Palma's councillor for mobility, Francesc Dalmau (right), with the manager of EMT, Mateu Marcus. | Ajuntament de Palma

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With workers from the SFM rail operator taking industrial action in protest against the government's plan to contract out the operating of the future tram service, their counterparts in Palma are demanding that the town hall-run EMT company should be the operator.

The works council stated on Friday that it "fully respects" the action taken by the SFM workers. However, the right to operate urban passenger transport within the municipality of Palma is that of the town hall through the municipal transport company, i.e. EMT, which at present operates just buses.

The town hall is being urged to "intervene in the concession of the management of the future tram". If this weren't to go to EMT Palma, the company would have competition in terms of urban passenger transport. "The jobs of many EMT-Palma workers will be jeopardised."

"EMT Palma workers are going to fight to the end for our jobs. We are not going to allow the administration to award this project to their friends in the party. The company that must manage the city's tram must be EMT Palma."

While respecting the works council's statement, Mayor José Hila said on Friday that the town hall has yet to consider the matter. "It is very good news that Palma is going to have a tram, and the town hall will make its decisions when the time comes. We are currently seeking funding for the tram project."

As to possible job losses, Hila stressed that the workers "know that their jobs are secure". "We have always told them this, as it was an issue that was addressed ten years ago when Aina Calvo was mayor and I was the president of EMT. Their jobs have nothing to do with the tram."