A strike of more than 20,000 metal workers in Cadiz, Spain has halted the operations of key manufacturing plants, including Airbus and Alestis, with barricades erected, roads blocked, and vehicles burned.

Cadiz, the capital of the southernmost province of the country, has become one of the main sites of protests over working conditions. The Avenida de Astilleros is currently closed to traffic, with protesters burning vehicles.

Picket lines also blocked access to major shipbuilding and industrial sites of key local companies, such as Airbus, Navantia, Dragados, Alestis, and Acerinox, causing their work to be interrupted. 

Protesters also cut off access to major industrial zones in Puerto Real and Campo de Gibraltar with barricades and bonfires. Rail traffic is also being obstructed, with pipes thrown onto the tracks.

The national police have been deployed to bring the situation under control and to protect the industrial sites. At one point on Tuesday, the strike turned into a full-scale confrontation, with protesters throwing rocks and screws at police, who reacted by firing rubber bullets. One person was arrested. 

The Federation of Metal Entrepreneurs (FEMCA), which represents major employers in the region, reiterated earlier its offer for dialogue with the workers, while stressing that the union’s requests were “unjustified” and “disproportionate.”

The workers say they will continue the strike until FEMCA provides them with an acceptable agreement.

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