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Spanish rail strike disrupts scores of summer travelers

July 31, 2019
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Passengers wait during rail strike at the Atocha station in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Spanish national rail operator Renfe has canceled hundreds of train journeys on one of the busiest travel days of the year due to a strike over staffing levels. The company said more than 700 scheduled services wouldn't operate Wednesday, a day when many people would normally head off for their summer vacation. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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Passengers wait during rail strike at the Atocha station in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Spanish national rail operator Renfe has canceled hundreds of train journeys on one of the busiest travel days of the year due to a strike over staffing levels. The company said more than 700 scheduled services wouldn't operate Wednesday, a day when many people would normally head off for their summer vacation. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

MADRID (AP) — Spanish national rail operator Renfe has canceled hundreds of trains on one of the busiest travel days of the year due to a strike over staffing levels.

The company said more than 700 scheduled services wouldn’t operate Wednesday, when many people are heading off on their summer vacation. Most Spaniards take their summer breaks in August.

The Spanish General Workers’ Federation also plans walkouts on three other heavy vacation traffic days — Aug. 14 and 31, and Sept. 1.

The walkouts are held in two periods of four hours each. The government stipulated that a minimum number of services must run on each day of the strikes.

The workers’ federation argues that a shortage of staff is leading to overwork and lower service quality. It says some 14,000 people work for state-owned Renfe.

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