The signing of the agreement in Palma yesterday.

20-08-2013
The Balearics' tourist industry and tour operators across Europe breathed a sigh of relief last night as coach companies and the trade unions signed a three-year pay deal, thus finally resolving the transport dispute. Yesterday evening coach company bosses and CC.OO Workers Commission trade union chiefs, who represent 80 per cent of the islands' coach drivers, met at local government headquarters in Palma to sign the new deal - an average pay rise of 18 per cent over the next three years. The management have also accepted the unions' demands for an increase in overtime pay from 1.200 pesetas per hour to 1.225. Overtime rates will become applicable after five hours on the job and also between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Coach companies' bosses are also now obliged to give drivers as much advance notice as possible about their forthcoming shifts and any changes because of an increase in work loads, in particular over the summer. The UGT General Workers' Union did not sign the accord yesterday, but the union only represents 20 per cent of the workforce and is expected to count its losses over the next few days and agree to the new pay package. But, now the unions, the coach companies and the local government have an equally hard task ahead of them. A special commission, including representatives from the three sectors, has been set up to try and repair the serious damage the coach strike has done to the Balearics' global image.

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