Wednesday 29 September 2010

Striking the Spanish way...

I'm at the airport in Barcelona and my Easyjet flight is still scheduled to depart at 13.40. The airport is like a ghost town, none of the shops in the arrivals area are open. All have been covered with graffitti "VAGA" and some a fair bit worse.
The atmosphere in the airport is extremely tense, some of the boards which usually have flight information on display have also been painted, making it impossible to find anything. There is a heavy police presence, and the pickets mean business.
At the Easyjet desks, there is a limited service available, most other airlines have decided not to bother, the pickets are allowed into the airport check-in to try and disrupt the limited operation being provided. The Easyjet counters have been vandalised and the pickets have a variety of sirens and loud speakers to make their presence known.
The police have formed a line infront of the Easyjet check-in desks to ensure the staff and the pickets remain apart.
The strike today is a general strike, passengers arriving into Barcelona are finding it impossible to access services towards the city centre. Taxis are not available at the airport, limited bus services are operating. On my way towards the airport today I saw a few 50+ females attempting to walk towards the main highway with their luggage, in the vain hope it would seem to hire a passing Taxi.
I havent been quite able to find out the full detail of the strike, except that it is a general day of action and affects workers in many sectors.