In Madrid, the cleaning service of subway stations and corridors is carried out by subcontractors. Workers of these companies are on strike since more than 13 days ago.
Sadly, citizen users of the subway are not extremely clean, and are able to throw on the floor their used-up tickets, newspapers and other waste, instead of carrying the waste to their own house or the nearest trash can.
The strike has caused all trash cans in the subway to overflow, and precisely for this reason, people should do their part and take their trash to another trash can (outside of the Subway or in their house). However, judging from the accumulation of garbage in the subway of Madrid, some people are clearly incapable of colaboration to keep public places clean.
Aside from the part of responsability that lies on every subway user, there is proof that people have brought garbage into the subway to throw it around, and even to throw oil on subway floors. Some reports relate these acts with the striking workers, although there is no proof of this. Subway corridors have been spray painted with strike slogans. Whether these people are strikers or not, they have the drive to worsen the situation, to annoy other people, and to negatively impact the subway’s image.
Be it due to normal daily use of the subway, or due to the crooks and vandals (they are no less) who intentionally trash the subway, a cleaning service is required to operate daily. If the cleaning service contractors suffer a strike of their workers, the Madrid Subway should simply hire a different company to do the cleaning job. The cleaning service should not cease due to a contractors’ internal issues (the strike in this case).
The president of the regional government of Madrid announced two days ago that the cleaning service contracts would be cancelled, and new contracts would be awarded with other providers. Although there are news reports that steps have been taken to initiate this process, (news in Spanish, see here), the Subway of Madrid should have taken this action long ago. Let us see how long they take to sign on new service providers.
The Madrid Subway should have acted earlier and louder, whether cancelling the contract or temporarily hiring a different service provider (passing the charges on to the contractors suffering the strike).