Players in Spain’s top flight of women’s football have called for strike action to be taken over two days in November after negotiations over wages broke down last week. The call came after negotiating parties failed to reach an agreement following a meeting on Monday.
The Association of Women’s Football Clubs (ACFF), which brings together the 70 Spanish women’s clubs including the sixteen in the first division, has been negotiating for more than a year with the association of football players on what would become the first collective agreement of the footballers.
The players want to see the annual minimum wage increased from 16,000 to 20,000 euros so as to be able to make a living from the sport. They’re also looking for the right to maternity leave, to thirty days of vacation per year. and a protocol against sexual harassment.
93 percent of the 188 players in the league said they were in favour of the strike which comes at a time of great expansion of women’s football driven in part by the World Cup last World summer and record breaking attendances at matches in the Spanish women’s league.
“It’s not just about money, it goes a lot further,” says Athletic Bilbao’s Ainhoa Tirapu, quoted in the AFE press release, as saying. ” We hope to reach an agreement, but we had to take drastic action because it’s time for women’s football. We must fight for our rights. We are not fighting for ourselves, but for future generations.”
The strike will begin on the ninth day of the league, on the weekend of November 16 and 17, during which time the players will continue training, but league matches will not be played.