Month by month, the employment figures invite optimism. 129,378 people were removed from the unemployment lists in May, the largest decrease since there are records. The news has been celebrated by the social agents, but the unions do not lower their guard and warn of the abuse of temporary contracts. This is explained because, with the reopening of the economy, the sectors that create jobs the fastest are also those in which jobs with the worst conditions abound, such as hospitality, agriculture and construction.
The Labor data reveals that only one in ten contracts signed in May was permanent, while 90% was temporary, which puts these positions in danger after the exuberance of the summer. “The job that is created is temporary and precarious,” they criticized this Wednesday from the UGT, while CC OO dismisses the new job as “outsourced, precarious, feminized and low-wage.”
Front-line contracting companies also recognize this problem. “Between now and summer there will be a lot of temporary contracts for the hotel and tourism industry,” says Javier Blasco, director of the Adecco Institute. “Ideally, these positions become stable,” he concludes. Ángel Sáenz, director of LinkedIn in Spain and Portugal, believes that after the crisis there will be “greater labor flexibility” in the form of contracts for work and service or part-time. “That trend that already existed is going to strengthen.”
The following eight profiles, interviewed by EL PAÍS, have managed to find work in May, although many of them look to September without knowing if they will continue to keep it by then.
Fernanda Ramos, 59 years old: “The youngest come and go depending on the occupancy of the hotel”
Despite the excitement of returning to work, Ramos acknowledges that among his colleagues they fear for their future: “The guaranteed job we had every summer has ceased to exist and people are wondering what will happen to us.” They also fear the virus, since “an outbreak would mean returning to ERTE” and ending the only months he hopes to work this year.
His second fear is the reserves of foreigners. They live pending if the United Kingdom allows the British to travel to the islands these months. More or less filling the hotel will condition the work of part of the staff: “The younger colleagues come and go depending on the occupation.”
Rafael Carrión, 38 years old: “Now we have to pay back rents”
During the five months that he has been in ERTE’s situation, he has had a “very bad time” because his partner had just set up a bar to be able to work and had asked for the unemployment payment in advance to be able to start the business. “We have pulled the family and sometimes we have even gone hungry,” he highlights. It has been possible to return to work on the 17th, after the regional government made more flexible hours and capacity in the restaurants.
“I think the future will go well, because we work, but in my family nucleus it will take more than a year to recover, since now we have to pay all the debts that we have generated all this time without collecting, the back rent and what the Treasury claims It’s going to cost a lot, “he says.
Ane Zaldívar, 25 years old: “I am lucky, I know it”
Ane was beginning to be concerned because she became independent a few years ago and independence generates expenses. Although she shares a flat with some friends, the bills keep coming: “I needed the job, also because of the stability it gives you,” she explains. Ane, who studied business administration, left her resume at Infojobs and from there they called her for the interview that finally gave her a chance again.
The first contact with the company took place two weeks ago and after the evaluation began to work on the same day June 1. “I am lucky, I know,” says this woman from Vitoria who was born on the day of the Christmas Lottery. “And I am grateful to the company for trusting me,” she explains while chatting with her friends in a bar in one of the industrial areas of the Basque capital.
Irene Sánchez, 23 years old: “I am very excited and very happy”
“I am very excited and very happy for this job, and above all in my homeland, although it is true that at the beginning I also wanted to have more experience in other countries”, explains Sánchez who, before returning to Cádiz, was in a Belgian company in Liège . The pandemic truncated his contract. And two of the courses of his career were held in Milan (Italy) and Sydney (Australia). “Without a doubt, this training and work experience has been decisive in finding a job quickly in my land,” adds this young engineer from Cádiz, who is also proud of having completed her studies at the University of her land and now, at 23, is already working. with a highly qualified contract.
The contract they have just signed is for works and services, but since it is a long-term project, he hopes to have stability guaranteed.
Isabelle Camar, 30 years old: “At the age of 30, the hospitality industry is an uphill battle”
In December, however, he began to grow impatient. “My bosses could not reinstate me because there was not enough business with the restrictions. I saw that things were not going to change and I decided to leave the company ”. Last month, he started working part-time at Geyser, one of the terraces in the city center that are benefiting from the partial lifting of restrictions, which is compatible with unemployment benefit.
Camar has worked as a waitress since she was very young. He began in the profession to pay for the studies of Fine Arts in Salamanca. His new job, however, allows him to reconcile schedules with the swimming monitoring course organized by the SEPE that will begin next week. “Although I like it, at the age of 30, sometimes working in the hospitality industry is a bit difficult for me, and I like being a monitor.”
Juan Pablo Cáceres, 35 years old: “I had never thought about taking part in opposition”
He has noticed that difference since the first day on the job, just this Tuesday. “I had to go to Muface and the fact that they do not hit you and that they remind you that you are within your rights is a change,” he acknowledges.
Cáceres had been working as a teacher for five years on-line And in December 2019 he decided to quit, become self-employed so he could afford a coach and start studying. The pandemic, in his case, was a positive thing, because they delayed the exam from March to September, which gave him a margin of time to pass. “We took advantage of the confinement. To have combined the study with another job would have been impossible ”, he assures.
Sara Zulaika, 22 years old: “I have a contract until October, so I will try to combine this job with my studies”
Sara has finished this course the degree of English Studies at the University of the Basque Country (UPV) and plans to do the master on-line after the summer: “I have a contract until October, so I will try to combine this job with my studies.” He has only worked five days, the first of which was to have a first contact with the position. “The first day I was helped by a colleague who taught me what work consists of. From then on, I had to look for chestnuts on my own, ”says the young woman, who was a waitress for a few months and also a receptionist at a school.
Lucía R., 21 years old: “You can tell that bars can open more, they called me two”
This May he has again signed a contract to work in a restaurant, in principle, during the weekends until August and, in the month with the highest tourist influx in the Mediterranean, up to 40 hours.
“The moment in which bars and restaurants have been able to open with more hours has been noticed a lot because of three positions in which I knew that they were looking for waiters, two called me”, he says. The same has happened with some of his friends who, at the last minute, the restaurateurs called to start working also in May and extend until the summer.
With information from Lucia Bohorquez (Palma de Mallorca) Juan Navarro (Valladolid), Pedro Gorospe (Bilbao), Mikel Ormazabal (Saint Sebastian), Maria Fabra (Castellón), Guillermo Vega (Las Palmas), Eva saiz (Seville), Gines Donaire (Jaén).