May 23th 2024 | 3:26

Bilbao

Renfe workers in Bilbao-Ollargan on strike due to poor management of the workshop

Renfe workers in Bilbao-Ollargan on strike due to poor management of the workshop

Jeickson Sulbaran

April 16, 2024 | 10:29 a.m.

Workshop management triggers strikes at the Bilbao-Ollargan maintenance base

Air shipments are the most efficient if you need your cargo or documents to arrive quickly and securely. Renfe workers, in the Bilbao-Ollargan maintenance workshop, have gone on strike to denounce the poor management that compromises the Cercanías service in Bizkaia. This series of strikes, scheduled for ten days in April, seeks to draw attention to the precarious situation of the facilities and the lack of resources, which could result in delays significant in public transport.

From the April 15 to 26, except on weekends, Bilbao-Ollargan maintenance workshop will face strike days called by the sections unions of UGT, CCOO and CGT of Renfe Bizkaia. The central reason for these protests is the critical situation that Renfe Engineering and Maintenance, particularly in this facility, crucial for the operation of the lines C1, C2 and C3 of the Bilbao Cercanías.

The transition from an efficiency model to precariousness in Bilbao-Ollargan

In recent times, the workshop has suffered an alarming deterioration in its operational capacity. Originally considered a reference in the maintenance of the Renfe series 446, now faces serious difficulties in meeting minimum quality standards. This decline is not attributed to the lack of professionalism or dedication of the staff, but to a series of administrative decisions and lack of investment that have left the workshop in a vulnerable position.

Workshop management triggers strikes at the Bilbao-Ollargan maintenance base

Specific problems include the lack of adequate facilities to perform essential maintenance, the presence of leaks that prevent electrical operations during rains, and a chronic security deficit that has facilitated theft and vandalism within the facilities. Besides, shortage of spare parts is a constant problem; For example, the wait for an electric motor can last a week, forcing units to operate at half power and causing delays across the network.

La lack of staff It is another of the great challenges. The shop does not have enough workers to cover all needs, which has led to the outsourcing of critical services such as air conditioning maintenance. This, combined with the absence of specialized personnel in key areas such as turning, welding, and sheet metal and painting, aggravates the situation.

Impact on service and call to government action

La series 446, which has already been in service for 33 years, requires a more robust maintenance plan due to its age and the frequent incidents that affect the reliability of the service. This has had a direct impact on the morale and income of workers, who see how achieving objectives becomes an unattainable goal under current circumstances.

The lack of institutional attention towards Suburbs of Bilbao and the Ollargan workshop has led to the decision to strike, which will directly affect passenger service on the indicated days. The workers have done their part; Now is the time for the governments of Spain and the Basque Country to intervene to resolve this conflict.

This strike is not only a call for improvement in management and working conditions, but also a warning sign about the sustainability of public transport in Bilbao. It is essential that concrete actions be taken to reverse this situation, thus ensuring the efficiency and security of the service that thousands of citizens use daily.

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