Pickets were at the entrances of the big member bodegas of Fedejerez yesterday in the biggest show of strength since the beginning of the 1990s when the industry was restructured, but then there were some 10,000 workers compared to barely 900 today. They have chosen the timing carefully to put the maximum pressure on the bodegas at this important time of year with much Sherry being bottled and dispatched for the peak Christmas period.
|Police keeping order outside bodega (foto:diariodejerez)|
The unions say the strike is supported 100% but Fedejerez says fewer than half the workforce have come out. The larger bodegas say that although some workers, especially the older ones, reported for work, production was paralysed, but in the smaller ones most people turned up for work. The police attended a couple of minor incidents where workers tried to impede access to bodega directors, and nails were scattered at two bodega entrances causing punctures to vehicles.
It is hard to say how long the bodegas can cope with this situation, which if prolonged, could cause serious damage to them, but both sides are aware that an early resolution is in everyone’s interests. Both sides say they are still prepared to negotiate.