Crónica País Vasco.

Crónica País Vasco.

Sindicatos de Hostelería de Bizkaia elogian la primera jornada de huelga por un nuevo convenio

Sindicatos de Hostelería de Bizkaia elogian la primera jornada de huelga por un nuevo convenio

ELA, LAB, CCOO, and UGT claim that the strike has had a "significant" impact, especially in hotels, where some have had a near 100% response.

BILBAO, June 29.

ELA, LAB, CCOO, and UGT have made a "very positive" assessment of the turnout on Thursday for the first of the two strike days called in the Hospitality sector in Bizkaia to defend the renewal of their agreement. According to the unions, the turnout has been "very important", especially in hotels, where it has practically reached 100% in some of them," they emphasized.

The strike on Thursday, with its second day on Friday, to which about 20,000 workers affected by the agreement in the area are called, has passed "without specific figures" on turnout, although, from the union side, they have stated that the mobilizations have caused "many tourists or teams present for the Tour to have to look for alternatives due to the strike, as has been the case with Soudal Quick Step."

Under the slogan "no agreement, no Tour. For a dignified agreement," union gatherings in front of different hotel and hospitality establishments in Bilbao took place between nine in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Specifically, they began at the Catalonia hotel on Gran Via; then continued in front of the Carlton, Indautxu, Sercotel Coliseo hotels successively, and ended in front of the NYX hotel in Arenal. The mobilizations are expected to continue with a street parade starting at 1:30 p.m. from Ledesma Street, where numerous bars and restaurants are located, to Arenal.

On Friday the 30th, gatherings will also begin at 9 a.m., this time in front of the Meliá Hotel, then at 10 a.m. in front of the Domine Hotel, followed by the Vincci Hotel, the Hesperia, and at 1 p.m., finishing the route at the Radisson Hotel. The street parade from Ledesma to the Old Town will also be repeated, but this time in the evening and starting at half past five.

During the successive protests in front of the different chosen hotels, attendees have set off firecrackers and handed out leaflets, as well as chanting slogans in support of their demands for the negotiation of a new agreement and waving union flags.

In their assessment during the protests, union representatives have explained that they have decided to go on strike due to the "blockage of negotiations," since the last meeting of the negotiating table was in February.

In statements to the media, union representatives have denounced the "completely irresponsible" attitude of the Association of Hospitality in Bizkaia, which has not made "any moves" since the strike notice, which they believe will have a "significant impact" on hotels, but also on the hospitality industry. "Now, without an agreement, there is no Tour, but we will continue, there will be no BBK Live, there will be no summer," they warned.

According to them, the aforementioned association is leading the sector's workers in the territory "into a dead end" where mobilization is "the only possible alternative" for their demands to be addressed because the staff understands that "the only way to turn this situation around is by going on strike."

The unions have pointed out that Hospitality workers in Bizkaia have not had a salary increase since 2020, so, while "the CPI has increased by 12.9% since then, the sector's salaries have not increased at all." Therefore, they are demanding increases linked to the CPI to "not lose purchasing power." "It is something that is owed to us for how the sector has behaved during the pandemic," they added.

Indeed, they have stated that, since the pandemic in 2020, ERTEs have become their "day-to-day life, and with it, instability." "There have been many months in which we have worked without a work calendar, and companies have taken advantage of the situation to gain flexibility," they added.

In addition, they have pointed out that this agreement also affects the collective sector, a "precarious" sector in which the majority of workers are women, "with precarious contracts and part-time hours, as well as significant workloads."

In this regard, while in Gipuzkoa the collective sector has a 1,708-hour workday for the year 2023, in Bizkaia, that number rises to 1,750.

In addition, "while their employers refuse to negotiate their own agreement, from the social side, we are demanding an improvement in their conditions and joining a struggle for an agreement that, at present, does not address their needs or concerns," they added.

According to the unions, companies in the sector intend to increase their profit margins at the expense of the "sacrifice" of the sector's workers and continue to seek to make them "pay the bill created by Covid 19."

That is why they have decided to call this double strike and do not rule out increasing mobilizations if there are no moves from the employers' side, which has turned a "deaf ear" to their demands. "We will continue there, it is our fight," they added.

Given this, and in anticipation of the second day on Friday, the unions have expressed their conviction that the response "will be in the same direction" since, as they have emphasized, "the workers in this sector are fed up with their working conditions and the attitude of the employers, who have not deigned to meet since the last meeting, held in February."