The tourism sector in Malaga breathed a huge sigh of relief when agreement was reached in the early hours of Tuesday morning which meant that there would not, after all, be a strike by hotel staff and bar and restaurant workers during the peak summer season.
The agreement will also bring an end to the discrimination suffered by the so-called 'Kellys', hotel room cleaners, who are outsourced and earn much less than colleagues who work directly for the hotels. Some of them are expected to do the same amount of work for half the amount of pay. It has now been decided that cleaners who are employed from outside the company must benefit from the same salary and conditions as those contracted directly.
The two sides came to an agreement after eight hours of negotiations which were described as "intense".
Other key points are a 13 per cent salary increase over a five-year period for the 80,000 employees in the sector, shifts to be decided two weeks in advance, and training possibilities with a view to advancement. The agreement will also remain in force for five years before being reviewed.
The president of the Aehcos hotel association on the Costa del Sol, Luis Callejón Suñé, is very pleased that the words 'Kellys' and 'strike' will no longer be heard. "This is a landmark agreement; it will bring peace,and progress in work flexibility and training. We have set an example in Spain," he said.
Meanwhile the president of the companies which form part of the Mahos association, Javier Frutos, congratulated all involved for overcoming their differences and calling off the strike which would have had such a negative effect on tourism. Now that the spectre of the strike is no longer hanging over it, the sector is looking forward to a great summer.