Residents and visitors to Madrid are increasingly being confronted by piles of malodorous rubbish and litter-strewn streets as a strike by street cleaners enters its second week.
The mayor of the Spanish capital has denied the city faces a health risk. The city’s street-cleaners are striking over plans to cut hundreds of jobs, and reduce the remaining workers’ salaries.
Madrid is trying to cut its public service costs at a time when the whole country faces a strict austerity drive. A meeting on Thursday between unions and employers ended with no agreement, meaning the strike will go on.
For more than a week now 3.3 million residents of Madrid have smelled, seen and sometimes stepped in, the product of a strike.
This is not Madrid at its best: Overflowing bins, piles of rubbish, cigarette butts scattered everywhere and other kinds of stinky waste littered across the streets and pavements.
“I understand they need to fight for what is theirs,” said a Madrid resident, Mari Angeles Mateos.
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