Fighting talk ahead of new hotel strike.

Trade union leaders in the Balearics said yesterday that they are more determined than ever to push ahead with the service sector strike while the airline industry sounded the alarm bells. Felipe Navio, president of the Association of Spanish Airlines (AECA) said yesterday that the service sector strike, which will involve 60'000 employees, “will turn tourists away from the Balearics.” Navio stressed that while tourism is down between 15 and 20 per cent, “we should be joining forces in joint promotional campaigns to create some good news about the Balearics which will encourage people to return to this calm and competitive destination,” not be going on strike. AECA accounts for 85 per cent of all charter airline traffic in Spain and Navio said yesterday that the economic results for this year will be negative “we're looking at a 20 per cent drop in annual income,” he said. But, despite all sectors of the tourist industry having urged the unions to reconsider strike action, union leaders told a general meeting yesterday that everything is in place for work to start on organising industrial action. CC.OO workers commission leader Rafel Borrás told some 400 union delegates and members that they have been left with no alternative but to go on strike in a final attempt to secure “what hostelry sector employees deserve.” Over the next few days, posters will be put up in hotels across the Balearics, informing staff that the first wave of industrial actions starts on July 15 with a two-day strike. What is not helping is that hostelry sector workers are going on strike on the Coast del Sol and the two strikes will coincide. Furthermore, union bosses in Malaga yesterday announced an extra two days of industrial action, whether the Balearics will follow suit remains to be seen. Balearic unions leaders said the time has come to “fight for what the workers deserve." Union representatives and management will meet for another round of talks tomorrow and the warring parties will appear before an arbitration board next Tuesday as the authorities try to avert the strike. Borrás said that the unions are prepared to use all their efforts to reach a satisfactory solution to their demand for a six per cent pay rise and shorter working week.


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