THE Federation of Balearic Immigrant Associations (FAI) described the government concession of 200 temporary work permits for seasonal foreign labour in the Balearics as “totally inadequate”. Marlén Perea, secretary of the FAI, was speaking yesterday about the measures to meet the labour demand, chiefly in the agricultural industry, announced yesterday by the Government delegation in the Islands and the regional ministry of Agriculture. Perea said the interim solution was little more than a “clean-up” and didn't provide a real foundation for helping out businesses in need.
She reproached the central government delegation for not having made a “thorough study” of the needs of both the Island businesses and of the workers. The offer of 200 temporary work permits calculated by the agricultural industry to be “totally insufficient”, because, pointed out the secretary, the companies request more than 3'000 workers a year in this sector. Perea highlighted the “lack of common sense” that the system posed for both sides. “Businesses will contract workers that they don't know and the temporary employee will have to sell himself “blind”, not knowing where he's going to work and in what conditions”, she claimed. Perea insisted on the necessity to prioritise the issue of immigrant labour by legalising those who were already here but working without official papers. This should come before giving permits to newcomers who haven't as yet even left their country of origin, she claimed. Perea doubted that offers made through Spanish embassies and business associations overseas would be effective.