23 hurt in fresh strike clashes

16th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2004, SEVILLE - Twenty-three people were injured Friday in clashes between police and striking shipbuilders in Seville, union sources said.

17 September 2004

SEVILLE - Twenty-three people were injured Friday in clashes between police and striking shipbuilders in Seville, union sources said.

Anti-riot police were brought in to try to bring new violent protests among Izar workers in Seville under control.

But those who were hurt suffered only slight injuries.

Street lamps were destroyed and tyres set up fire in the street, said Ignacio Sánchez, head of Izar, the state-owned shipbuilding company at the centre of a week-long violent strike by workers.

Police in Seville charged the strikers at one point, union sources said.

Three police and twenty workers suffered minor injuries.

The clashes took place near the SE-30 road at the shipbuilders at the Peunte del Centenario at the docks in Seville.

Meanwhile, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said Friday he believed that both sides would reach a deal. He has promised that no worker will face an uncertain future.

The fresh violence came a day after 12 employees were injured in clashes with police in Bilbao Thursday. 

The striking workers from the state-owned shipbuilers have also vowed to stage three work stoppages this month in protest  against a rescue plan for the struggling company.

Police in Bilbao in the Basque region of northern Spain fired rubber bullets at workers demonstrating at the Naval de Sestao shipyard, sending one employee to the hospital with an eye injury, said Txema Velon of the UGT union.

Witnesses said workers set barricades on fire and hurled stones, bolts and fireworks at security forces.

Unions at Izar, which employs 10,700 people on 10 sites, announced plans to down tools on 21, 28 and 30 September following the failure of talks with Izar owners, the state holding company SEPI.

SEPI's proposals call for a separation of Izar's military construction unit, the company's most profitable venture, from the civilian operation, which would be partially privatised.

Izar has been in crisis since European Union authorities demanded in May that it repay EUR 300 million (USD 362 million) of EU aid that Brussels regards as having breached competition rules.

The European Commission may further demand that Izar reimburse more than
EUR 600 million of additional aid, according to SEPI.

A European Commission spokesman said in Brussels on Monday that the panel and Spanish authorities were negotiating a timetable for the repayment that would not threaten the survival of the company.

The sector is struggling in Spain in the face of tight competition from Asia.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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