Need for minimum services

Iberia pilots are some of the best paid in Europe and in the early hours of yesterday morning they brought Spain to a standstill. Although the walkout only lasted for four hours, the shock waves from this latest bout of industrial action were felt across Spain and especially in the Balearics, which are still under the cloud left by the coach drivers' strike. I fully support everyone's right to industrial action but I also understand that there are certain services which are vital to the livelihood of these islands. If the Iberia pilots had pressed ahead with their strike it would have meant disaster for Spain as a whole. Under Spanish law if there is a strike employees must maintain “minimum services”. This is usually about 20 per cent of the workforce actually working on strike days to ensure that there is not complete chaos. It is a very democratic ruling allowing strikers to press their aims but at the same time not causing complete disruption. But in the two strikes which the Balearics have experienced in the last two weeks there have been no minimum services. Iberia had to ground its fleet because there was simply not enough pilots. In the coach drivers' strike there was much talk about minimum services but none were introduced. Why? Of all people the coach drivers should have been made to respect the law because of the chaos they were causing. Twenty per cent of the workforce may be just a token force but it is better than nothing.

Local authorities, management, and trade unions must work together so in the event of another strike the law is respected and the public is not left in complete chaos.

Jason Moore

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