Earlier this week members of the Andalusian Union of Workers took part in raids on two supermarkets to highlight the plight of the unemployed in Spain.
On Tuesday a branch of Carrefour in Cadiz was the target for the raid with hundreds of union members filling 20 trolleys with milk, pasta, bread, beans and other items. They then attempted to leave the store without paying saying that they were not stealing but were “expropriating” stock due to the severity of the situation. After a few hours of negotiation the store agreed to allow 12 trolleys of goods to be donated.
A spokesperson for Carrefour confirmed that the manager of the store involved had reached a deal with the union to make a donation in order to avoid a forcible raid, and also that it is company policy to make charitable donations.
Two members were arrested on suspicion of theft but were released yesterday.
Also in the firing line was a branch of Mercadona in Seville. Up to thirty union members entered the shop but were stopped at the door while attempting to leave without paying for 10 trolleys of groceries.
Police were called but by the time they arrived the members had loaded most of the goods into a van to be transferred to a food bank to be distributed amongst the needy.
Supermarket and distribution associations said in a statement although the sector has suffered most stores have reduced prices and showed “solidarity” with the Spanish people. They also condemned the “unjustifiable acts of violence”.
The leaders of some of Spain’s larger unions also criticised the raids but members vowed to continue with their “raids” to draw attention to the toll that an unemployment rate of 34% is taking on the region.
“This is an act of desperation in the name of families facing desperate situations,” said José Caballero, an SAT organizer who participated in the raids.