Tuesday, September 26

A young man denounces the exploitation of the Murcian hotel industry: “At the end of the month he would have worked 68 hours without pay”

On July 27, a tweet went viral. Carlos, a young 23-year-old waiter, denounced on social networks the schedule that, presumably, his superiors had set for him. The tweet, accompanied by a note with the hours that the boy had to do each day, accuses the local leaders of registering him less than half the hours he should have done and not charging for the extras: “I am discharged 20 hours a week, they pay me 40 according to the agreement and I work 57, of which of those 17 more they don’t pay me even €1.

Carlos started working four days as a test. Last Sunday they accepted him as a waiter, they allowed him to take Monday off and they didn’t call him until Tuesday, the day he put in nine hours. That same day they gave him the schedule that, the next day, he posted in the tweet. “In the interview they told me that it would be full time and then they discharged me for 20, although I had assumed it would be 40. When I asked, they told me that this would be the usual,” says the waiter.

“I have worked in other bars before and had never reached the point of having to go public, but this case seemed crazy to me. At the end of the month he would have worked 68 hours without pay, hours that he would be giving away to the owner of the premises”, he underlines. He didn’t even see the contract.

The young man has communicated today, July 29, his decision to denounce the restaurant through the Workers’ Commissions -CCOO-. Likewise, he has encouraged anyone who finds himself in the same situation to follow in his footsteps. “I’m tired of the name of the places being hidden when this kind of thing happens,” Carlos underlines after making it public that the place where he was given such treatment is the Club Náutico El Chalet, a restaurant in Cartagena. The owner, Miguel García, with whom this newspaper has not been able to contact, is also the owner of three very popular bars in the city: La Uva Jumillana, La Fuente and the mythical Bar Sol, which he acquired in 2019. CCOO, which has already went to the Chalet, has registered three new complaints against two separate establishments.

Criticisms of the premises have transcended the blue bird’s social network. The Chalet has received in the last three days a series of bad reviews through Google Maps, to which the establishment has responded with the following message: “Good morning. We sincerely appreciate your interest in this matter and your respectful opinion. These lynchings in social networks produce defenselessness and damage to those who suffer them. This way only damage is done, nothing is resolved. We’re looking at it with our lawyers. All the best”

A recurring case

The tweet, which has found great support among the Twitter community, is echoed shortly after the renewal of the Murcia Region’s hospitality agreement broke down, due to the lack of support from the Murcian employers’ association HoyTú and the irregular way in which which the agreement was reached. This agreement favors poor working conditions by collecting one of the lowest wages in the sector in Spain. “The key is job insecurity in the hospitality industry in the Region, given, above all, by fraud,” explains Teresa Fuentes, general secretary of the Federation of CCOO Services in the Region of Murcia. In a union survey at the beginning of the year, 53 percent of people were on partial contracts that were not. “They were discharged for 4 or 5 hours, and in reality they discharged 8, 9 or 12 hours. More than half were in B”, denounces the General Secretary.

Carlos is aware of his “privileged” situation, since he has been able to leave his job, but the reality is that this is not always the case: “most people who work in the hospitality industry are not in a position to decide. The bad conditions end up being accepted and that makes exploitation in that sector generalize”.