Strike at Cosentino. UGT puts the number of factory workers at 75%, while the company speaks of a “very low” follow-through.

Hundreds of workers, who are taking part in the strike tonight at the gates of the multinational Cosentino.

The labour conflict, according to the union calling the strike (UGT), lies in the elimination of the Toxic and Pain Bonus in the payroll of some 1,500 workers.

Santiago Alfonso, spokesman for the company, describes the strike as “an unfounded and false call for a strike”.

The Cosentino company has been on an indefinite strike since Wednesday, called by the UGT union, a minority in the works council, but which has achieved, according to them, a follow up of more than 75% of the factory workers on its first day. This is the assessment of the union representatives, while the company spokesman, Santiago Alfonso, in declarations to La Comarca Noticias, speaks of a “very low follow up” and even goes so far as to state that “there are more people demonstrating at the door than those who have supported the strike”.

Several hundred people have remained, and continue to remain at this moment, as shown in the photos accompanying this news item, at the gates of the industrial complex that Cosentino has in Cantoria.

The General Secretary of UGT FICA Almeria, Paqui Ramirez, has accompanied the works council from the first hour and has justified this measure, in that “last December the management of the company, together with the union delegates of CCOO, signed an agreement which unilaterally removed the toxicity bonus of the extinct Collective Agreement of Quarries and Sawmills of Marble, leaving this bonus and raising it to 20%, only for workers in the area of Silos and Presses of Silestone factories. Thus eliminating at a stroke a bonus in the payroll of about 1,500 workers, a supplement that was included in their paychecks and was fully consolidated,” he explained to La Comarca Noticias.

The workers speak of discrimination between some and others with this agreement that has been signed only by CCOO, the majority union in the Works Committee. “Seventy-five per cent of the workers have had their bonus taken away from their January pay packets, it is being added to their basic salary, but in the long run it will be absorbed and they will lose it. In any case, it is not a question of money, why are they taking it out of their paychecks if they are breathing the same poison as everyone else”, asks the provincial UGT spokeswoman.

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