Orihuela city council and the integrated unions in the company committee of Street Cleaning and the Collection of Urban Solid Waste have agreed on a series of investments and measures that will improve the working conditions of the workforce. In total, the consistory has allocated 249,800 euros to improve staff clothing, storage and refurbishment of the of the Puente Alto workshop site.

The meeting was chaired by Human Resources councillor Rafael Almagro on Monday, together with representatives of the unions CCOO, UGT the Road Cleaning Company Committee and RSU. Unfortunately there was no sign of the councillor for Road Cleaning and RSU, Dámaso Aparicio, who seems to find it difficult to work with Almagro. His absence was widely criticised by residents associations and the press.

Discussion centred around the devastating report issued by the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate of Alicante, which two months ago warned that some of the municipal facilities that are used by the staff do not meet the minimum conditions of safety and hygiene.

The report was issued in March and so far the council had done absolutely nothing to address the criticisms it made. This proved particularly frustrating to the workers, who stated that if this issue was not solved, they would carry out demonstrations, even proposing a strike to the service during the summer months.

Reunión RRHH y Comité de Empresa RSU
Reunión RRHH y Comité de Empresa RSU

However this no longer seems likely as, according to municipal sources, both factions have agreed on a timetable and the implementation of a series of measures.

During the meeting Cllr Almagro detailed a number of the additional investments that will be undertaken shortly in order to improve the service. He explained that in the next plenary a budget will be agreed for the acquisition of four refuse trucks costing 900,000 euros, made available through cash savings in other areas.

He also said that 60,000-euro would be allocated for the purchase of a pressure washer as a result of the proposals presented in the Participatory Budgets and that it will go to the coast. In addition, a further 350,000 euros will be allocated for the purchase of rear and side loading containers.

The councillor also recalled that two rental vans had been acquired recently for the transfer of workers to the coast, as well as a new contract for the vehicle repair service “that has considerably accelerated repairs”.