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Disabled workers at Spanish tourist hotspot 'stand up for 11 hours a day'

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The Palace Royal in Madrid.
The Palace Royal in Madrid. -
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REUTERS/Paul Hanna
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A trade union has revealed that disabled employees at the Royal Palace in Madrid, one of Spain’s most-visited tourism hotspots were required to stand up at work for between 10 and 11 hours a day on salaries of as low as 600 euros per month.

The Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) union said that 61 employees hired as room attendants by the Clece Group under the General Disability Law - which aims to integrated disabled people into the workplace - worked for 55 hours per week - many of them without work contracts.

During their job interviews, the employees were told that their wages would be between 800 and 1000 euros per month, with added overtime, in rotating morning and afternoon shifts for four days a week.

But during the 11 hour workdays, only 45 minutes were given to eat and rest, the union said.

Visitor toilets

"The distances to the dining rooms and rest rooms are very far away and they hardly have real rest time," said Isabel Galvín, a representative at the CCOO.

Employees were not given access to changing rooms - although the company said it would provide the facilities - and were forced to use the site’s visitor toilet.

In a statement to Euronews, Clece said that the conditions affected "a very limited number of people", 16 of the more than 75,000 working in the company.

"From the first moment we have worked to provide it with the utmost rigor and quality," says Clece. The company has declared that there were "administrative errors" in the payroll process and because of the difficulties involved in "setting up a service of this nature".

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