Newsletter - May 2002

Sóller Railway in trouble

30th May 2002

I haven't really had a chance to read all of the following myself yet but I've just logged off the AAFB website after copying several pages and having them translated by Babelfish (thanks AAFB). The situation looks serious to me yet I haven't seen a single word about it in the Majorca Daily Bulletin which is my regular source of information !! The following reports are dated on various dates at the end of May and I reproduce them for you verbatim in date order:-

They protest to the Balearic Govern that is pronounced before the prorogation of the concession of the Train of Sóller The present administrators of the railroad of Sóller ask for the Balearic Govern that makes a declaration of intentions and it pronounces myself before the possible prorogation of the concession of the Train of Sóller. According to the news appeared in the sollerense local press "the Veu de Sóller" in interview made to the present President of the Railroad of Sóller D. Joan Puig, recognizes the important work made by the previous Director of the D.Rafael Company Mountain range during the 18 years that is been to the front of the direction of the company, and that was not intention of this one to do without its services, but that now is had to close a stage and to open another new one. Until now and according to it appears in the news, there was technical problems to solve like were the new cars, the improvement of the routes, the street cars, but that now the fundamental thing is the continuity or not of the concession. They want to look at this problem making a good management of the railway company that makes the refusal difficult of this prorogation. Difficulties economic of company says are perfectly asumibles, and that the expectations that they had puttings in the tourist street cars (coming from Lisbon) have not been made as it were expected, but think that these have future. The study in charge to a company specialized and independent on the viability of the company and the evaluation of the jobs will be finalized at the end of the month of May. And from the direction of the company one already scores that in case the concession is not prorogued, the Balearic Govern is possible that cannot absorb all the workers whom it has in group and it has aimed with an example: "the Govern can be raised to unify the work brigade with the one of serveis Ferroviaris of Majorca (SFM), or to transfer the factories to Palm. I believe that the workers would have estra next to the company ".

Strike of the workers of the train of Sóller? According to the news appeared in the sollerense local press, in the weekly magazine "the Veu de Sóller", the workers of the train of Sóller are arranged to make a strike of 24 hours that paralyzes to the railway company. To thus he affirmed the president it of the Committee of Company, alleging that at the present time, the company is in "technical shutdown", since all the decisions and performances of the day to day depend on the Council of Administration, affirming in addition that at the moment cannot nor be gone to buy a screw for the factories. From this Committee of Company they understand that the present Council of Administration is not enabled to manage the company. The 104 workers of the train do not know as it is his future in the company and they solicit to meet with the same one without conseguirlo.Estas demands of the workers of the train of Sóller, are based on a report that an independent company is carrying out which will evaluate the jobs and the viability of the company, this report will be available to end of this month when reuna Council of Administration, next the 30 of May. Obtained the negative results of the company in these ultimos years materialized in a reduction of the number of passengers and in whom in year 2,000 the benefit of the company was reduced to a 50%, added in addition the resignation to the previous Director of the Company that was it during 18 years Mr. Rafael Mountain range apparently by divergences with the Council of Administration on the future of the company have caused that the Railroad of Sóller is passing by a difficult situation of crisis at the moment, in that their workers hope to obtain answers to their requests.

The dismissals in the Railroad of Sóller begin According to the news appeared in the local press, (Daily Balears, and Newspaper Completes Hour), the company Ferrocarril de Sóller has dismissed three employees alleging economic reasons. According to it is ***reflxed mng in this news, the employees of the train of Sóller already were scared that the advice of Administration planned a reduction of the group that was before these dismissals of 104 workers. These dismissals apparently have been made without previous warning alleging the economic problems and the viability of empresa.(Hay that to remember that the plan of viability and the evaluation of the jobs that are carrying out an independent company had to appear already finalized in the following Council of Administration of the company next the 30 of May). Of this same news Lee who from the Committee of Company of the workers thinks that the life of the workers and the passengers is putting in danger, since as much the wagons and the machines need urgent performances that have not been able to do by lack of personnel, and who do not understand this performance since the company has obtained in these last five years gains and one important repayment to the members of the advice of Administration (we will be living another situation similar to the one on Perlas Majórica de Manacor) The answer of the Committee of Company before the situation generated by the dismissals of these three workers is the one to from now on apply the Collective Agreement as far as schedules reason why the tourist street cars could let circulate

The Train of Sóller on the brink of madness the suspension of payments? In the news on the Train of Sóller that appear in the Majorcan local press the 29 of May of 2,002, and in the first place in the Newspaper of Majorca it appears like titling of the news that "the company admits that the train is ' ' to the edge '' of the suspension of payments" and we noticed that still the study of viability of the company and the evaluation of the jobs has still not appeared the Council of Administration that reune next the 30 of May of 2.002. Also it appears as to title of the same news siguiente:"El president of the company accuses the ex- director to commit ' ' irregularities '' by his bad management the personnel dismissals "the present President of the Company blames the ex--director Rafael Mountain range of a bad management and irregularities and that in the past exercise 50 million pesetas were lost, (you would acuerdesen of the weather that winter underwent the past Majorca and that caused losses in the Train of Sóller by the same value that scores now). Also it aimed that the number of passengers in a 20% has been reduced (acuerdense also of past 11 of September, when the attack of the twin towers of New York that caused the reduction in the number of passengers that arrived at Majorca) The present President also announces the suppression of the two you contract that he has at the moment, to the one of the cleaning of the trains in charge a local company that uses minusválidos for its social reintegration, and the suspension of the contract with the company that is in charge of the maintenance of the routes. Finally, the present president criticizes the work made by the ex--director of the train, and that the Council of Administration is surprised when seeing that the collective agreement is very favorable to the workers. On the other hand, in the newspaper the World, also appears a similar holder; "CRISIS ECONOMICA the Train of Sóller announces that it is on the brink of madness the bankruptcy after 90 years of splendor", gives the fault to the bad management of the previous director, to the mistaken investment in the Portuguese street cars, and it does not discard more dismissals and retirements anticipated in the workers of the company. The Railroad of Sóller will ask for an increase of the tariffs and an involution of the tourist services in damage of the regular service of passengers. From this newspaper the Railroad of Sóller scores "got to transport near a million passengers at the end of years 90, its time of maximum splendor. Most of them they were tourist. The entrance in operation of the Tunnel of Sóller and the put into operation of a regular line of passengers by highway that the company of the Railroad rejected to manage had diminished the use of the train on the part of the residents " From the Sóller Weekly magazine one says that the present group will give a term of 15 days to the company so that this one present a plan of performances until the end of the concession, of not doing it, would be made a series of mobilizations that would materialize in form of partial strikes and unemployments in the service from next the 15 of June. The end of the term given by the employees to the company finalizes next day 5 of June. Of not obtaining answer, the union representatives will initiate one encamped in the seat dés castellet (as opposed to the station of the train in Soller).

I'm sorry its such a long report - you can log on to our friends at AAFB for the original reports here but understand, please, that the reports will be mostly in Mallorquin and you will have to put up with the mega-annoying pop-up adverts from Galeon Hispavista.
This link is, of course, now long gone but I left the comment here for the sake of historical note - Barry, 11th April, 2009.
Regards, Barry

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© Barry Emmott 30th May 2002, slightly revised 11th April, 2009