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Administration Lawyer Strike Threatens Judiciary Collapse

The strike by court clerks has bought nearly 6,000 cases to a standstill in the province of Malaga and puts the system under threat of collapse

The threat of collapse that hangs over the Spanish courts is increasingly serious. The lawyers of the administration of justice are maintaining the indefinite strike action that began on January 24 which was preceded by several partial strikes in previous months.

These professionals, called court clerks since October 2015, have so far not managed to settle with the Government, after a 15-hour meeting at the Ministry of Justice, the salary and labour improvements that in some cases have been demanded for a decade. The strikes, according to the conveners, have already caused the suspension of 152,000 trials and appeals.

One of the main demands of the 4,441 lawyers of the Administration of Justice in Spain is to receive 85% of the salary remuneration of judges and magistrates, which would mean an average increase of 600 euros per month.

The representatives of this higher body of officials, whose function is to direct the judicial office in the procedural technical aspect, arrived at the ministry on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and left Friday at eight in the morning empty-handed.

Upon leaving, they reproached Pilar Llop’s department for not having made “any concrete offer” to satisfy their demands. “There was no dialogue or honesty, the ministry had no intention of reaching any kind of understanding, they only repeatedly demanded that we call off the strike,” said Juan José Yáñez, a member of the strike committee and the Progressive Lawyers Union ( UPSJ).

In turn, Justice accused the lawyers of having abandoned the negotiating table, which they deny. “This is not a strike by workers who want to make ends meet, that their jobs are in jeopardy. It is a strike of privileged people who earn 40,000 to 60,000 euros a year. It reminds me a lot of that strike by air traffic controllers,” said the Secretary of State for Justice, Tontxu Rodríguez.

The Government demands the cessation of the strike to resume the talks, which the organisers oppose. Both sides are blaming each other for “taking all citizens hostage.”

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