surinenglish

"We're 21st century slaves," say protesting hotel room cleaners

Some of the workers, who first organised their campaign via a Facebook page.
Some of the workers, who first organised their campaign via a Facebook page. / A. G.
  • 'Las Kellys' of Costa housekeeping claim that hoteliers are deliberately outsourcing jobs to agencies to keep salaries lower than the legal minimum

They go by a curious name but their complaints are serious. Workers responsible for cleaning hotel bedrooms along the Costa del Sol demonstrated in Malaga last Friday against what they say are their poor working conditions.

The staff go by the name ‘Kellys Union’; ‘kelly’ is a common nickname for cleaning staff, after ‘que li’, a contraction of the Spanish phrase ‘los que limpian’ (those that clean).

Following a rise in a protest movement nationally, local Costa staff have got together to draw attention to hoteliers who, they claim, outsource cleaning jobs to agencies and so avoid having to pay a series of benefits and a minimum wage for the sector, as employees are not counted as full hotel staff.“We are 21st century slaves,” they say.

The CC OO trade union has said it is going to report 42 hotels along the coast for “illegally” avoiding providing staff with the working conditions they are entitled to.