Worker at a hotel in Mallorca. | Pilar Pellicer

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The introduction of the Labour Reform will ensure that in this year's hiring in the Balearic tourism sector more than 13,000 temporary workers will become permanent or permanent discontinuous, according to the general secretaries of the Federation of Services of CCOO and UGT, Silvia Montejano and José García, respectively. The employers' associations CAEB and PIMEM recognise that in the Islands there is "too much temporality" and that this change is logical in an economy "as seasonal as ours".

Montejano and García point out that there are more than 134,000 workers in the hospitality sector (accommodation and catering), to which must be added about 8,000 in the handling services (ground handling services for passengers and aircraft) in the three airports of the Islands. "The new labour framework means that companies will be forced this year to change their hiring system and that temporary workers will become permanent or permanent discontinuous. This completely tackles the temporary employment that used to exist and that was detrimental to the workers affected by the insecurity it generated", Montejano points out.

For the UGT, the number of temporary workers in the tourism sector and in the airports "exceeds 13,000 in all the Islands, which gives an idea of the importance that the Labour Reform is going to have in the new hires", indicates García. He adds that "25% of the eventual 'handling' workers will have to be hired with the new modalities".

The president of CAEB, Carmen Planas, points out: "The driving force of the Balearic economy is tourism and the fundamental characteristic of our productive system is seasonality, linked to the figure of the fixed-discontinuous. It is important, therefore, to highlight the role of CAEB in defending the uniqueness of our economy".

Jordi Mora, president of PIMEM, affirms: "There is too much temporary employment. However, we do not agree with the Labour Reform, because converting temporary employment into permanent contracts reduces the flexibility for companies to adapt to the coming changes. There are more contracting instruments".