The former Pegaso truck factory, which stood at this point in La Sagrera neighbourhood, was the scene of several workers’ protests in the 1950s and 60s, during the Francoist dictatorship. The workers’ movement was one of the sectors that most vehemently opposed the regime. In the 1970s, moreover, La Sagrera was the scene of demonstrations by residents demanding that the site left by the factory when it was transferred to the Zona Franca should be used for social purposes.
In 1951, employees of the Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones S.A. (ENASA, a vehicle manufacturing company), known as Pegaso, joined the general strike convened in the month of March. A strong workers’ movement emerged that demanded wage increases and improved working conditions, but which also opposed a dictatorship that gave preferential treatment to employers to the detriment of workers’ rights. Throughout the 1950s, many protests took place at the Pegaso that ended in police intervention in the factory and the arrest of workers. In 1956, a strike was staged to demand an eight-hour day, a decent salary and unemployment insurance. In the month of March 1958, the workers joined the strike in solidarity with the miners in Asturias that had mobilised against the wage freeze, which led to retribution such as the closure of the factory, with the consequent suspension of pay, and dismissals.
During the 1960s, workers were very active in voicing their grievances. In 1962, there was a stoppage in solidarity with the miners that had been dismissed after a strike. The protest was followed by workers across Spain, 50,000 of whom were in Catalonia, and workers in Pegaso joined in calling for the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement that had been postponed since 1958. This led to the closure of the factory for a fortnight and the dismissal of four employees.
In 1971, the factory’s move to the Zona Franca district commenced and the residents mobilised to recover the space and afford it a social function. They demanded a school and a park for the neighbourhoods of La Sagrera and Sant Andreu. In 1975, ENASA sold half the land to a real estate company that rapidly constructed apartments there; the other half belonged to the city. Residents were constant in their demands during that time and, finally, in 1976, the City Council began the construction of a school that was to become one of the largest in Barcelona with six classes in each year. In 1986, the park was officially opened which is still there today; one of its entry points still has the old entrance to the Pegaso factory. A plaque was installed in memory of the workers who fought for freedom and welfare during the Franco regime.
Address: 179-197, Carrer de la Sagrera || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.427160908, 2.190834739