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NEWSDESK PALMA

Air traffic controllers said yesterday that their planned strike will not be before August 16.
But, union leaders whose members voted for the industrial action said yesterday they hope negotiations with the government will allow them to call it off.

Daniel Zamit, of the controllers' union USCA, said that no date has been set yet but if a strike is held it will be after August 16.
The dispute centres on a recent government order that increases the hours controllers work and shortens their rest breaks during shifts.
The changes are the latest chapter of a row that began in February when the government slashed overtime hours, cutting controllers' pay that was as high as £290'000 a year - four times what the prime minister earns. The government aviation authority AENA was locked in a meeting with union chiefs last night but the tourism and commercial sectors were feeling the worst with the strike already all over the UK and German media.

Mr Zamit said Spain's 2'000 air traffic controllers are overworked and understaffed.
He has demanded a meeting with development minister Jose Blanco, who he accused of imposing the changes in a heavy-handed fashion.