On October 2nd a worker on the High-Speed Train works died in Zizurkil (Gipuzkoa). It is the second death in these works in just a few days and the ninth in recent years. According to the main Basque trades union the reason of the large amount of deaths is poor working conditions.
The worker died in the tunnel between Zizurkil and Andoain. After leaving the concrete mixer truck, the vehicle started to move –one of the hypotheses is that he failed to put the parking brake on–, and the worker was caught against another truck.
Abdel, a 30-year-old Moroccan, was well-known among the crane workers. He worked for Tecnolevers and Mobile Cranes SL, which works for Comercial Urratz outsourcers in the High-Speed Train works which will connect the main Basque cities.
In 2012, the Basque Government gave the task of building that railway section to the Amenabar, Comsa, Isolux-Corsan and Dragados multinationals’ business alliance. It cost 180 million Euros and is facing a delay of at least two years.
According to workers’ sources, over recent days they had been working very hard putting cement inside the tunnel and 4,500 meters underground. ELA trade union members were there and explained that at the moment Abdel died four mixer trucks were working in the same place.
He is the second worker to die on the High-Speed Train works in the last few days. On September 23rd a 46-year-old worker died after feeling discomfort due to the heat wave that day. He, too, was also working for an outsourcing company and doing one of the hardest jobs in the works: bending and putting up iron for the shuttering.
Poor working conditions rule on the long list
Officially nine people have already died in recent years at the largest Basque public works, and other hundreds have been injured, some of them severely. As ELA trades union denounced, there could be more dead workers not on that list, but as the majority are subcontracted immigrants there is scarcely any information.
In the Zuloan book (literally, In the hole), ARGIA magazine, helped by ELA trades union, exposed labour exploitation on the High-Speed Train works. Due to pressure from the people in charge of the business, workers are operating in very poor conditions; they work for long hours, with no vacation or days-off. Consequently, there is a terrible lack of security.
Informazio askea lantzen dugu ARGIAn, langileok gara proiektuaren jabeak eta gure informazioen atzean ez duzu sekula multinazionalik, bankurik edo alderdi politikorik topatuko. Gure ustez, burujabetza guztien oinarrian dago informazio burujabetza, ezagutzen dugunaren gainean pentsatzen eta erabakitzen dugu. Horregatik diogu kazetaritza independentea dela demokraziaren oinarrietako bat.
Aldizkaria paperean etxean edo e-postan PDFan jaso nahi duzu? Pozik hartuko zaitugu ARGIAko komunitatean. ARGIAkoa izateko, nahi eta ahal duzun ekarpena egin dezakezu, eta bueltan egoki ikusten duzuna eskatu. Indartu dezagun indartzen gaituena!
This Basque Autonomous Community association has asked the authorities not to fumigate pine trees affected by harmful fungi using copper oxide because that would be harmful to public health and the environment.
ARGIA is the senior Basque publication, and it now has its 100th anniversary. Members of ARGIA, along with representatives from the Basque Government, have presented the acts which will be held to celebrate the anniversary. "A century is no ordinary anniversary, and our team has been preparing appropriate celebrations for a long time now", they explained.
The workers have decided to go on strike until they get acceptable working conditions and regular contracts, and a sector-wide agreement is reached.
Klika (‘Click’) is the slogan which has been chosen for this year's Korrika ('Run'), which is the 21st time it will be held. From April 4th to 14th it will go all around the Basque Country, starting at Gares and finishing at Gasteiz. The pro-Basque language run will pay tribute to Jose Luis "Txillardegi" Alvarez Enparantza for his contribution to Basque culture, activism and thought.
The event will take place on May 5th, and the intention is to show solidarity which is often hidden from view. A symbolic gesture will be used to that end: the embrace.
The Strasbourg Human Rights Court has punished Spain for not giving Arnaldo Otegi a fair trial. As a result of the unfair trial the Basque Left leader spent six and a half years in a Spanish prison, as did a further four people on trial in the Bateragune (´Place for Coming Together') case.
The trial on the murder of Iñigo Cabacas has started in Bilbao, atthe third Court of Bizkaia. Six Basque policemen will be judged for being in charge of giving orders or for having admitted firing rubber bullets on the day of the murder. Other Basque policemen also shot rubber bullerts, but their identity has just to be disclosed at the trial.
On 6th October thousands of people took to the streets of Gasteiz (Araba, Basque Country) for Okupatu Gasteiz Eguna (Gasteiz Squatters' Day). Their aim was to congratulate the city's squatter movements and self-managed projects and, in spite of the city council's censorship, proclaim that the streets belongs to everybody. The day started with a colourful demonstration, but that was followed by a festive spirit which lasted until the early hours of the next day.
On Monday Bilbao City Council (Bizkaia, Basque Country) opened what it has called "Zorrotzaurre Island". At the act local people expressed their disagreement with the project.
Sustrai Erakuntza foundation has presented a proposal for the improvement of railway system resources as an alternative of the High-Speed Train (HST) –Abiadura Handiko Trena in Basque (AHT)– that is planned to be implanted in Navarre (Basque Country).