By Humphrey Carter

FLIGHTS at Palma airport were delayed by between 25 and 30 minutes yesterday as private security staff went on strike after unions and their employer Trablisa failed to reach an agreement over the improvement of working conditions.

Spanish airport authority AENA denied that the flight delays were a direct result of the industrial action but long queues formed at the security check points in departures where extra members of the Guardia Civil had been drafted to cover for the missing Trablisa guards.

A total of 350 security guards seconded yesterday's protest action and, unless a deal can be reached during the course of this week, further strike action will take place this coming Saturday. Yesterday's protest was launched in three phases 5am to 8am, midday to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm.

Union sources said yesterday afternoon that, while minimum services had been provided by security staff, the first two strikes of the day had been backed by 85 percent of the work force.

He added that, those employees not due to have been on duty yesterday, took their protest to the arrival area and, in general, industrial action disrupted airport operations and, according to the union source, led to flight delays as the passenger and luggage security systems had been notably slowed down.

However at 13.30, AENA sources said that only nine percent of the delays could be attributed to the strike.
The rest were due to the large number of passengers and flights Palma's Son San Joan airport was handling.
Palma airport handled 142.000 passengers and 995 flights yesterday as the strike coincided with the first busy weekend of peak summer season. Nevertheless, Trablisa issued a public apology for “disruptions the strike caused to AENA, passengers and airlines” and advised all those flying yesterday and this Saturday, if need be, to get to the airport slightly earlier than usual “to allow for any possible delays.”


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