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Spanish metalworkers call off strike after pay deal

METALWORKERS in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz began returning to their jobs today after trade unions reached a pay deal with employers.

The agreement still needs to be approved by workers, who will vote in a ballot today. Details of the deal were not immediately made public.

The open-ended strike, involving about 20,000 workers, began on November 16 and lasted for nine days.

Workers demanded a pay rise in line with the surging inflation rate, which in October stood at 5.5 per cent while wages stagnated.

Picketing workers cut access to Cadiz’s main industrial zone with bonfires and blockades, while a heavy police presence stoked periodic violence.

Two people were arrested over the course of the strike.

Hundreds of jobs have been lost in the province, which has an unemployment rate of 23 per cent — one of Spain’s highest.

Most of the employment in Cadiz’s metal sector is in shipbuilding.

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