The workers at the largest auditorium in Bilbao have gone on strike

  • Bilbao's largest work-meeting and music centre was built on the site of an old shipyard, which had seen many work-related conflicts: Euskalduna. The 45 workers who provide the complementary services in the auditorium have called an indefinite strike, calling for better working conditions.

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Euskalduna belongs to the Bizkaia regional government, but many of the services there are subcontracted: for instance, staging-work in the halls, assistant door-keeping, work in the ticket-offices, the entrance and the cloakroom. A company called Eulen is in charge of those jobs. An international company which is an expert in outsourcing work.

The subcontracted workers at Euskalduna are asking, amongst other things, for norms about working times to be respected, saying that they work more hours than those agreed to; overtime payments to be guaranteed; and wages to be updated. They say that their wages are low, not having been raised over recent years.  They have also requested a work-timetable: "You have to be ready to work at any time, they change your timetable at any time and without warning you beforehand".

The Euskalduna Conference Centre (photo: Euskalduna.eus)Argazki oina

The workers see no sign of Eulen wanting to resolve the situation, and have gone on strike for that reason, backed up by the main trades union in the Basque Country, ELA.

They have been numerous work problems in Basque museums and cultural buildings in recent years, often involving subcontracting. In 2016 the educators at the Guggenheim and workers at the Fine Arts museum went on long-lasting strikes.

 

This article was translated by 11itzulpen; you can see the original in Basque here.

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