surinenglish

Working around the clock to ensure no one goes without

David Lapeira, a lorry driver from Vélez-Málaga..
David Lapeira, a lorry driver from Vélez-Málaga.. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • Lorry drivers have been working non-stop, many of them giving up their Easter holidays, to bring much-needed supplies

Across logistics and distribution centres during this period, especially for food and medical equipment, the responsibility weighs heavily. Families and the sick depend on them to ensure that their homes and hospitals are stocked up during this crisis. Officially regarded as essential workers, many transporters are giving up their Easter holidays - with the government's permission - to ensure supplies get through. And it doesn't come without its difficulties; until recently they had nowhere to stop and rest.

"I won't stop until everything is back to normal; no matter how many months it takes," says Juan Manuel Pedrosa, 33, who followed his father into the profession. "It's a bit overwhelming, we're giving it our all, but no matter how many trucks go out, it's never enough. We're working night and day, always respecting the minimum daily rest of nine hours," he says.

He also points out that the government has relaxed regulations regarding other waiting times.

"Many weekends I haven't stopped. I keep working hard, I've been crazy for a few days," he admits, but he doesn't blame the people who are keeping him so busy: "It's normal that supermarket sales increase because you have to do everything at home; you can't go out to eat at the weekend anymore."

When he enters a logistics warehouse he protects himself with a mask and gloves, "although we self-employed have special blood, we never get sick", he jokes.

Responsibility

Claudio Samuel Pasolea also feels the weight of responsibility during this time. This truck driver, of Romanian origin, has been living in Madrid for almost half his life. "I load up there and drop off in Malaga with a stop at the company's office in Bailén," he says.

He always drives at night to take fruit and vegetables to the supermarkets. "Some weekends I've been making extra trips because they needed trucks. People need to go shopping and you have to help; it's not for the money, 60 or 100 euros more won't make you rich, but I see I'm helping," he says.

The worst part, however, is that some petrol stations won't allow them inside to use the toilets or a place to have a coffee. But, in response, the Ministry of Transport has since created a georeferenced map of rest areas for transporters during the state of alarm.

Miguel Pertierra, 49, drives a 40-tonne trailer across the country, from Oviedo to Malaga. "We have to do our part," he says. The first days were difficult because the service areas completely denied access, but now he can find more facilities for shopping, eating and using the showers and toilets. "We can't eat cold meat all day," he jokes.

Like these men, today once more hundreds of truck drivers are driving on Malaga's roads to ensure that no one goes without this Easter.