Hotel Workers of Athens Massive Meeting decides Strike on June 24

With a 24-hour strike on Friday, June 24 in the hotels of Attica, Hotel-Tourism Workers are strengthening the fight for local Sectoral and Business Collective Agreements. The decision for the strike mobilization was taken by the General Assembly of the Trade Union of Workers Catering – Tourism – Hotels of Attica, which took place at noon on Thursday, June 3rd at the hotel “Titania”. In Catering, as decided, the Union will also support strike mobilization in companies that will be decided by the employees, the business unions, where they exist, the Union Committees.

The meeting took place at the Titania Hotel, where workers are mobilizing against the intensification of work and the hotel staff went on a new work stoppage, gathered at the entrance of the building and then took part in the assembly en masse.

With the same militant atmosphere that they discussed for the preparation of the mobilization, the employees decided the participation of the Union in the National Congress Meeting of PAME, on 18-19 June.

In his introductory speech, the president of the union, George Stefanakis, informed the employees that a proposal has been submitted for a Local Collective Agreement in the Attica Hoteliers Association, emphasizing that the only way for employers to sit at the negotiating table is the militant preparation and the success of the strike.

In Attica, as in the whole country, large multinational companies buy, build, renovate hotel units, compete with each other for the largest share of the “pie” of Tourism. They look forward to increased arrivals and bookings both this year and in the years to come. At the same time, hoteliers are “complaining” that they are not finding staff, claiming that employees “do not want to work”, presenting the violation of labor rights as an isolated phenomenon. At the same time, to the fair demands of the employees for salary increases, observance of the 8 hours, granting of breaks, recruitment of staff, they respond with the argument that in the hotels there is a mandatory Sectoral Contract and “regulated” employment relations. However, the salary provided by the current Sectoral Contract in hotels is fixed at the levels of 2012-2013, while the cost of basic goods, bills, living expenses have skyrocketed. And while wages remain “frozen”, intensification and exploitation have risen sharply. “With half the staff they reach the turnover of 2019, with the same money they give us they make twice as much profit”, denounced the president of the Union.

“We know that the situation is not the same in all hotels”, underlined G. Stefanakis, pointing out that not all employees have made the decision to give this fight. “But we also know that what we live every day is growing” he added. Against this background, he stressed the duty of the elected in leaderships of the branch, of the business unions, their active members, to become “organizers of the struggle”, with general assemblies, meetings in hotels and restaurants, campaigns and interventions in all areas, to work, preparing for the strike.

“Our struggle must be connected with the battle fought by other sectors”, underlined G. Stefanakis, to “meet” with them in common demands for a struggle for collective bargaining, the protection of the people’s income, the abolition of the anti-labor laws, against the country’s involvement in the imperialist war. In this regard, the assembly ratified the decision of the Central Administration to participate in the National Congres Meeting of PAME.

This year’s tourist season has already “shown its teeth” to employees: Intensification is commonplace in the workplace, overtime and “cut” breaks are growing. In a number of hotels already employees have left their shifts in ambulances due to problems caused by the intensive work rhythm, or due to accidents.

In the face of this situation, business unions are not left alone. At the “Royal Olympic” two general meetings were held in May, with the employees making a decision to fight for a Contract and authorizing the Union Board to decide on specific mobilizations. The assembly at the “Marriott Hotel” moved in the same direction, where the Union is oriented towards militant actions with the maids in order to improve the working conditions. A meeting is scheduled for June 6 at the Intercontinental, while the demands for working conditions and salaries have been put in a meeting with the employer. In the Catering company “SELECT”, at the airport of Athens, the Union is in the process of negotiations for the signing of a Collective Agreement.

The workers continue the fight in “TITANIA Hotel”

In “TITANIA” the members of the business union transferred to the employer the demands that have been decided by the employees themselves through a recent assembly. In a move to undermine the struggle, the president and two members of his team resigned, allowing the employer, instead of responding to fair demands, to claim that “there is no Union”. In the face of this development, the employees do not put it down, but organize the next steps of the struggle. Claim:

– To return to work all part-time employees who have been laid off, with contracts of indefinite duration.

– To fill all the gaps in all departments and posts with indefinite recruitments and not through contracting offices.

– To define the duties in all positions and to put an end to the multi duty schedule.

The maids should not be responsible for more than 13 rooms.

– Signing of a Business Collective Bargaining Agreement for all employees in the hotel, with substantial increases in salaries, strict observance of 8 hours and 5 days.


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Source: PAME