THE decline of the shoemaking industry on Majorca over the past fifteen years has meant the loss of around 1'000 jobs, the Spanish Shoemakers' Federation (FICE) confirmed yesterday.

Central Government has begun to take action over the redundancies and in collaboration with the Unions, is setting up a so-called National Shoemaking Industry Plan which aims to reinsert those who have already lost their jobs back into the labour market.

The Balearic government meanwhile has said that in the next set of training programmes for the unemployed, a specific course for ex shoemakers is going to be introduced.

Aurora Coll, President of the regional shoemakers' association AFACA, said yesterday that there is “a great deal about the shoe manufacturing industry that has become obsolete.” She said that with the market imposing its own delivery dates, there were months of the year when there was a great deal of work for those employed in the shoe factories and others when there were hardly any orders at all.

Coll said that although working arrangements have not yet been altered, the regional Ministry for Employment has said it is prepared to help negotiate part-time contracts so that the work can be spread out more evenly.

Historically, Inca has been the town on Majorca where the largest numbers of residents have been engaged in the shoe manufacturing industry.


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