Palma.— The strikes convened by municipal bus company EMT and rubbish collection company “Emaya”, Tourism Councillor Alvaro Gijon said yesterday, will deal “a blow to the tourist image of Palma”.

Describing the situation with regard to reservations in the holiday resort of the Playa de Palma, Gijon said hotels were 80 percent full and in Palma, establishments were 75 percent full. He said the remainder allows room for last-minute bookings. “If the strikes go ahead,” says Gijon, “there will be cancellations,” adding “we can't sustain such damage to the economy at the moment.” He claimed that tour operators were always quick to hear about such industrial action, and with the satisfaction of their customers in mind, would be encouraging people to go elsewhere. Gijon said that the council were well aware of the consequences of the strike and that “everything in its power” would be done on the negotiation front. EMT have arranged their strike for 16th and 17th August but “Emaya” will not be collecting rubbish for the best part of a fortnight in the second half of August.

Meanwhile, other public sector workers in Palma were meeting later yesterday at General Workers Union headquarters in Palma to decide whether or not to support the bus strike. Also up for debate at the meeting was whether or not to prolong the bus strike indefinitely as of the start of September, if workers' terms and conditions are not met by the Council.

Wide interest was being shown in the meeting yesterday by public sector workers outside Palma, including those from Majorcan Railway Services and Calvia 2000 with a view to extending the strike island-wide.