London, UK. February 23, 2012 – The GSM Association, organisers of the annual Mobile World Congress, issued the following statement on the proposed transport strike in Barcelona at 20.00 hours last night:
The metro and bus workers from TMB, the main public transport operator in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, have announced plans to strike during Mobile World Congress which will be held 27th February through 1st March 2012. Negotiations between the government and the unions are ongoing in an effort to resolve the issues.
While we are hopeful that a strike can be averted prior to the start of Mobile World Congress, the GSMA has developed a comprehensive contingency plan and is ready to activate this plan should it become necessary.
The contingency plan outlines alternate transport options for getting to and from the venue, and also describes the additional security measures the police are putting in place to ensure the safe passage of our attendees. We will also be taking steps to help attendees enter the venue more quickly, including expanding the access points to the Fira and increasing the registration points onsite and at the airport.
We will make the specific details of the contingency plan available to attendees on Saturday, 25th February through a number of mechanisms. Attendees who are in Barcelona will be able to access this information at the hotels and the Mobile World Congress registration points onsite and at the airport. Attendees, particularly those who have not yet traveled to Barcelona, can also get this information through our Contact Centre.
The GSMA encourages attendees to register and pick up their badges on the weekend prior to Mobile World Congress where possible to minimise potential congestion. Registration is open on Saturday, 25th February from 09.00 to 18.00 and on Sunday, 26th February from 09.00 to 20.00. The registration desks at the airport will be open from Sunday, 26th February through Tuesday, 28th February from 07.00 to 19.00 and on Wednesday, 29th February from 07.00 to 16.00.
While we completely understand and appreciate the concerns around the uncertainty of this situation, we want to assure attendees that the GSMA is taking every possible step to ensure a successful Mobile World Congress.
CEO, GSMA Ltd.