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UPDATE 1-Spanish metalworkers to end strike after reaching pay deal

Wed 24th November, 2021 9:00pm
(Recasts after pay agreement reached)
    By Jon Nazca
    CADIZ, Spain, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Metalworkers unions in the
southern Spanish city of Cadiz reached a preliminary pay deal
with employers late on Wednesday, ending a nine-day strike
involving some 20,000 workers that produced tense confrontations
with police.    
    A spokesperson for the UGT union confirmed a deal had been
reached but did not provide details of the accord, which must
still be ratified by union delegates at each company.
    "I am pleased that companies and metalworkers have reached
an agreement," regional leader Juanma Moreno tweeted.
    The strike began on Nov. 16, after unions and the FEMCA
association of 700 local metal-working companies failed to reach
a new collective bargaining agreement.
    Picketing workers cut access to Cadiz's main industrial zone
with bonfires and blockades.
    Police and unions say the demonstrations were largely
peaceful but occasionally turned violent, with police firing
rubber bullets and charging protesters who hurled rocks and set
fire to rubbish containers. 
    Two people were arrested over the course of the strike. 
    Though multinationals in the area like Airbus  AIR.PA , ACS
 ACS.MC  subsidiary Dragados Offshore, and shipbuilder Navantia
were not involved in the strike, their operations have been
    An Airbus spokesperson said that since the strike began,
workers at the Puerto de Santa Maria plant had been unable to
get past the picket lines, and were only able to enter on
Wednesday with police assistance.
    Labour relations have long been strained in the historic
port town on Spain's Atlantic coast, which suffers from one of
the country's highest unemployment rates despite being home to a
major industrial hub and several tourist draws.
    With inflation running at a near three-decade high, unions
wanted wage increases to be linked to the consumer-price index
to ensure workers do not lose purchasing power.
    Both sides traded accusations of inflexibility over five
rounds of abortive talks before finally striking a deal at a
sixth negotiation in Seville on Wednesday.

 (Additional reporting and writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by
Andrei Khalip, Jan Harvey and Andrea Ricci)
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