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Bilbobus on strike, starting April 9 in Bilbao

Bilbao without bus service, on weekdays starting April 9

Jeickson Sulbaran

March 15, 2024 | 8:02 a.m.

The Bilbobus strike has paralyzed mobility in Bilbao since April 9, affecting daily travel.

From next April 9, Bilbao will face a reduced mobility scenario. The decision of the Bilbobus workers to start an indefinite 24-hour strike from Monday to Friday highlights the complexity of the negotiations between the staff and the concessionaire company, as well as with the City Council.. This measure, the result of a voting process where the option of a total strike has prevailed, not only affects regular users of the bus service, but also poses a significant challenge for the municipal management of urban mobility.

Workers seek to demand a salary update that compensates for the loss of purchasing power suffered in recent years, marked by notable increases in the CPI. However, the company Biobide argues contractual limitations that prevent these demands from being met.. This situation, which has been at a standstill since October, suggests a deep disagreement not only in economic terms, but also regarding the expectations of flexibility and contractual adaptability on the part of both parties involved.

Bilbao without bus service, on weekdays starting April 9

The current contract, established in 2019 for a duration of ten years, is at the center of the dispute. His review, which could involve significant adjustments to salary conditions, runs into legal and financial barriers, including potential early termination costs. This legal and economic impasse reveals the complexities of managing public services under concession models, where the initially planned financial balances may be challenged by changes in the broader economic context.

The City Council's response, focused on the search for legal and financially viable solutions, reflects the tension between the need to maintain essential public services and budgetary and contractual constraints. The Bilbobus situation exemplifies the challenges that many cities face in the management of essential public services, at a time when the expectations of workers and the financial capabilities of administrations and concessionaire companies are constantly evolving.

The labor dispute focuses on updating the agreement and recovering purchasing power.

This strike, beyond its immediate effects on Bilbao's mobility, invites a broader reflection on the management and financing model of urban public services. The balance between the needs of workers, the demands of users and the financial limitations of public administrations It is presented as a central dilemma in the management of urban mobility. In this context, the search for innovative and sustainable solutions becomes essential to ensure both the quality of public services and social and economic justice for those who provide them.

The situation that Bilbao faces with the Bilbobus strike is a clear reminder of the importance of collective bargaining and social dialogue in the management of public services. At the same time, it underlines the need to adapt contractual and financial frameworks to changing economic realities, to prevent similar challenges from compromising urban mobility and, with it, the quality of life in cities.

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