The unions USO-Canarias, MSK, FeSMC-UGT and CC.OO., members of the company committee of the bus service of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, have called an indefinite strike in the island’s capital from February 17, to which more than 300 workers are called, a date that coincides with the beginning of the carnival in the street.
The workers’ representatives affirm that the objective of the call is to resume the negotiating table “on the basis of the agreements reached in December” and accuse the titsa company, owned by the Cabildo de Tenerife, with an “intransigent and dishonest attitude”. The unions have requested the mediation of the Santa Cruz City Council given the possibility that the conflict could be prolonged and the services during the Carnival will be affected.
According to these unions, the strike has been approved in various workers’ assemblies held by an “overwhelming majority” and the reason is related to the incorporation of the new night bus lines in Santa Cruz. Thus, they state that “the company intends to implement a schedule starting at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 02:00 a.m., considering it as a daytime shift, when the collective agreement does not regulate that specific time slot, establishing, in any case, the consideration night shifts after 10:00 p.m.”, which affects the remuneration and staff breaks, they allege.
“We still cannot understand what Titsa is looking for with this movement, creating a labor conflict and putting the Santa Cruz City Council in a serious situation before the users of the service,” they add in their claim. They accuse the company of having unilaterally broken the negotiation and the agreement reached on December 23 between the works council after the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council expanded urban transport services.
However, the Intersindical Canaria union, which has the majority representation in the Titsa works council, disassociated itself yesterday from this call, accusing the rest of the organizations of ignoring “65% of the representation of the workers that Intersindical Canaria represents”. , as well as the different commissions in which issues related to the agreement are addressed. “There are agreement, service, health and safety, and Intercentro commissions, and the idea of these unions is to skip all those commissions,” he points out.
The majority union in the works council maintains that, in the face of the affirmation of the “overwhelming majority, only 22% of the workforce, made up of 360 workers, participated in the assemblies in which the indefinite strike was decided, which means some 40 workers in each shift.
Santa Cruz City Hall
From the Santa Cruz City Council, the councilor for Transport, Dámaso Arteaga, pointed out yesterday that “this is not the best time to carry out a mobilization of these characteristics, especially when we have made a significant effort to increase urban bus services in the capital”. Arteaga recalled that “we are talking about two new night lines, which would add up to five in total, more than on all the Island, in addition to extending the hours of the most frequented ones.”
The mayor of Works also pointed out that “what we have done is accept the proposal for the organization of its services that Titsa has sent us, a proposal that has a cost for us of 700,000 euros, and we trust that it will be to the liking of all users ”.
“We regret this situation, which seems more like an internal demand of the workers with the company, since what is being questioned is the organization of the service by a group of workers,” added the councilor. Likewise, he indicated that “we trust that Titsa will be able to order and organize the service based on what we have requested, and that it be done in relation to the labor agreement that they have in force.”
The mayor stressed that “we have limited ourselves to accepting the economic proposal without any reduction of any kind, and it would be a contradiction if, by expanding the service, hiring more workers and improving the quality of services for all users, we would have as a consequence a strike. It does not seem the most reasonable and we trust that Titsa will be able to redirect the situation”.
The Cabildo de Tenerife did not come to assess this call for an indefinite strike yesterday, alleging that its management corresponds to the interurban bus service lines, and that the Santa Cruz City Council is responsible for the urban service.