Hoteliers have taken the first step in an effort to avoid the service sector strike and have invited the unions to a meeting on Thursday. Hotel Federation sources confirmed the meeting, to negotiate an agreement which would prevent the eight day strike, but said that their proposal would be an increase in the region of 3.7 per cent. Their earlier offer was two per cent, and the unions are demanding six per cent. Union officials said that they would go to as many meetings as were necessary to reach agreement. But they also made it clear that “if the offer is 3.7 per cent, the meeting will only last for two minutes, as we are not prepared to waste time.” The mediation board has summoned hoteliers and unions to a meeting on July 16. In the meantime, government spokesman Antoni Garcias said yesterday that Balearic leader Francesc Antich has offered to act as mediator if needed. And PIMEM, the small and medium sized businesses, have called on the government to mediate to prevent the strike.

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