Wednesday, 5th October 2011
Ayuntamiento protestors continue to block border
LA LINEA WORKERS PILE LARGE ROCKS ON FRONTIER ROAD
by Brian Reyes
La Linea’s Policia Local have implemented new traffic arrangements to minimise the impact of the daily border protests held by Ayuntamiento workers.
As the workers march toward the border, police officers divert cars into La Linea and then back toward the Rock, thereby avoiding the demonstrators.
The workers continue to block the border to all vehicle traffic for 15 minutes every day, but the protests have become largely symbolic.
Every day at 12.45, the police and the demonstrators face each other until it is time to move on again. So far, everyone is sticking to the script and there has been no trouble. But the frustration amongst some of the work-force is clearly evident. The workers piled large rocks on the border road coming into Gibraltar. They have done this before but yesterday’s impromptu barricade was larger than on previous occasions. The 800-strong workforce has received some cash recently but is still owed around E5m according to union chiefs in the Spanish town. And in another development that could have a bearing on future protests, La Linea’s Ayuntamiento has begun a round of redundancies in an effort to reduce the size of the municipal workforce.
On Monday, the council announced the loss of 16 posts and more will follow.
PSOE mayor Gemma Araújo has said La Linea must first reduce the size of its municipal workforce if the cash-strapped ayuntamiento is to recover its financial stability.