Trash strike in Spain’s capital ends after 13 days

November 17, 2013 • Business

Women walk past a pile of rubbish surrounding trash containers during the eleventh day of a garbage collec[auth] tors strike, Madrid, Spain, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Street cleaners and garbage collectors who work in the city’s public parks walked off the job in a strike called by trade unions to contest the planned layoff of more than 1,000 workers. Madrid’s municipal cleaning companies, which have service supply contracts with the city authorities, employ some 6,000 staff. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

MADRID (AP) — A trash collectors’ strike that left Madrid’s streets piled high with garbage has ended after 13 days, with workers voting to accept a deal hammered out by trade unions and employers.

Unions called the strike when Madrid’s municipal cleaning companies announced plans to lay off more than 1,000 workers and pay cuts for some 5,000 street cleaners, park workers and garbage collectors.

The return to work Sunday comes after the companies canceled the threatened layoffs in exchange for improved efficiency and a wage freeze until 2017.

The strike’s end coincides with sustained rains that were threatening to block drains with garbage and leaves as winter approaches.

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