Staff Reporter
CLEANING staff at Son Dureta hospital have threatened to go on strike for two months, from April 20 to June 30, if no agreement is reached with Lireba SL, the firm which has the concession, over the agreements settled with the arbitration board, to cover vacancies and settle the wage claims. Union spokesman Manuel Pelarda said that the management had been presented with a report on the functions of the cleaning staff who, he claims, have to work double shifts because of staff shortages and the impossibility of cleaning the entire hospita. Yesterday, Pelarda explained the situation to the workers, saying that the company had failed to comply with the agreements made on November 10. He said that the union would return to the arbitration board on March 17. Pelarda said that April 9 was the deadlline for settling wage claims, after which a workers' meeting would be called to establish a calendar of action which would include a strike He warned that the strike could be an indefinite one.
The workers want their wages brought into line with that of other administration staff in the Balearics.
Pelarda said that the cleaning staff should have the same rights as other State workers, including extra pay for working on holidays.
They also want their working week cut to 35 hours and a cost of living increase in line with inflation.
The concession for the cleaning service was worth more than 3.9 million euros and it was awarded for a period of 12 months.
The dispute with the company over pay and conditions has been raging for some time, and it is not the first time that staff have threatened to go on strike. Pelarda said that the situation was intolerable and accused the company which has the concession of repeated failure to implement agreements.
Son Dureta is the largest of the national health hospitals in the Balearics.
It was recently announced that a new hospital will be built on a site on the outskirts, rather than refurbishing the existing building.
Palma's second national health hospital, Son Llatzer, was opened recently.
There is also a national health hospital in Manacor and one is plannned for Inca.

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