Press conference regarding the agreement in 2018, when Iago Negueruela (centre) was just employment minister and not also tourism minister. | Pere Bota

The two main unions, the CCOO and the UGT, have given advance notice of pay demands under the new collective bargaining agreement for the hospitality sector in Mallorca and the rest of the Balearics. They will be seeking a minimum pay increase of ten per cent from next year; this could be higher depending on how inflation evolves over the second half of 2022.

The existing agreement, which was signed in 2017 and came into effect in 2018, was 17% over four years. Extended because of the pandemic, it expires in January 2023. A new agreement is therefore due to be in place by April next year. It applies to hotel and restaurant workers.

The negotiating platform for the new agreement will be established in February. Tough negotiations are envisaged, union representatives arguing that ten per cent a year has to be a minimum. Silvia Montejano of the CCOO says that hospitality employees' working, social and economic conditions need to improve in view of a situation "as inflationary as the one we are experiencing and with the consumer price index skyrocketing".

Montejano and José García Relucio of the UGT point to hotel and restaurant price increases over recent months and argue that it will be possible to increase pay in the current situation, "despite what the employers say".

On the employers' side, the president of the Association of Hotel Chains, Carolina Quetglas, said earlier this week that the unions cannot demand that salaries next year will increase in line with current inflation. The unions, prepared to take a tough stance, are already of the view that there may be a labour dispute.