After more than 14 hours of negotiation, the associations that make up the National Committee for Road Transport have accepted the latest proposal for measures presented by the Government, which represent a global amount of more than 1,000 million euros and which includes a discount of 20 cents per liter on fuel until June 30. This has been announced by the Ministry of Transport and also by Fenadismer, one of the large carrier associations included in the CNTC and which joined the strikes last Tuesday. However, the Platform for the Defense of the Transport of Merchandise by National and International Road, which brings together above all autonomous carriers and which began the strikes 11 days ago, is not included in that body that has accepted the agreement and its managers rule out ” completely” to put an end to the strike regardless of the outcome of the negotiation.
The president of the platform for the defense of road freight transport, Manuel Hernández, has considered that the agreement reached with the Government translates into “crumbs and tips” and has warned that the strike will continue until this platform, convener of the itself, is received by the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez.
For its part, the Ministry of Transport trusts that, once the agreement is accepted by the CNTC, it will be possible to convince carriers on indefinite unemployment to resume their activity.
In total, the document signed by the carrier associations that are part of the Committee specifies that the Executive’s aid to the sector will amount to more than €1.05 billion.
Regarding the reduction of fuel, the agreement includes a bonus of 20 cents per liter of diesel, gasoline, gas and adblue (15 cents by the State and 5 cents by the oil companies), which will remain in force at least Until June 30th. According to the breakdown of the Ministry, more than 600 million will be used to grant these bonuses
The Government’s calculations point to a monthly saving of about 700 euros per truck that runs on diesel.
In addition, other 450 million euros in direct aid to the sector both freight and passenger transport from public budgets: the amount will be 1,250 euros per truck, 950 per bus, 500 per van and 300 per light vehicle (taxis, VTC and ambulances), with a limit of 400,000 euros as maximum per company.
The agreement includes extending the maturities of ICO loans to the sector, up to 8 or 10 years and the grace period by 6 months, as well as a new ICO line of credit with a 12-month grace period. It is also planned to double the budget for aid for leaving the carrier profession (from 10 to 20 million euros).
Likewise, the Government undertakes to send to the CNTC before July 31 a draft bill to apply “the principles of the law of the food chain” to the transport sector to avoid abuse of subcontracting and prevent payment by its services at a price lower than its costs.
All these measures will come into force once the decree law that the Executive is preparing for the council of ministers next Tuesday, March 29, is approved as part of its plan to respond to the economic impact of the war in Ukraine.
“The Government has fulfilled its part and the transport sector must be responsible (…) it is not admissible that society be subjected to more uncertainty, the demands of the Committee and the platform have been widely met and there are no reasons or excuses to not fully resume activity”, defended the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez.
At a press conference after ending the meeting, Sánchez has asked the carriers participating in the strike these days to read the agreement and has appealed to their “responsibility” to restore normality after the supply problems registered as a consequence of their mobilization.
Regarding the Platform’s announced rejection of the agreed measures for not having participated in the negotiation, the minister insisted that “what is important is not who sits at the table”, and has defended that the associations that are part of the Committee they are the valid interlocutors because they were recently chosen by the entire sector.
Asked why the Government took more than a week to act since the strike began -on March 14-, Sánchez stressed that its incidence was “very minority” at first and that with the passing of days they already joined “many bona fide carriers” because the rise in fuel prices made their operations difficult.
However, he lamented the violent acts recorded since the protests began, and recalled that 24,000 agents were mobilized these days to prevent this type of situation and guarantee the safety of 5,000 organized convoys to guarantee supply.
The president of the CNTC, Carmelo González Sayas, has specified to journalists that the agreement has been taken “unanimously”.
However, those responsible for the so-called National Platform for the Defense of Transport do not feel represented and have called a demonstration for this Friday in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Transport in Madrid. “As long as the Ministry of Transport does not sit down, does not negotiate, does not agree and sign with Platform, this is not going to stop: it must be taken for granted,” assured the representative of that organization, Manuel Hernández.