Hotel and restaurant staff in Greece have taken to the streets in a 24-hour strike to protest at their plight amid the country’s economic crisis.
New legislation leaves them more vulnerable to layoffs, unions say. They claim employers are using tough times for the tourist industry to scare workers into accepting poorer pay and conditions.
“They want to reduce our salaries and now that they are sending most of the staff away by unemployment, they are trying to make the rest of us produce more and more to cover our colleagues’ lost positions,” said hotel worker Odysseus Philippatos.
A fifth of the Greek workforce depends on tourism for a job in a sector representing 16 per cent of the economy. However, bookings plummeted in the first five months of 2012 amid political instability in Greece. In recent years, thousands of jobs in tourism have been lost.