The wage increase agreement is good news for employees but not for smaller businesses. | Archive


The almost 140,000 workers in the hospitality industry can anticipate earning between 200 and 300 euros a month more by 2021 than they do at present. This will be the consequence of the wage agreement for a 17% rise over the next four years - 5% increases in 2018 and 2019 and 3.5% rises in 2020 and 2021.

The increases that workers can expect will depend on where they work and what jobs they do. Hotel star ratings are a factor. Earnings are higher in four and five-star hotels than in three stars. In restaurants and in the nightlife sector, they are fractionally lower than in three-star hotels.

To give examples, a receptionist in a three-star hotel is currently entitled to 1,402.24 euros per month. By 2021, this will be 1,640.63 per month. A restaurant waiter can earn 1,282.44 at present and can anticipate 1,500.46 euros in 2021.

There are, though, still rumblings about the wage increases, both from the smaller hoteliers and especially from the non-hotel sector. And Pimem, the association for small to medium-sized businesses, is warning that many smaller businesses will be forced to close if they have to abide by the wage agreement for the hospitality sector.

The restaurants and nightlife sectors have not as yet signed the agreement, arguing that their members simply can't afford the 17% over four years, so the president of Pimem, Jordi Mora, is proposing that a distinction should be made between smaller and larger businesses.

In the Canary Islands, he notes, there are two different agreements on wages, but this system has not been adopted in the Balearics because, as he puts it, there has been "a lack of willingness". He criticises the large hotel groups and the unions for their "meddling" in seemingly having prevented there being two agreements. The wish for there to be separate arrangements is, he points out, nothing new.

Bin Shah, who runs a restaurant in Palma's Santa Catalina district, points out that small businesses already have many costs. Because of the wage agreement, she would have to take on the work of an employee, as she wouldn't be able to afford to pay. The vice-president of the youth hostels association in Majorca, Mercedes Miralles, says that these hostels are open all year but that they may have to close for some months and lay off staff.

Juan Manuel Ordinas, the owner of a small family hotel in Playa de Palma, is critical of the "unconditional support" shown by politicians to large hotel chains.