Balearic union leaders yesterday morning warned companies against using the current international crisis as an excuse to start laying off staff and reducing costs. In crisis talks with Balearic president Francesc Antich, union leaders expressed their concern about the general sense of “alarm” being created by the business sector. The secretary generals of the CC.OO workers' commission and the UGT, general workers' union, José Benedicto and Lorenzo Bravo respectively, told Antich that the Balearics are not facing an economic crisis in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States and the global economic down turn. Balearic Ministers for Commerce, Tourism and the Economy were also present at yesterday's three-hour meeting with representatives from all of the unions. Both José Benedicto and Lorenzo Bravo were forced to admit that the economy is passing through a period of uncertainty, but denied that, in the case of the Balearics, “we're talking about or dealing with a crisis.” “There are no indications to support such claims,” Bravo said. As far as the unions are concerned, as there is no crisis, there is no need for local companies to start reducing the size of their work forces. “In the end, it is always the workers who are effected and suffer from all these kinds of situations,” Bravo claimed. Benedicto said that the summer tourism season concluded on a high note and was not as bad as initially expected, “we can't start sacking people at the first sight of change,” he warned.

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