Conflict between workers at Son Espases Hospital and the contractor which operates the car parks has existed more or less since the hospital opened. It has heightened once more, and this time because of cars being taken away by the contractor's tow truck if they are "badly parked".
In July last year, the hospital's management announced that more than 1,300 staff had provided personal details for their parking permits. A controversial aspect of this was that the contractor insisted on workers signing that they authorised the removal of vehicles if the contractor considered this necessary. Workers also had to agree that they would pay for this to be done.
There are just under 1,000 parking places for the 5,400 staff who work at the hospital. They obviously work different shifts, but getting into the car park typically takes a good deal of time because of the queues. Antónia Pedreño of the CCOO union appears to suggest that this is deliberate in order to get workers to pay (27.90 euros a month) and to therefore not have to put up with the queues. She adds that she lives in Inca and has to leave at half five in the morning in order to guarantee being able to start work when her shift begins at seven.
Twenty employees have had to pay 65.50 euros because cars have been towed away. At least one has been taken to court for refusing to pay up.
IB-Salut says that vehicles are removed if they are parked in such a way that they interfere with the hospital's essential services. The health service also suggests that public transport could be used instead. "With cars it is normal that there are problems."
The unions have responded to this by saying that they weren't the ones who decided where the hospital should be and that travel by car is the only possible means of ensuring that staff arrive in time for work. Moreover, unions say that such is the "chaos" with parking that an area next to the hospital had to be opened. Following protests, this muddy solution was scrapped just before Christmas. There was also no licence for use.
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