Palma.—The Balearic High Court confirmed yesterday that all the minimum public services agreed between Unions and government to operate during today's general strike are in place, with one exception - school dining rooms will be closed.

The High Court in fact refused a request by the Unions to suspend minimum services in school and private transport services.
The decision came as clear support for the government who had negotiated previously with the Unions over providing 60 percent of private coach transport, largely to ferry tourists on the island; 160 coaches will be running visitors between hotels and airports - double the number available during the general strike of November 2010.

The agreement over minimum services for private transports has come in for fierce criticism from the Union Action sector of the General Workers Union (UGT). A spokesman claimed yesterday that the government was more interested in pandering to the Tourism industry than it was in acknowledging the constitutional rights of local workers.

The Court said it was also part of the terms of the agreement between Unions and government that at least one member of administration or auxilary staff should be present on school premises during today's strike, a measure about which the General Workers' Union had complained, particularly in relation to primary and infant schools.

Court President Gabriel Fiol and Magistrates Fernando Socias and Carmen Frigola explained yesterday that the concept of safety played a key part in setting minimum requirements in public services during periods of industrial action.

But although the regional government had wanted one cook and two assistants to be present at schools with over 200 pupils during today' s strike, it had been the Court's decision that closing school dining rooms for the day was not going to interfere with the day's education.

The Court made their assessment of minimum services during the general strike at no charge to the public.


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