The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Families at the Government of Catalonia has increased the minimum services initially decreed for the strike action planned this week. The changes have been made due to a preventative warning being issued for a pollution episode for particulate matter (PM10). Service levels are being stepped up in a bid to prevent an increase in surface traffic, particularly private vehicles, as users seek alternatives to the metro.
Users are recommended to seek alternative means of travel if possible, avoiding the use of pollutant vehicles as the anticyclone forecast for the coming week means a pollution episode may be declared.
Minimum services during strike action by TMB workers:
- From 7 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 6 pm, 65% of regular service
- From 10.50 pm until the network closes, 45%
- Rest of the day, regular service (with possible disruptions for the incorporation or withdrawal of trains)
Disruptions relating to asbestos
One of the points being negotiated by the Works Council are the health implications for workers dues to the presence of asbestos, which can be found in some of the infrastructure and trains.
The plan to manage material containing asbestos is being rolled out according to the law, as thoroughly as possible and with constant communication with staff affected and their representatives, also according to labour health protocols and in liaison with the Public Health Agency.
TMB is devoting the resources needed to identify, isolate and later remove the material from the vehicles and the metro infrastructure which contain asbestos. It has also taken the first steps in the process to purchases 42 trains of five wagons each to replace the oldest models (series 3000 and 4000), which make up the majority of the trains on L1 and L3.
Once the oldest trains have been replaced, in four years some 95% of asbestos will have been removed and encapsulated.
Last Friday’s full council meeting approved the creation of an interdisciplinary commission between all administrations and other stakeholders to identify and remove all element from the metro system which contain asbestos and which could affect the health of workers.