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The work councils of Spanish public rail companies Renfe and Adif have agreed to call for five days of strike, on November 24th and 30th and December 1st, 4th and 5th, as an expression of protest against the agreement signed by the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) for the transfer of the Rodalies suburban train services to the Generalitat de Catalunya. It is a strike that is undoubtedly disproportionate and that has only one goal: to serve as a transmission belt for the significant political interests that are against this transfer, those linked to the People's Party and Vox. It is, moreover, a preventative strike, since the agreement takes place in the context of the investiture of the Spanish prime minister, which has not yet taken place and also has no date. And even less will it be, if it ends up being a reality at all, something immediate and quick.

It is perfectly reasonable for trade unions to demand information, and to work to ensure that their working conditions are preserved. But that is not what we are talking about, nor what the work councils are talking about. Even more so, when the Catalan government has affirmed that it will guarantee the working conditions of all employees and that a collaboration agreement between the Generalitat and Renfe will be created to facilitate labour mobility. From the Spanish government, which is the current holder of the services through the Renfe and Adif companies respectively, it has been argued that this is a political agreement that does not address technical aspects of how the transfer of powers would be carried out.

It is not the first time that an objection like this has been raised in a preventative manner and a situation has been unnecessarily generated which in no way responds to the concern that the right-wing political parties are furtively trying to generate. There is no reason for fear to spread among the workers, nor for them to end up worse off. It is completely normal for the Catalan government to demand the transfer and that, as part of the political negotiation, the government of Spain ends up making a transaction to stay in power. This is what politics is all about and the task of unions is to be attentive and watchful. But also to be responsible, and it does not seem that considering a five-day strike with the consequent inconvenience to passengers is a intelligent or well-thought-out measure.

From the Catalan territorial ministry, it has been made clear both actively and passively that respect for the labour rights acquired by the employees will be included and the Catalan government has given its commitment to the trade unions to explain to them how the transfer will be carried out and that the management will continue to be 100% public. That's as it should be. It is clear that the transfer alone will not fix the situation of Rodalies, nor the problems that keep on occurring and the public perception. That takes money, a lot of money and, although it goes without saying, time, because it cannot be done overnight. When the unions say that the transfer does not solve the problem, they are right. But this opinion that they now express is one that for a long time was not even heard, let alone with this forcefulness. All parties need to be a little patient, because this has only just begun. And the best thing would be, to begin with, to call off the strike days and find out what's happening without the pressure that this situation entails.