The rail dispute in Majorca looks set to get worse. | Teresa Ayuga

The industrial dispute involving workers with the SFM rail operator is set to intensify. Regional transport minister Marc Pons said earlier this week that a resolution to the dispute over pay and conditions was still a long way off, and it would appear that he was correct.

Following a meeting between workers' representatives and the director-general for transport, Jaume Mateu, and his counterpart at employment, Isabel Castro, the works committee announced that there will be a stepping-up in industrial action. The meeting was described as having been "disgraceful". No suggestions were made as to how to bring the conflict to an end, the committee adding that minimum service requirements during the dispute are "abusive". These are at 85%, as was the case with cancellations on Thursday.

Mateu told the SFM workers that its demands will affect other government companies (SFM is a government company). Because of this, and as the latest talks have arrived at deadlock, the government is now planning to conduct negotiations at a higher level, which presumably means that Pons will become directly involved.

A consequence of the industrial action on Thursday was that the driver who should have been taking the 06.25 train from Inca to Palma didn't show up. Some sixty passengers had to therefore wait for a train that left half an hour later. The works committee says that the driver didn't appear because of a breakdown in communication over minimum services.