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Newsline: Spanish embassy and consulate staff on ‘indefinite strike’ in the UK

Eighty percent of employees of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UK, and associated trade unions, are supporting a strike against salary inequality and Social Security payments. The strike began with a protest outside the Spanish embassy in London on Monday 14 March, and is now in its fifth day. A second call to strike will take place on Monday 21 March in Manchester. (https://www.surinenglish.com/spain/spanish-embassy-consulate-20220316140626-nt.html) In a statement, representatives of the employees have said that the strike will go on for an indefinite period of time until demands are met, affecting the consulates in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, as well as the embassy. According to the representatives, the problems regarding salary inequality and Social Security payments have been made worse since the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The workers have three main demands. Firstly, a salary update to remedy their loss of purchasing power due to thirteen years of frozen wages. Secondly, they demand the immediate homogenisation of workers’ salaries within the same administrative category. According to the representatives’ statement, newer employees are being paid more than those who have worked within the organisations for years, despite the fact that all are affected by rising prices and inflation. They claimed that workers with the longest contracts sometimes find that their salary does not comply with the United Kingdom’s minimum wage. Thirdly, strikers demand the option to contribute to the Spanish Social Security system. According to the representatives, the strike comes after months of unsuccessful communication with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director General of the Foreign Service.

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