Workers on the Inca train have called two days of strike, on November 18 and December 19, and will also stage stoppages lasting several hours this month and next. The stoppages will be held on November 18, 21 and 27 and December 3, 12 and 19. It is less than a year since the train service was disrupted by industrial dispute, and workers are still at loggerheads with the management of the railway company, the SFM. The SFM is a public company attached to the Balearic ministry of public works, transport and housing, which earlier this week announced further investment in the island's railway system. But according to Antoni Cifre of the Workers Commissions (CC.OO) union, there is considerable unrest among workers. The latest dispute is over shifts introduced when the frequencies of the trains to Marratxi were increased, and a new internal method of assigning jobs. Cifre said that the new shifts were imposed without talks and without reaching agreement. He also says that they do not comply with the last agreement signed between workers and management. “The company is behaving in an arrogant manner,” Cifre said. He added that the workers were not happy at the way the management is assigning jobs within the company. “We are opposed to this because it is made to measure for certain jobs,” he claimed. The SFM recently announced a 180'000 euro training plan which the unions are also opposing. “We have detected anomalies and now it has been halted,” Cifre said. On the brighter side, the unions decided not to strike on November 14, the day of the island's biggest agricultural fair, the Dijous Bo in Inca, because “we defend public transport; we do not want to inconvenience commuters.” The strike comes at a time when the Balearic government is trying to promote public transport. It is spending heavily on road improvements, extending the rail service and improving the coach services between outlying towns and villages. The Palma-Inca line now stretches to Sa Pobla and is to be extended to Alcudia.

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