Spanish women hold strong on pay claims as strike deadline nears

October 29 – Top-flight women footballers in Spain are carrying out their threat to go on strike indefinitely from November 16 over a disagreement about pay and conditions.

Last week the action was supported by 93% of players employed by 16 clubs, only a few of which are professional, at a meeting in Madrid after more than a year of failed negotiations.

“There has been no agreement with the Association of Women’s Football Clubs and, therefore, an indefinite strike of first division matches has been called, which will begin the weekend of November 16-17,” said the union representing the players following a meeting between the parties on Monday.

The main point of conflict between the clubs and players is part-time contracts, with the players asking for a minimum of €12,000 net a month on a part-time salary, while the clubs offer €8,000.

The  strike will be the first in the history of Spanish women’s football as female athletes continue to fight for greater equality.

Athletic Bilbao captain, Ainhao Tirapu, said in response to the clubs’ decision to limit working hours to 20-per-week, “We are footballers 24 hours a day, 100% of the time. It’s not just money – we have lowered our red lines, but nothing has been achieved.”

The rapid growth of women’s football in Spain has seen spectator numbers at matches rising steadily. Yet like in so many countries, even the World Cup-winning US team, women are still having to fight against pay discrimination.

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