MORE THAN sixty Benalmadena gardeners and maintenance workers are on strike in protest over proposals to split the workforce across different areas.
The employees, who set down tools on Tuesday, work for the Public Parks and Gardens Department of Benalmadena Council.
The workers are protesting the proposed transfer of part of the workforce to other municipalities, including Malaga and Cadiz. Angered, they have accused Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), the third-party company in charge of providing and employing the workers, of “continued abuse and injustices.” They added Benalmadena Council “is silent and indifferent” to their plight and has not been sufficiently helpful in helping resolve their issue with FCC.
Employees are now demanding any contracts or agreements signed with the FCC be cancelled, saying “we have renounced our rights in order to avoid being dismissed,” in signing the documents. The workers have apologised to residents and visitors for “any inconvenience we may cause” by striking.
Meanwhile, the FCC reportedly blames Benalmadena Council for making budget cuts to its Public Parks and Gardens Department and has said it is considering terminating its contract with the public body.
The news comes following recent strike action by other municipal workers, Malaga firefighters. In May a group of firemen took to city’s streets demanding improvements to their working conditions.
Members of the Rel Cuerpo de Bomberos de Malaga gathered in full uniform at Parque Martiricos at 11am, waving banners, before heading to the town hall where the council was in session.
A similar demonstration at the beginning of May attracted around 3,000 members of various workers´ unions, who campaigned for stable employment, fair wages, better working conditions and increased social security.
Members of Malaga council´s opposition parties are now putting increasing pressure on the governing party, Partido Popular, to negotiate improvements for the city´s fire workers.