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2nd Spanish Paper Strike Called Off; Settlement Reached

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2 March, 2011

The second 24-hour strike at paperboard plants in Spain set for tomorrow, 3 March, was cancelled after ICEM’s two affiliates and the employers’ association reached accord early today (2 March) in Madrid.

Trade unions FSC-CCOO and FIA-UGT reached agreement with Aspapel on a three-year national labour agreement for the paperboard sector that wins a 3% retroactive increase for 17,500 workers to 1 January 2010. Retroactive to 1 January 2011 will be a one percent salary increase, plus the amount of Spain’s consumer price increase (CPI).

In 2012, another one percent was won atop the CPI. The Spanish unions also succeeded in keeping sweeping flexibility changes out of the national agreement. A special commission will be established to study that for possible future implementation on the local level.

Without question, the success of a 23 February day-long work stoppage can be attributed to Aspapel and paper industry employers finally moving on a lapsed 2010 national contract. It is obvious by the terms of this agreement that employers did not want another such strike, scheduled for 3 March.

Some 120 paperboard factories come under the new agreement.

The ICEM congratulates paperworkers of both Spanish federations for their resolve in gaining a fair and current collective agreement, and we also thank the many pulp and paper unions worldwide who sent messages of Solidarity to Spanish paperworkers.

An ICEM news piece from 28 February, naming the companies involved and citing details on the 23 February general strike, is available for viewing.