Lifeguards employed by the company that supplies lifeguard services for Palma's beaches have formed the first lifeguards union in Mallorca. Unió Socorristes Mallorca has been established as a section of the CGT General Confederation of Labour. It currently has some 25 members.
A statement from this new union says that lifeguards are in a situation whereby they have civil and criminal responsibility, are a first line of health and earn the minimum wage. "They are not respecting overtime and they are not respecting our breaks," the union complains.
They want a specific working conditions agreement for the sector; limits to areas they are required to cover; the payment of overtime; a protocol against harassment; and approved equipment to improve service.
Palma is not the only part of the island where lifeguards have issues. In Alcudia, lifeguards employed by the company contracted by the town hall have been complaining that they are forced to work more hours than those established; that there is a lack of equipment on the beaches; and that specifications are not complied with.
They accuse the town hall of turning its back on what is happening, while over half of the lifeguards have signed a letter accusing the mayor, Bàrbara Rebassa, and the councillor with responsibility for beaches, Domingo Bonnín, of lying. "We request that you send us the municipal report where it says that the beaches have all the necessary equipment, especially the section where it says when the last defibrillator was delivered. We remind you that the falsification of a public document is a crime."