The sixteen teams in the Spanish women's competition have announced a strike. The players are not satisfied with the current collective agreement and are taking action now that after long negotiations there is no prospect of improvement.
"For months now, attempts have been made in vain to reach a collective agreement with minimal employment contracts and a minimum number of hours, but there is still no agreement. It is time for action," writes Orange-international and Real Betis player Merel van Dongen on Twitter.
The Spanish players' union AFE says that there have already been thirteen meetings with the Spanish football association, but that there is still no agreement. Two hundred football players, including Van Dongen, met on Tuesday to discuss the situation. 93 percent voted for the AFE's plans to take action.
Ainhoa Tirapu, player of Athletic Club and vice-chairman of the women's committee of the players' union, emphasizes that the players cannot help but strike. "It's not just about the money, but also about our rights. We don't even do this for ourselves, but for the players of the future."
Four Orange internationals active in Spain
Tirapu is disappointed that they have to strike. "It's a tough day, but given that the negotiations don't get along, there is nothing else to do. We came up with minimal requirements and thought about a solution, but nothing has been achieved yet. We cannot sit still. "
It is not yet known when the strike will begin and what it will look like exactly. Several players of the Orange Women are active in the Spanish women's competition with, among others, Lieke Martens, Stefanie van der Gragt (both FC Barcelona), Sari van Veenendaal (Atlético Madrid) and Van Dongen.
Barcelona is currently leading the Primera Division for women with sixteen points from six games. Van Veenendaal is third with Atlético at one point in Barcelona and Van Dongen with Real Betis in thirteenth place.