Pickets were out in force yesterday to provide information on the general strike which will be held on Thursday, June 20. Both major unions, the Workers Commissions (CC.OO) and the General Workers Union (UGT) held a general meeting to inform their representatives yesterday morning, and this became an improvised demonstration, as the delegates poured out into the streets and organised pickets which covered the city centre. Josep Benedicto and Lorenzo Bravo, the secretary generals of the CC.OO and UGT respectively, encouraged their representatives to inform workers on the reasons behind the general strike, namely government changes to regulations on unemployment pay. The pickets handed out leaflets calling on workers to back the strike and warning that the reforms to unemployment pay and conditions, regulated in a decree approved on May 24, went against their interests. The unions claim that the new regulations leave the fijos-discontinuos (those employed in seasonal work, who are recalled back each season) without coverage. The pickets marched to the government representative's office and even handed one of their leaflets to Council of Majorca president María Antonia Munar. But in Minorca, the small and medium business organisation Pime spoke out against the strike, claiming that its legal department said that the fijos-discontinuous would continue to be eligible for unemployment benefit under the same conditions as before the new decree. The workers committee of AENA-Palma (the airport authority) has backed the strike, as have employees of the major Spanish airlines, leading to fears of travel misery for thousands of travellers. Union sources said that they would only accept five regular flights between the Balearics and the Peninsula on June 20 as part of the minimum services, and if the ministry does not accept this proposal it is not prepared to negotiate. The same sources said that the rest of regular traffic and all charter flights should either move forwards or back to avoid June 20. The leaders of the main unions will meet on June 13 to evaluate the strategy to be followed during the strike.

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