise in the cost of fuel, a measure the sector said is not being met.

The sudden rise in the cost of diesel in 2021 has been the final straw for the crisis hit industry.

Caption: Spanish farmers could be set to join truck drivers transport strike.