Madrid's Streets Are Covered in Garbage

The city's 6,000 cleaners have been on strike for more than a week. That's bad news for anyone who wants to walk outside.

Madrid's street cleaners are now on strike for a second week, protesting substantial pay cuts and layoffs proposed by their employers. And each day, the city's sidewalks become more and more awash in garbage

Private contractors run Madrid's waste collection services. After they proposed eliminating more than 1,000 jobs and reducing wages for remaining workers by as much as 40 percent, nearly all of the 6,000 cleaners took to the streets in protest. 

City Hall, meanwhile, has complained that the contractors are not meeting the minimum service requirements of 40 percent, even during strikes. According to El Pais, the city government has reported "260 cases of garbage containers being set on fire and a further 40 cases of vandalism against public property."

The contractors have since offered to reduce the number of layoffs to 625 employees, but the strike continues. Meanwhile, litter, rotting food, and dog excrement continuing to pile up along the streets of Spain's capital:

A woman walks past garbage strewn on the pavement during almost a week of indefinite strike by street cleaners in central Madrid November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Juan Medina)
A man walks past garbage strewn on the pavement during almost a week of indefinite strike by street cleaners in central Madrid November 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Juan Medina)
Cardboard collectors pick cardboard up from garbage strewn on the pavement on the eighth day of an indefinite strike by street cleaners in Madrid November 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Susana Vera)
A cardboard and paper collector searches through garbage strewn on the pavement outside a Santander bank branch on the eighth day of an indefinite strike by street cleaners in Madrid November 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Susana Vera)
People walk past garbage strewn on a park during almost a week of indefinite strike by street cleaners in central Madrid November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)
Dogs eat garbage left on the street on the second day of an indefinite strike by street cleaners in Madrid, November 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Susana Vera)
People walk past garbage strewn on the pavement on the fifth day of an indefinite strike by street cleaners in central Madrid November 9, 2013. (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)
A woman walks in between garbage lying at the entrance of a BBVA bank branch on the second day of an indefinite strike by street cleaners in Madrid, November 6, 2013. The graffiti reads: "Fight without leaders" and "strike" (R). (REUTERS/Susana Vera)
A woman passes by a Bankia bank branch during a protest in Madrid November 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Juan Medina)

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