Balearic Island airport scavengers to strike in July over pay dispute


British holidaymakers caught in the chaos at UK airports face the prospect of reaching airports littered with waste on arrival after cleaners in the Balearic Islands announced an indefinite strike.

The two main unions representing the sector – some 6,000 workers – say the pay walkout will begin on July 4.

This will affect all airports and ports in the Balearic Islands, which include Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca, as well as hospitals and office buildings.

And Siteib, which represents nearly 60% of disgruntled workers, and CCOO, which represents around 35%, say protests will take place at airports on the three islands on the first day of the strike.

The new industrial action nightmare follows strike announcements by Ryanair and easyJet cabin crew in Spain.

EasyJet employees plan to go out July 1-3, July 15-17 and July 29-31 at airports the airline uses as bases in Spain, including Malaga and Palma.

The USO union, of which 80% of these employees are members, says Spanish flight attendants are demanding a 40% increase in their base salary.

The Ryanair strike is scheduled for June 24, 25, 26 and 30 and July 1 and 2.

The first three days of these demonstrations will coincide with others called by their counterparts in Belgium, Portugal, France and Italy.

A total of 2,700 Ryanair employees in five countries will join the strikes. Spanish carriers are also threatening to go on strike, raising fears of a hotel shortage during the peak summer season.

Hotel bosses have admitted stocks were low in March during a previous truckers’ strike and supermarkets were left without products, including fresh meat and fish towards the end of industrial action by three weeks on high fuel prices and poor working conditions.

The Platform for the Defense of Freight Transport, which is not affiliated with any of the main transport unions but which caused big problems before the strike was called off on April 2, plans to vote for a new walkout this sunday.

Arbitrators and Spanish government ministers are expected to play a key role over the next few days in an attempt to reverse the cleaners’ planned strike.

Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, Spain’s second largest, looked like a tip in December 2016 after cleaning staff went out for five days following changes to work and holiday schedules. One tourist described the airport at the time as “Post-Armageddon.”

In May it emerged that British holidaymakers caught in the chaos at UK airports as they traveled abroad faced long queues when landing at places like Palma airport .

A police union said promised police reinforcements at the busy airport have not materialized and the situation has not improved as the peak summer season approaches.