The Balearic transport ministry has ordered minimum services for the 24-hour rail strike planned for November 18 and December 19, of four trains each for the Palma-Sa Pobla and the Sa Pobla-Palma route. There will also be partial stoppages on November 21 and 27 and December 3 and 12, and two departures (one in the morning and another in the afternoon) for the Palma-Inca, Inca-Palma and Marratxi-Palma routes have been ordered. Trains will leave Palma for Sa Pobla on Monday and December 19 at 5.35 and 6.20am and 6 and 8pm, and will leave Sa Pobla at 6.41 and 7.21am and 7.01 and 9.01am. The minimum services on the days of partial stoppages will run at 8am and 8pm. It is less than a year since the last railway strike and unions and management have failed to reach agreement on a series of points. The workers are protesting about a change of shifts following an increase in the frequency of trains to Marratxi. The management denied it planned to reduce staffing levels, adding that it would take on new workers, but the modernisation of the railway meant that jobs had to be rationalised. A spokesman said staff levels had risen from 70 in 1999 to 102.

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