Salary negotiations for sectors of the economy in Majorca typically cover a four-year period, and negotiations for the private sector with the most employees - the hostelry sector - are coming up. They will cover 2018-2021 period and affect some 115,000 employees, around 70,000 of them working for hotels.
The unions are looking for a minimum of a 20% rise over the four years. They are doing so against a background of increased hotelier profit, brought about largely because of price increases of between three and seven per cent or, in exceptional cases, as much as 35%.
The main unions, the CCOO and UGT, are promising that there will be tough negotiations. Antonio Copote of the UGT says that workers have been losing spending power and well-being while hoteliers have been making gains through the efforts of their workers.
The Majorca Hoteliers Federation had wanted to extend the current agreement, meaning a salary increase of 1.25% per annum. That offer was flatly rejected. Pay and all conditions are now on the table, as far as the unions are concerned.
When it comes to actually sitting down, the federation hopes to have certain aspects already resolved, but pay will be the biggest issue. The hoteliers have upped their offer to 3% per annum, but it is well below what the unions are seeking. They feel as though they are in a strong position. The hoteliers will not want any disputes, with 2018 already promising to beat revenue and profit records.
The sector is broader than just the hoteliers. It includes restaurants and clubs as well. The representatives of these parts of the sector say that businesses will close if they are forced to go along with union pay demands. Alfonso Robledo for the restaurant association says that profit by restaurants and nightclubs has been lower than for the hotels.
Copote, however, is insistent. This is the moment, he says, to establish order over all the black money and labour "irregularities". "It's time to end it and to have a decent agreement for all workers in the hostelry sector."
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