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A number of hotels and businesses in the Balearic tourist sector have presented plans to the government to make some of their staff redundant, said Gines Diez, Union Action Secretary for the regional Workers Commission (CCOO) yesterday.

The reason why companies are wanting to make redundancies, said Diez, is because they are under economic pressure caused by the decline in guests this season due to the recession and cheaper non-euro zone destinations proving more attractive.

The early closing of some hotels before the end of the season or delays in opening have resulted in business owners and hotel chains deciding to lay off seasonal staff to reduce costs.

Diez forecast that around 40 percent of the hotels in the region are going to close their doors a month earlier than the normal end of season which is at the end of October or November. Diez claimed this will have important knock-on effects for temporary workers some of whom may not be able to work the minimum amount of time to enable them to claim unemployment benefit.

He said that the consequences may result in what he described as “social conflict.” According to an initial analysis undertaken by the Workers Commission, there has been around a seven percent downturn in income in the tourist sector this year.