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Spain: General strike in Catalonia November 8 /update 30

Catalan unions call for general strike on November 8; transportation disruptions likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/3/2017, 12:00 AM until 11/6/2017, 11:59 PM (Europe/Madrid). COUNTRY/REGION Catalonia

Event

A major Catalan labor union has called for a general strike on Wednesday, November 8, to protest declining working conditions in the region, the impoverishment of the working class, and the October 6 government decree which facilitated the relocation of major Catalan firms out of the region. Associated protests are likely, particularly in Catalonia’s main universities and Barcelona.

As a result, air, bus, and rail services are likely to be disrupted during the strike. According to local media reports, minimal services will be provided on bus and metro services in Barcelona during peak hours from 06:30 to 09:30 and from 17:00 to 20:00 (local time), and on regional trains.

Furthermore, it remains unclear if air traffic controllers as well as air operator employees intend to participate in the strike although minimum services will also be provided.

Government officials have accused the union of using socioeconomic claims to pursue their political agenda, and have threatened to prohibit the strike.

Context

Spain was thrown into a constitutional and political crisis after Catalonia held an independence referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish government, on October 1. Despite the series of logistical and judicial obstacles enacted by the central government to prevent the vote, 42 percent of the Catalan population participated in the referendum, 90 percent of whom voted in favor of independence. Madrid officially suspended the region’s autonomy on October 27 - just moments after the Catalan Parliament unilaterally declared independence - and implemented direct central rule.

On October 6, the Spanish government issued a decree to enable firms to transfer their legal base and headquarters out of Catalonia due to the effects of ongoing political turmoil on market instability.

Advice

Travelers are advised to keep abreast of the situation, to confirm their travel itineraries, and to verify their flight status prior to their departure to the airport. Individuals in Catalonia should anticipate heightened security and carry proper identification documents (passport, visa if applicable, etc.) at all times.

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