View Full Version : Coach Drivers Strike in the Balearics

2nd Jul 2001, 15:14
At the weekend ABTA stated that circa 1 million would be paid out in compensation for holiday makers whose travel plans had been disrupted by the coach drivers' strike in the Balearics.

Would it not have been more cost effective to pay the drivers what they wanted and avoid the pain and misery which has been inflicted on thousands of "customers", not to mention those in the industry who are employed to look after them?

I have been told that the threat of strike action was common knowledge three weeks before the dispute started.


2nd Jul 2001, 16:29
Apparently more to follow in 2 weeks time unless resolved!

Final 3 Greens
2nd Jul 2001, 17:06
I wonder how you say "kill the Golden Goose" in Spanish?

There are lots of holiday options these days this action is not exactly brilliant PR for the island.....

2nd Jul 2001, 17:22
I agree, Final 3. . .I think they are cutting off their own noses, and lets hope it all goes pear-shaped for them in due course! There are TONS of alternative destinations, where people are grateful for their foreign visitors, not greedy. Hopefully people will vote with their feet!

Sadly, me thinksthere are too many Brits in the Balaerics who will not stand up for themselves and make a fuss. . .they just seem to take it!

2nd Jul 2001, 19:08
I do not profess to know the ins and outs of this dispute and I am not saying that the travel companies should automatically give in to the coach drivers' demands but I do feel that the adverse media coverage does not do the travel industry any good. I do realise, of course, that the media will only select the worst stories.

However, I think it is naieve to think that this sort of dispute cannot or will not spread to other destinations (particularly in Spain) since people have things like the internet to help them get their act together. Recent demonstrations at World Trade Conferences demonstrate this fact.

My perception is that much of the tour industry is bedevilled by short term thinking and, whilst I realise the industry is highly competitive, I feel that allowing things to go this far, whoever is to "blame" shows this to be true!

Yes, there are many different destinations that people can travel to but if it is YOUR holiday that has been spoilt by a dispute then it does not matter what the destination is.

In conclusion, I think that allowing things to get to this stage shows bad business sense in the long term.


Final 3 Greens
2nd Jul 2001, 19:15

Our family got stuck at PMI for 12 hours in the LATCC outage last June - hear hear to your comments about the effects of personal disruption ... also thanks to bmi for getting us back when we weren't booked with them.

If the action spreads, it will just make people evaluate the marginal cost of going to FLA or somewhere next year; my wife is already talking about Barbados, even though we've just come back from a cracking week outside Pollenca (6th year in a row.)

We'll vote with our feet and pants to being apathetic!

2nd Jul 2001, 19:16
Apparently, they were demanding 18% pay rise but had only been offered 17%! Also the leader of the strike is in a communist party of some sorts!

2nd Jul 2001, 19:57
spannersatcx, thanks for the info.

I suppose we have to ask 17% of "what" and whether the dispute over the extra 1% was really worth it!


3rd Jul 2001, 02:50
Still, they seem to be able to act with more unity of intent than the pilots on this forum. I thought pilots were supposed to be the most powerful group in aviation?
Seems the bus drivers in the Baleares have put paid to that little myth!

Enjoy the wait lads. ;)

3rd Jul 2001, 11:23
Does anyone know the base pay of these drivers? It might be that an 18% rise would be entirely appropriate. It would be nice to know before we start slagging of the "communists" for outrageous pay claims. And I seem to remember that no-one called the LH strikers communists a few weeks ago (I may have a selective memory here, but my impression was that the majority of the postings on that subject were good on ya LH pilots.)

El Desperado
3rd Jul 2001, 12:03
I understand from a ramp agent at PMI that basic pay for coach drivers during the Summer season is 500 a week. During the winter months, they are paid a subsidy of around 900/month from the equivalent of the Spanish dole.

If these figures are correct I'd say around 16k to 18k a year.

The figures are irrelevant really... if the drivers vote to strike that's their business, but they could pack in the bully-boy tactics of slashing car tyres, scattering nails on the roads and intimidating passengers. The snag with capitulating is they might feel inclined to do the same thing next Summer knowing it's going to work... difficult to say really.

I think the criticism of the tour operators stems from the fact that they had advance warning that this was going to happen and did nothing... I think it took all the charter operators by surprise, and my company reckons it is the worst disruption it has ever seen.

