MADRID (AP) — Trade unions representing metalworkers in the southern Spanish province of Cádiz called off a nine-day strike and workers began returning to their jobs Thursday after reaching a pay deal with employers.
The agreement still needs to be approved by workers, who will vote Friday in a ballot. Details of the deal were not immediately made public.
The open-ended strike began Nov. 16, with street protests at times turning violent as riot police clashed with strikers and their supporters.
Workers demanded a pay rise in line with the surging inflation rate, which in October stood at 5.5%. In the meantime, the wages of many people have stagnated.
Hundreds of jobs have also been lost in the province of Cádiz, which has an unemployment rate of 23%, one of Spain’s highest.
Most of the employment in the province’s metal sector is in shipbuilding. Cádiz, a city of 116,000 people located on the coast near the Strait of Gibraltar, is a blue-collar city where trade unions have deep roots.