THE UGT and CCOO Unions called on their members yesterday for a demonstration to be organised, demanding government solutions to the employment difficulties predicted in the tourist industry. Antonio Copete, secretary general for the Federation of Hostelry and Tourism, explained that the move comes amidst Union fears of issues which include job security when change of use of some older hotels in tourist areas will mean their conversion into flats. Additionally, the syndicates need to have clear guidance on the current government policy of intending to deseasonalise the industry so that the Islands will be “open for tourist business” all-year-round”. The demonstration has been scheduled for this coming 24 September at 4.30pm. It will start from the Auditorium on the Paseo Maritimo in Palma and finish at the regional government offices at the Consolat de Mar. Following a joint assembly held by the Tourism federations and the two Unions, Copete remarked that the reason behind the unrest is protest at the “ineffectiveness” of the regional government to provide solutions to the tourist situation. “The government has all the documentation highlighting Union proposals, and still nothing has been done” signalled Copete, who repeated that the Unions are prepared to sit down and negotiate with the government “but to find solutions, not to have a cup of coffee”. Copete declared that the Unions are opposed to the fact that the change of use of some hotels to flats will simply materialise as urban development and highlighted their concern that some hotels will now remain open only some months of the year as opposed to all-the-year-round. The Union director expressed his hope that the demonstration will be a success and that “all society” should become involved in the outcome as jobs and livelihoods were at stake.

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