Industrial tension in Spain against a background of chronically high unemployment came to a head in the Basque country with the forced eviction of 70 workers from their factory near Bilbao.
Police moved in on Tuesday following a court order.
The company, Troqueleria del norte, which carries out die-casting for the car industry, has been in liquidation since last year and its workers have not been paid since January.
Staff had occupied the premises since last month.
The building’s owners, a Breton family, are reportedly demanding 250,000 euros in rent. But the works committee claims the family itself owes more than 17 million euros to the Basque government and other local authorities.
The committee’s president said the workers were being evicted “without having been fired”.
Amid the scuffles at least two police officers were slightly injured.