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No progress on MWC transport strike
17 February 2012
GSM Association looks for transport alternatives as Barcelona metro and bus workers plan strike for Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress
The GSM Association says it is meeting officials of the city of Barcelona as well as regional and national officials to try to avert the closedown of Barcelona’s metro system and buses during Mobile World Congress.
The 7,300 staff of Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona, the main public transport operator, are planning to go on strike on Monday February 27, the opening day of MWC, and stay out until the last day, Thursday March 1.
A report in Spanish newspaper El Periódico says that the workers are looking for a pay increase of €700 each, but a TMB official said that public transport in Barcelona “is on the verge of bankruptcy”.
The GSMA said senior executives have been meeting regularly with government officials from the city of Barcelona, the Catalonia regional government and the Spanish Ministry of Industry, as well as Fira, which owns the show venue, and police authorities.
The GSMA said it has advised the government authorities that they should do everything to avert the strike “and we have been assured that negotiations are ongoing in order to try and resolve the issues”.
The association, which is expecting more than 60,000 visitors to the conference, said that “in the event the parties do not reach agreement, comprehensive contingency plans are in place to ensure that all participants of the Mobile World Congress have unfettered access to and from the Fira during all days of the event”.
The GSMA added: “The GSMA remains confident that the issues will be resolved and that there will be little, if any, impact to the Mobile World Congress.”
Barcelona won a contest last year to host Mobile World Congress for five further years from 2013 and to be named Mobile World Capital. GTB
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