Bus strike leaves thousands of tourists stranded.

Between 12'000 and 15'000 passengers, many of them British tourists, were left stranded yesterday as drivers of the Catalina Marques and Autocares Andratx companies which provide the bus service in Calvia and Andratx started an indefinite strike. Although minimum services had been ordered by the transport authorities, the drivers refused to implement them, which aggravated the situation. The strike started at the bus depot in the Son Castelló industrial estate in Palma at 5.30am yesterday morning, when about 50 drivers turned up to prevent any buses from leaving. This proved to be unnecessary as all the drivers of both companies backed the strike and ignored the minimum services ruling. At 6am, two members of the strike committee, Joan Ortiz and Miguel Pastor, started to visit the company bus stops in Palma to warn passengers waiting for the first bus to Peguera (at 6.15am) that the strike had started. The workers estimated that the strike affected between 12'000 and 15'000 passengers on the three routes of Calvia and three of Andraitx. Wednesday is a particularly busy day as the weekly market in Andratx attracts a lot of tourists.


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