PALMA
CHAOS is looming in Majorca's transport hub between 9th and 23rd July this year, the dates when bus drivers have agreed to an official strike.
The move, which aims to put pressure on negotiations for improved pay and working conditions for some 600 employees, was confirmed yesterday by Antonio Losada of the Workers' Commission. He said that the strike warning had already been lodged with the region's Industrial Tribunal board, (TAMIB). “It will now be up to the Arbitration Committee to set the direction of negotiations” said Losada, who claimed however, that his members would like to reach a collective settlement.

The real sticking point in the proceedings which was responsible for the breakdown in talks last Friday relates to benefits claimed by long-service employees and a freeze employers want to place on two-year working contracts.

What had been agreed on amongst the workers was a four year collective bargaining period in which there would be a three percent salary increase awarded each year.

It also seemed that both employers and unions saw eye to eye on a 20 percent bonus for drivers in 2007; 21 percent in 2008 and 2009, and 22 percent in 2010. The CCOO (Workers' Commission) which is the largest Union operating in this sector, had convened two major consultations with its members on 6th June last about action which could be taken to “unblock” the impasse in negotiations for a final settlement.

At both meetings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, workers proved to be in agreement about strike action to secure an acceptable outcome.
Behind the scenes, however, negotiations are continuing between the bus company owners (Balearic Transport Management) and the workers' representatives from the Workers Commission, the General Workers' Union and independent collectives.

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