By Humphrey Carter
POLICE were deployed at Palma airport yesterday to prevent any further “anti-social” behaviour by protesters as the cleaning strike entered its third and final day. Industrial action ended at midnight last night when a desperate attempt was made to clean up the awful mess of the past three days.
However, Palma airport is not going to remain very clean for long.
Talks resumed between union leaders and cleaning company representatives yesterday morning, in a final attempt to reach a satisfactory deal over a proposed five-day week, improved and more adequate cleaning equipment and a pay rise. But, yesterday afternoon, as police shepherded protesters round Palma airport, CC.OO workers' commission secretary Baltasar Piñeiro announced that a protest action will, resume on the first weekend in August and continue every weekend throughout the summer until their demands are met. Piñeiro said that as talks broke down between the CC.OO, the UGT General Workers' Union and management, the call for further industrial action received the majority backing of employees. Yesterday evening Palma airport was an absolute disgrace.
Disgusted departing tourists could not wait to board their flights while the thousands of arriving holidaymakers were stunned by the sight of overflowing waste bins, refuse piled up and tables and chairs and waste strewn across the floors, most of it by the protesters, hence why the police were called in yesterday. Many of the toilets were out of order or simply too filthy to use while out of sympathy for their cleaning colleagues, luggage trolleys were made unavailable by attendants. Holidaymaker Allen Cook who spends some three months every year on the island, called the Bulletin in disgust from the airport yesterday morning. “This is an absolute disgrace. I've never seen anything like this. My wife has just attempted to use the toilets but came rushing out urging people not to go in, especially children. This is awful for the island's image,” he said. “Some kind of epidemic could break out in all this mess,” he added. The industrial dispute will now go before an arbitration committee and hopes are high that a swift solution will be found. The local tourism and business sectors are outraged by the strike and the highly negative effect it has had on the island's image as a popular and friendly holiday destination.


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