Chambermaids walk out for two days in “successful strike”
Tourists in Ibiza were lobbied by hotel chambermaids as part of a two-day strike over pay and conditions, including a call for blood pressure and heart rate checks and machinery to move beds.
Around 2,000 staff took part in the protest, going from hotel to hotel in numerous holiday resorts with placards, drums and whistles.
It is the first time the chambermaids, known as “Kellys”, have gone on strike and unions say they are delighted by the response.
Despite hotel management telling them a walk-out is not the way to solve their grievances, the chamber-maids say they have been left with no choice.
“We have asked employ-ers to adjust the workload but they have refused completely,” said Rafa Sánchez, secretary of CGT union. “We also want independent studies to be done because those of the administration are not usually rigorous.”
A last-ditch meeting with representatives of the hotels failed to reach any sort of agreement.
The union says the health of the chambermaids should be checked with regard to their blood pressure, heart rate and how much energy they have to exert doing the job where industrial injuries such as bad backs and knees have recently been officially recognised.
They also want the hotels to be forced into offering the workers accommodation.
The Ibiza hotel association says there IS an ongoing study about the workload and the women have jumped the gun by calling a strike rather than waiting for its outcome.
Spokesman Manuel Sendino said: “There is an ongoing study about the workload and you have to wait for it to end. They disqualify those studies, something that doesn’t make much sense.”
They recognised the job was difficult and demanding but the workers had a choice of whether to do it or not. In any event, they didn’t understand why “there only seems to be a dispute in Ibiza” and not throughout the whole of Spain.