Taxi drivers and public sector workers strike in Catalonia
Around 16,500 teachers and healthcare workers take to streets of Barcelona
Thousands of healthcare workers, taxi drivers and teachers stopped working in Barcelona and took to the streets to protest on Wednesday.
In one strike, Barcelona police estimate that 6,500 teachers and healthcare workers crossed the city to protest in front of the regional parliament.
They carried signs saying “no to privatization” and demanded more resources for the public sector.
In another, organized by the Metges healthcare union, an estimated 10,000 doctors and nurses staged a protest that began in front of the regional health department.
At the same time, thousands of taxi drivers in around 900 vehicles completely cut off Gran Via — one of Barcelona’s main roads for traffic — for hours to demonstrate against digital platforms.
The protesters said platforms that make fairs flexible are “killing the taxi” and mainly targeted a platform called Free Now, but also Uber.
During the protests, the unions decided not to strike during an upcoming audiovisual festival. However, taxi strikes during the massive Mobile World Congress event in May are still on the table.
Despite the significant disruption to the city, Barcelona’s left-wing mayor Ada Colau applauded the strikes staged by teachers and healthcare workers.
“Education and public healthcare are two pillars of a democratic society committed to not leaving anyone behind,” she wrote on Instagram.
Elsewhere in Spain, healthcare strikes are also planned for Extremadura, Navarra, Cantabria, Aragon, Andalusia and Valencia.
The healthcare strikes in Madrid have been ongoing for weeks, particularly among primary care doctors and pediatricians.
“The healthcare strike is a political strike that they want to make last until elections. Every day they’re coming up with a new excuse,” said Madrid President Isabel Diaz Ayuso.
Amid the labor action in Madrid, several healthcare workers have locked themselves in a neighborhood association since Thursday “to continue giving visibility to the situation that Madrid’s primary healthcare is in.”Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.