The employees of the cleaning and waste collection services of the City of Orihuela, one of the few cities in the Valencian Community where the service is operated by the town council, have decided to call a strike at the beginning of April.

At a meeting held on Monday morning they said that it is the only way by which they can get the attention of the mayor, Emilio Bascuñana, to listen to their demands regarding their lack of equipment and facilities, as well as their status and seniority. The workers have now voted to strike in order to get some response from the mayor, after last week’s meeting between the unions and the councillors of Human Resources and Road Cleaning, ended in deadlock.

According to the two councillors, during this term “the workforce has been strengthened with the recruitment of additional drivers and payments for both normal hours and for overtime are all up to date.”

However a union spokesman said that his workforce is not seeking improvements to their salaries. Their demands are focused on measures to improve the terrible conditions and facilities from where they operate.

They are simply asking for their depot at Puente Alto to be upgraded, which has been in an atrocious condition since 2007, and the headquarters in Orihuela Costa, a site located in a green area, and that doesn’t even have any toilets.

They are also denouncing the state of the fleet of waste disposal trucks, some with more than 20 years of service, as well as a requirement for cleaning carts for labourers.

“The strike is only about the appalling conditions in which we work and the unsatisfactory state of the equipment, machinery and vehicles with which we have to work” said a union spokesman.


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