A group of striking truck drivers have vowed to continue their walkout despite the government reaching a Friday morning deal with the sector’s main body, the National Committee for Road Transport(CNTC).

The National Platform for the Defense of Transport who called the strike on March 14 were not part of the talks that lasted for over 12 hours.

The industrial action was prompted by the rise in fuel prices.

The government deal with the CNTC, which represents the majority of lorry drivers in Spain, includes a 20 cents rebate per per litre of fuel and a €1,200 bonus, which will cost state coffers around €1 billion, twice as much as a previous package unveiled earlier this week,

The rebate on fuel prices, a quarter of which will be paid by oil companies, will also apply to other transport companies.

Bus, light truck, ambulance and taxi drivers will also receive smaller bonuses.

Transport Minister, Raquel Sanchez, said: “We have always been aware of the hardship that the transport industry like other sectors face as they are hit by the energy crisis that was intensified by the Russian aggression to Ukraine.”

La Moncloa. 20/09/2021. Raquel Sánchez ratifica el compromiso de su  departamento con las infraestructuras y la movilidad en Asturias  [Prensa/Actualidad/Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana]
RAQUEL SANCHEZ(La Moncloa image)

Within hours, the group of truck drivers that launched the walkout had rejected the proposal and demonstrators on foot began blocking La Castellana, one of Madrid’s main arteries.

“We will not call off the strike,” the group said in a statement on social media.

“You will not fool us.”

The strike began when a group of drivers and small truck owners began blocking roads and ports in response to rising costs, which have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Raquel Sanchez told broadcaster Onda Cero that she was open to meet representatives of that group who were not part of the Thursday negotiations.

Taxi drivers also protested in parts of the country and the national fishing fleet temporarily halted operations.

Spain’s CEOE business association on Wednesday complained that the government had been slow to act compared with neighbouring France and Portugal.

Retailers have urged consumers not to panic buy and stressed that food supplies are guaranteed, although there are shortages of some goods.

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