A COURT in Fuengirola has dropped a case against a firefighter accused of not performing overtime work he had been paid for.
A spokeswoman for the council, Ana Mata, made the announcement about the case which came to light almost a year ago. She explained the investigations into mayor Rodrigo Romero and the former head of a fire station had now been dropped, after it was found no criminal wrongdoing had taken place.
The case comes after a series of firefighter strikes in Malaga, with the city council now agreeing to new work conditions.
The council has said it is prepared to negotiate with the fire men to redraft a document regulating fire workers’ conditions, dating from 1959. The document will see issues including training, shifts and fire stations renegotiated.
The strike had been ongoing in the province for nine months, leading to a potential criminal case for 60 firefighters who ignored calls to attend five blazes in one day.
The Malaga prosecutor’s office has referred the matter to a judge who will now decide whether the workers are guilty of abandoning their office, a matter punishable by up to two years’ suspension from work and fines.
According to reports, on June 27 five fires broke out simultaneously around the province. Sixty-one firemen were all called and asked to come to work but only one turned up. Twelve said they could not because of child care or doctor’s appointments, three said they were out of the area, one refused to go, two were on leave and the other 42 did not pick up their phones or return the call.
In the end, Provincial firefighters and Infoca workers were left to tackle the blazes in La Corta, Campanillas, Asperones, Monte Dorado and Atabal.
A court will now decide whether the men broke the “minimum services” conditions of their strike terms, in which, “in the event of an extraordinary situation (fire in buildings, activation of the Emergency Plan or any other incident), it may be necessary to take up the necessary personnel reinforcements to deal with such situation.”