Is anyone serving? | Julian Aguirre

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Union leaders in the Balearics are blaming difficulties that the hospitality sector is having in finding staff for this season on workers' freedom of choice.

The general secretaries of the CCOO and UGT in the Balearics, José Luis García and Lorenzo Navarro, say that some businesses have not been respecting workers' rights. For García, "this is news at the moment, but workers have been able to choose". "If they find improved working conditions, they move to a different sector." This is the result of "many employers having made workers' conditions precarious".

Navarro says that a shortage of waiters, for example, is because "there are employers who have not taken care of their employees". "So, people go to other businesses which comply with collective agreements."

They both point to additional problems, such as the high prices for accommodation and temporary employment. "You cannot live with just six months' work." The lack of available personnel is meanwhile threatening to result in increased workloads, especially as forecasts for the tourism season are positive.

The unions are appealing to businesses to be responsible and ensure that workers' rights are respected. They point out that there are still many people who are unemployed in the Balearics, and so there is potential to address the two problems of lack of personnel and demand for employment.