Two thousand striking Spanish Metro workers occupied a church in a northern Madrid suburb on Tuesday (6 January) to draw attention to their demands for more pay.
GV Metro workers milling outside church. (3 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SV Police and vans on standby.
SV Workers entering church.
Initials VS 1.40 VS 1.45
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Background: Two thousand striking Spanish Metro workers occupied a church in a northern Madrid suburb on Tuesday (6 January) to draw attention to their demands for more pay.
In all, 4,000 employees of the Madrid Metor are on strike....paralysing the city's underground rail network.
The stoppage is the first labour challenge to the new government of King Carlos.
Labour leaders have refused a Government offer of talks on the condition that the strikers returned to work.
On Monday night, police hurled tear gas grenades into a Metro depot where about 1,800 men had gathered. The workers eventually left the depot and 300 of them gathered in the working class church.
Their number swelled to 2,000 on Tuesday, but so far police have taken no action.
It is only the second stoppage by Metor workers since 1939. During the last, in 1969, the men returned to work after General Franco had threatened to "militarise" them...making them liable for court martial.
The same power is still open to Spain's Government, but it's believed unlikely that any such action will be taken.