Palma.— The main unions in the Balearics, the General Workers Union (UGT) and the Workers Commission are to ask the Balearic Government's Inspector for Employment and Social Security that a meeting be held to attempt to put a stop to black market labour which has surged in the hostelry, commerce, transport and building industries.

Official legal complaints have already been presented against a number of hotels for taking on staff illegally without proper contracts and Social Security coverage. “This is no more than the tip of the iceberg of a practice that is taking place all year round, but above all in the tourist season,” Manuel Pelarda, UGT Union Action Secretary said yesterday. He said it wasn't comprehensible that considering that there had been such a good tourist season, that the rate of employment hadn't risen more accordingly. “This has only one explanation,” said Pelarda. “The black market economy in the Balearics is on the increase.” Apparently the two tourist hotels which have already been reported are in resorts which have little union representation so there is little control within certain hotels. “In both cases mentioned,” the hotels were reported directly to legal authorities,” Pelarda said.

Over the next few days, he warned, through the same inspection system, other hotels where staff bave been contracted illegally will be reported to the authorities.

The Majorcan Hoteliers Federation (FEHM) said yesterday that it would collaborate with the inspection but said they were confident it was not a generalised practice.