Barcelona's metro will run at 50% service at rush hour during the 2019 Mobile World Congress, from 25th to 28th February. The subway's workers committee has called for two-hour-long partial stoppages, complying with the minimum services ordered by the Catalan government.
Today, the Catalan labour department has said that, if the strike goes ahead, there will be required minimum services of 50% between 6:30 and 9:30am and between 4 and 8pm every day. At other times, minimum levels are 30% of normal capacity. The partial stoppages are planned for 7-9am, 4-6pm and 22:50pm-00:50am daily from Monday to Thursday.
Final talks are taking place this Friday to try and resolve the conflict, but it appears likely the strike will go ahead. Metro staff are calling for better management of the issue of workers affected by asbestos, among other issues. TMB, the network's operator, maintains there are no objective reasons to justify the action.
Meanwhile, the Catalan regional rail operator, FGC, announced earlier this week it will connect the congress's two venues in six minutes during the event. The frequency and capacity of services between the stations Espanya and Europa-Feria will be increased, extra customer service staff will be on duty and routes and signs around the stations will be redesigned to aid mobility.
Last week, the workers committee reported that a former worker had died as a result of cancer related to exposure to asbestos. TMB said they were unaware of the case.
The Mobile World Congress is the sector's most important annual event, and one of the biggest annual events on Barcelona's calendar. Every year, it attracts some hundred thousand industry professionals to the city.