By Ryan Harrison
Photos: R. Harrison/U. Hora
MAJORCA's Son San Juan airport entered its second day of strike chaos yesterday with cleaners holding demonstrations as conditions at terminals and toilets quickly deteriated. With sections of the airport cordoned off and bins overflowing with rotten food and day-old nappies, Britons catching flights spoke out in anger at the state of Majorca's main point of entry for tourists. Some toilets were closed and no trolleys were available, creating problems for passengers with children.
The airport's employment agreement for cleaning includes trolleys, so travellers were left struggling with heavy luggage.
Some British students saw the lighter side of the chaos, and staged their own cleanup operation. Nick Fisher,18, from Norfolk has been in Majorca with his friends for two weeks. He said: “It makes the city look really terrible. Something has to be done.” Will,17, joining Nick on his family's boat, which is moored at the Club de Mar in Palma, said: “It makes the island look rubbish...literally, and it doesn't do much for tourism. This weekend will see an influx of Britons as the children start school holidays and factories and warehouses close for the sunmmer.
3'500 workers in total took part in island-wide strikes, with the airport worst hit. Airport cleaners demanded extra days off for holidays and increased pay. The Hotel Federation in Majorca said the strikes will cause serious damage to the island's tourist industry.
A spokesman for the Travel Agents Association said: “This is not the kind of thing tourists expect to see when they arrive at their destination and it might force some holidaymakers to never come back. They will go to destinations where they're warmly welcomed.”
Industrial action ends today but union bosses warned last night that, if not acceptable deal is forthcoming, then there will be further industrial action throughout the summer. All parties involved in the dispute will meet for talks at 11am today but, if no deal is reached by 6pm tonight, union bosses said that three extra days of protest action will be called. Yesterday the Balearic Minister for Tourism Joan Flaquer witnessed the extent of the mess for himself as he tip-toed through the rubbish to catch a flight to Ibiza. Queuing to catch the 1410 flight to Stanstead yesterday, annoyed British holidaymakers spoke to the Bulletin about the effect the strike's will have on Majorca's tourist trade and the hygience risks involved in uncleaned toilets.


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