Bus and underground workers have started a two-day strike in Madrid that will affect Spain’s biggest weekend of the Christmas season.
They are angry at cuts made to the public transport sector as part of the government’s austerity drive.
Some services were still running, but for many commuters the action brought delays and a Christmas crush.
Staff are particularly aggrieved about the withdrawal of extra pay they used to receive at the end of the year.
Passenger Margarita Berseca said: “There have to be protests, and unfortunately its working people who are paying the price. But of course we have to protest.”
Management want 80 per cent of services to run on Saturday, when crowds will want to watch the traditional Three Kings parade.
Unions say they can not guarantee that that many staff will turn up for work.