Staff Reporter
TRADE union leader, Manuel Pelarda, warned yesterday that figures showing the increase in the rate of unemployment in November are “the worst in the last six years”.

He furthered that the Balearic economy is “flawed” because “it doesn't have the capacity to generate employment when the tourist season of ‘sun and sand' comes to an end”.

Pelarda signalled that the Balearic unemployment figures, are in fact “frightening”, and that the problem is “very serious”. To this number, he claimed, must be added those workers who have fixed contracts for the tourist season only, but who are not working now. “This brings the total of unemployed in the Islands to 80'000 people”, Pelarda said.
The CC.OO Union secretary also expressed his disappointment at the “poor showing” of numbers affiliated to Social Security, because the month of November closed with just a little over 274'000 workers registered; 20'000 less than two months ago.

He felt justified, therefore, in refusing to give “congratulations” to the Balearic government and management organisations for their performance in November. “It's essential to bring more variety to the tourist sector” insisted Pelarda, “and to introduce features which will lead to all-year-round tourism”. The government, he said, have been talking about such a strategy for years. “But it's not enough just to talk about it; doing something about it is what counts. We've got to make a concerted effort to plan and set out a rescue strategy”.

Meanwhile, on mainland Spain, the Workers' Commission (CCOO) was equally disparaging of the increase in unemployment registered for the month of November this year.

It called on central government to intervene in the abusive use made of temporary contracts by tourist companies, where employment is provided only at times warranted by hotel occupancy rates. The moment client levels start to fall, staff are correlatively dismissed.

The system fails to provide any security for seasonal workers, even within the acknowledged holiday months of the year.
The Workers' Commission also pointed to the high level of female unemployment and the “great gap” which existed between numbers of women, and numbers of men, out of work.

It threw into sharp relief the fact that a new record of employment contracts was supposedly registered in November, whilst at the same time, there was a “significant” increase in unemployment figures.

It was the view of the Commission that these contradictory facts are explained by the high number of jobs begun and ended in a short space of time as a result of the use of contracts of very short duration, with no security.

The CCOO wants strong government action to force a change in the attitude of tourist industry business to seasonal contract working.


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