Spanish bakers have heeded a plea from the detained President of their Association and agreed to end a two day strike and return to work on Friday (19 August).
Spanish bakers have heeded a plea from the detained President of their Association and agreed to end a two day strike and return to work on Friday (19 August). Madrid bakers had been on strike since Wednesday (17 August). They'd been protesting the arrest of 10 leaders of the National Bakes Association, who told bakers to reduce the size of their loaves after the government refused to let them increase prices. Madrid's regional government took over some of the bakeries.
It's expected that the head of Spain's National Baker's Association, Pedro Castro, and nine other bakers would be set free on conditional liberty by Friday (19 August).
Despite the government take-over most of Madrid's bakery shops stayed closed. There are 450 bakeries in the Spanish capital, and the government managed to get fifty three operating.
From early in the morning queues of hungry people formed outside the few open bakeries. The striking bakers have demanded a 35 percent price rise.
After attempts to organise negotiations had failed the bakers' association advised its members to thwart the government's price controls by baking smaller loaves. Bakers began producing loaves only two-thirds the usual size. The government arrested the bakers' leaders, including their President, so the bakers struck, and bread disappeared from the menu.
But on Thursday (18 August), the government's moves showed some success. A few cafes received supplies, but not as many as the authorities had hoped. they've said that seventy per cent of Madrid's bread demand could be met by the commandeered bakeries, but essential needs took priority over other early in the day.
So those retailers fortunate enough to get supplies rationed after bread.
Queues at open bakeries stayed as long as the bread was being produced. The bakers say a 35 per cent price rise is justified. They point to wage increases of 28 per cent in July, and want flour price increases to be passed onto the market. Other Spanish provinces have granted bread price increases.