The rubbish is piling up. | Juanjo Roig

Of Mallorca's 53 municipalities, 49 are affected by a strike by waste collection and street cleaning workers. The four which aren't affected, such as Palma, have their own direct services. In the 49 municipalities, the industrial action over pay and conditions concerns the employers association for contracted companies.

The strike is indefinite, and the rubbish is piling up. On Saturday, unions and town halls had anticipated that the employment ministry would call an emergency meeting in order to try and negotiate an end to the strike. This meeting didn't take place. The employment minister, Iago Negueruela, was in Valencia for a PSOE convention.

Miguel Á. Pardo of the CCOO union is outraged with the situation. He wondered where Negueruela was yesterday and believes that "the situation cannot be sustained for much longer". "The municipalities are filled with garbage. We are demanding a negotiating table that is active day and night. But we don't get any response from the government."

Regardless of political party, criticisms of the government's ineffectiveness have been coming from town halls, which have limited powers to intervene in what is a matter for the employers, unions and government.