More than 2'400 people were left stranded by the stoppages by Soller railway workers yesterday. It was the first day of a strike which lasted from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2.45 to 5.45pm and it was backed by 98 per cent of the workers, according to union sources, who said that out of a staff of 100 workers, only two clerks remained at their posts. Drivers, guards, ticket collectors and workshop staff all downed tools and congregated at the stations of Palma, Son Sardina, Bunyola and Soller. Nine trains and the tourist trams, most of them contracted by travel agencies, were affected by the strike which hit 2'400 persons. In high season, the figure would probably be in the region of 3'000. The strike also affected the 10.40am train from Palma, considered a tourist train. In Soller, many tourists waited in vain at the tram stops, wondering what had happened. The management laid on coaches but most passengers declined the invitation, saying they wanted to go by train as booked. The strike also had serious secondary effects on companies which organise sea excursions to the port of Soller, Cala Tuent and Sa Calobra, most of which stayed in port through loss of passengers. At the time of writing, the workers were still holding a meeting to decide whether or not they will continue the stoppages tomorrow as planned. It is reported that initial agreement has been reached between management and workers, under which the former promises to readmit three workers sacked earlier this year. The management is also believed to have accepted the creation of a management board in which the workers would have a say. The company is also studying the possibility of increasing capital. The workers have made accusations of mismanagement, alleging the management is trying to make it look as though the company is in a precarious condition.

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