A collective agreement that has lapsed, negotiations that have stalled, a ‘sit-in’ and notice of five consecutive days of strike action in November (from 1-15 November) are all evidence of mounting tensions at Endesa, Spain’s largest electric utility company. A review of the preferential electricity rates applied to Endesa’s 26,000 retirees has crystallized the dispute at a time when the social partners had started complex negotiations involving both salaries as well as the social consequences of the closure of some of the company’s electricity power stations. However two years after negotiations commenced to renew the electricity company’s agreement that frames working conditions for 8,800 Endesa workers, things are at a standstill with no prospect for progress. What is being perceived of as a kind of social benefits blackmail, this preferential rates review has proved to be highly inflammatory.
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