Employees at the plant.

The Balearic government will do all it can to avoid the closure of the Cemex cement works in Lloseta and the loss of more than one hundred jobs.

Employment, trade and industry minister Iago Negueruela chaired a meeting attended by representatives from Cemex and unions as well as by the mayor of Lloseta, Chema Muñoz. The town hall and government gave their full backing to the workforce, while Cemex reiterated the intention to close the plant.

Following the meeting, Roberto Serrano of the UGT union, said that the minister had pointed out to Cemex that the closure will not be simple and was firm with the company. "I have not seen a politician defend a cause in this way for some time." Negueruela told Cemex that he hopes they show sense in the negotiations and that jobs will be maintained.

Vicenç Villalonga, president of the works committee, was not hopeful, however. The company is refusing to reconsider the closure decision and is only interested in negotiating the terms of the redundancy.

At a protest at the plant, some fifty employees presented banners, one in English: "Mallorca needs industry." Toni Coll, a worker with many years experience at Cemex, said: "We feel betrayed. We have fought on behalf of the company for years and now they tell us that they are closing down and chucking us onto the street without having a specific financial reason for doing so."

Workers attended yesterday's parliament session at which the Cemex closure was raised.