By Staff Reporter

THE leaders of the main unions in the Balearics made an appeal to workers and residents in general to back the two hour stoppage called for today, against the war in Iraq, which will be complemented by a demo in Palma at 8pm. Lorenzo Bravo, Biel Caldentey and Josep Benedicto, the secretary generals of the UGT (General Workers Union), STEI (teachers' union) and Workers Commissions (CC.OO) held a press conference yesterday to explain why the strike has been called. The national CC.OO has withdrawn its support of the stoppage.He also criticised some employers for making it difficult for their workers to exercise their right to strike “as they are also involved in the economic recession which the war is producing.” He called on the employers to send the two hours pay they will dock from strikers to a non-government organisation working in favour of the people of Iraq. All three secretary generals expressed recognition for the work of journalists and condemned the death of the two Spanish journalists killed in the conflict. Bravo said that the objective of the stoppage was to provide workers opposed to the war with “a major tool for protest.” “We want it to be a solidary and civic act against this infamous, despicable and ignoble aggression,” Bravo said.
Benedicto condemned the war as “Unjust, irrational and illegal.” He also criticised the negotiations “to see how the war booty will be shared.” Benedicto confirmed that the State board of his union had ordered the strike to be called off in the Balearics, but he said that the individual right to strike was legally covered by the strike call of the other two unions.Caldentey expressed his opposition to the war in similar terms, and also said his union supported the demos organised by students.

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