Palma.—The Spanish Confederation of Hoteliers and the Majorcan Hotel Federation yesterday condemned the March 29 general strike which was called on Friday.

Spain's two main unions have called for the general strike in protest against changes to the labour laws.
They are unhappy with the labour reform bill introduced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government, which they believe makes it simpler and cheaper for employers to fire staff.

Cándido Mendez, the leader of the Workers General Union (UGT), called the strike “fair and necessary”.
However, deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría said strikes were “not the answer when times are already hard for citizens”.
Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the EU at 23% and this figure is expected to rise further.
The government argues that the reforms will encourage businesses to take on more employees and thus revive the economy, but there have already been large scale demonstrations against the planned changes. There is Europe-wide concern that the Spanish economy is heading back into recession after it contracted at the end of last year and the tourist industry is worried that the strike will hit early Easter trade.

Bookings for Spain are currently rather flat compared to last year and the word “strike” has not only set alarm bells ringing here, but also in the key markets, in particular the UK which has mounted a multi million pound campaign to encourage Britons to stay at home and avoid all the hassle, such as strikes, involved with travelling overseas.

President of the Majorcan federation, Inma Benito, said yesterday that the strike will damage the island's image and industry. “Those who have not booked will look for an alternative destination and some may even cancel,” she warned


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