Miners strike in Spain

Yesterday marching miners joined forces in two large demonstrations in Oviedo and Ponferrada (León) to mark their second day on strike. Meanwhile those miners who began a hunger strike last week and those that have locked themselves in a mine are continuing their protests in an attempt to force the companies Grupo Alonso and Viloria to pay the salaries that they owe their employees and also to try and a law passed on aid for national coal mining.

In León nearly two hundred miners joined the ‘Black March II’ in Ponferrada. The demonstration set off outside the company headquarters of ‘Grupo Alonso’ where four miners on hunger strike since 13th September have set up camp. The march is expected to arrive in León on 29th September after covering 165 kilometres divided into nine stages.

In Asturias, four marches which began on Wednesday from different parts of the region joined forces to make two larger demonstrations before reaching Oviedo. Confrontations between the two groups occurred when they were trying to decide who would head the demonstrations.

Furthermore, UGT and workers from the Guardo mine in Palencia announced that a new march would cover over 100 kilometres on foot and would converge on Leon next week on 29th September, the day of the national general strike.

The second day of the miners strike managed to bring activity in the mines of Asturias and Puertollano (Ciudad Real) to a complete halt and received a high level of support Castilla-León and Aragón, where some strikers cut off access to the mines of Sierra de Arcos and the María mine by creating barricades of burning tyres.

Six trade unionists who have locked themselves in the headquarters of the Ministry of Industry, two of whom have been on hunger strike for 9 days, said that they would continue protesting if there were no advances on their demands.

Meanwhile nearly 50 miners who have locked themselves in a mine in Velilla del Río Carrión (Palencia) have spent 22 days protesting which is just four more than the workers who have locked themselves in a mine in Tremor de Arriba (León).