The coach drivers aren't going to be making much cash when no-one goes back next year though...

They're threatening another in ten days time.

Haulin' Trash
3rd Jul 2001, 13:37
Surely, these coach drivers are entitled to strike within the law in support of their claim. Good luck to them in exercising their rights (irrespective of whether we think they are misguided). Several pilot groups I could mention would do well to stop moaning about their remuneration and do something about it, with solidarity.

3rd Jul 2001, 16:09
Stranded pax were blaming the tour ops and airlines.....but what has it got to do with them? If you cannot physically get these people from A-B due industrial action why is it the fault of the tour operator or airline?
Pax are so short-sighted and love to get any opportunity to moan or claim for moneyback off their 50 holiday - its about time that some of them woke up and got a sniff of what really was being done to get them into/out of PMI and the global knock on effect to other non Ballearic routes/pax

3rd Jul 2001, 16:58
flugpants, sorry cannot agree.

It is precisely this sort of attitude "It's not my problem, guv, blame it on the coach drivers, etc" which really rattles peoples cages.

There are many different people and agencies involved in getting the "customers" safely to their final destinations but I do think the tour operators have some responsibility for what has taken place. It takes two to tango and people do not normally go on strike unless something has really upset them.


3rd Jul 2001, 17:03

Our Tutonic-(spelling?) cousins seemed to suss it out. They booked taxis!!!


3rd Jul 2001, 17:24
So Firefly.....
What is the point of a contract then?
You agree a rate for the season - sign an agreement and then 2 months into the agreement the other party decides they want more! How can you run a business like that?
How would/could airline operators cope with enforced increases to handling/cleaning/catering charges being upped at the drop of a hat?
Agreed there must be a point to their action - but why not sort it out at the time of contracting? Dont like the price - go elsewhere etc? There is only a finite supply of coaches on each island - so if they all stuck together at the appropriate time then perhaps matters could have been resolved then!Point is Firefly - why do we the airline have to suffer??

[This message has been edited by flugpants (edited 03 July 2001).]

3rd Jul 2001, 17:30
flugpants, if they are under a contract then surely they are in breach of contract in which case legal proceedings can be taken against them or an injunction to prevent industrial action?


3rd Jul 2001, 21:52

I think you will find that in this case, as it inevitably is, any contract will have been agreed between the Tour Operators and the coach company and not with the coach drivers themselves. The workers are perfectly entitled to take industrial action as they see fit and the coach drivers at PMI, MAH and IBZ are no different to the baggage handlers at TFS - they know exactly when to act to cause maximum disruption!

As for our German colleagues being ultra-clever in booking taxi's, I operated one of the first flights to arrive at PMI after the industrial action had started, arriving just after midnight. All our pax were taxi'd to their resort at some considerable expense to the tour operator but obviously as the strike started to bite the demand for taxis considerably outstripped supply with the inevitable outcome.

I agree that the bully-boy tactics and intimidation which appears to have taken place was out of order (but did remind me of the Miners vs Thatcher bout a few years ago!!)_I also understand that the negotations lasted only 10 mins and the offer on the table, 15%, was rejected and further action is being planned for next week. The coach drivers allegedly want 17% which seems awfully close to 15% to be the reason for all this mayhem! Ho Hum!

Electric Sky
3rd Jul 2001, 22:04
The Coach drivers are required to give 2 weeks notice of the next strike. Due to this the next strike is likely to be 19/20/21 July. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

3rd Jul 2001, 22:55
Latest news is that the dispute has been settled and further planned strikes won't take place.

3rd Jul 2001, 22:58
Where's Bill the Coach, he's usually got a bit to say about our airline operations?

5th Jul 2001, 00:07
nice beaver,

Did u miss me ? Sorry but been too busy sorting out the chaos !

It cost me a bomb to put that strike in place - all those phone calls to the unions and the management telling each that the other were calling them rude names. Then hiring all those cabs, widespread intimidation and a good dose of abuse to wind it all up.

Still we can't keep firing frozen chickens at aircraft engines as they approach MAN and we just can't get the mobile fog machine to work at the moment so we have to do something to hit budgets !

10 out of 10 to all the boys and girls who worked so hard to keep something moving !

Now where was that 13 amp plug we pulled out at Palma last year.......that will do for next week's stoppages !