Nissan workers protest with slow drives to Barcelona against factory closures
1,000 vehicles take part, as Japanese carmaker's decision puts 20,000 jobs at risk
Nissan workers held several slow marches with a thousand vehicles involved (according to Barcelona's local police) from the carmakers’ plants in Catalonia to Barcelona city center on Thursday.
The employees of the Japanese firm continued their protests after Nissan announced the closure of its three plants in Catalonia – unions believe the factories will stop activity in December, putting up to 20,000 jobs at risk, including 3,000 Nissan workers and several thousands more working in companies supplying services to the Japanese firm.
Employees began three slow drives at 10.30 am from the three plants in Catalonia: Barcelona’s Zona Franca industrial estate, Montcada i Reixac and Sant Andreu de la Barca.
They all met outside the Japanese consulate in Barcelona, in Diagonal Avenue, in the capital’s financial district, at around noon. Dozens of taxi drivers also joined the action.
Nissan workers have been on indefinite strike ever since May 4 to protest against the uncertainty of their jobs.
Rallies stepped up last Thursday, when the Japanese firm confirmed it would close their plants in Catalonia – that day, employees burned tires outside the plant's entrances and cut off roads in the Zona Franca industrial estate, where the main seat of Nissan in Barcelona is located, and went on to block the city’s Litoral ring road and Gran Via avenue.
The following day, workers rallied outside four of the brand’s main dealerships in the country, sticking posters and throwing eggs against their display windows.
The Catalan and Spanish authorities have committed to work together in order to save the plants, although the decision has already been made.
Yet, the option of nationalizing the factories has been already ruled out by authorities.