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Algarve's hotels - average salary of €600-a-month leaves 5,000 unfilled vacancies

HOTELRECEPTIONGALEThe Algarve’s hotel association claims there are vacancies for 5,000 people in the booming sector, but that low wages are dissuading candidates from applying.

The unions involved are campaigning for better wages and conditions for existing and new workers but it all seems to comes down to money.

An additional problem is the seasonality of the sector which needs many more staff during the busy summer months, especially this year with record breaking occupancy figures.

The government is even offering a €200-a-month 'mobility support payment' to qualifying recruits heading south to work in the Algarve but with the national official unemployment rate for June down to 9.2%, and lower still in the Algarve, it has turned into a employees’ market.

The Employment and Vocational Training Institute is launching a national campaign to recruit candidates to work in the Algarve but to fill the job vacancies, the president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, says at least 5,000 people are needed and they simply are not responding.

The problem is obvious, according to the president of the Hotel and Tourism Trade Union of the Algarve, Tiago Jacinto, "Why are working conditions not improved and salaries, frozen since 2009, not updated?"

Complaints have been sent to the Authority for Working Conditions, which the union accuses of failure.

"The shortage of staff is forcing workers to work twice as much, or more, while earning the same salary. On average, salaries in the sector are around €600 per month," said Tiago Jacinto, highlighting the reality of paying rent, electricity, water and food from a monthly salary designed for those involved in the slave labour market.

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+1 #6 Neil M 2017-08-03 08:14
It would be interesting to see how the government could make tourists pay extra for food and local people pay less.
Wages and the cost of living are all relevant, if you increase one then you have to increase the other. That's why northern Europe has such expensive economies. The government's kept increasing the wages and with that came an increase in the cost of living.
I agree with you that something has to be done, perhaps the minimum wage should be increased and therefore help the those on the lower end of the scale. Or the government could introduce an accommodation tax, where tourists pay tourist tax, just like they do in other European destinations.
0 #5 Charly 2017-08-02 10:25
Dear Neil M, that is an option that has to be considered: either the (foreign) tourists pay a few box more or a whole population lives in a permanent state of poverty...
+2 #4 Neil M 2017-08-01 21:07
If wages go up, you realise that the cost of services and food will also go up.
Be careful what you wish for ...
+2 #3 Charly 2017-07-31 22:58
That the season takes longer is a POSITIVE point as salaries are paid for a longer time. That the salaries are LOW is due to people like Eliderico VIEGAS who prefers in the first place to fill his own pockets before he even thinks of "the workers" in the field who have to do the job and consequentely to generate the money. How to solve this problem ? Organise immediately a "good strike" in the coming 2 weeks and all "dormand bosses" wil be awake at once ! Try it and you will see.
+2 #2 Margaridaana 2017-07-31 14:13
Tina is right. How can any one live on such a low salary if they have rent, EDP, water, IRS, Telecom and 23% IVA to pay? Impossible. Hotel staff work hard, it is time they were suitably rewarded, and yes, the season now is so much longer than it used to be.
+5 #1 Tina Steele 2017-07-31 05:15
No one can survive on such a low wage. Prices have gone up, so have rents, but wages have stagnated; not that they were good to start with. Portugal is experiencing a boom, and business owners are thriving. They need to share the wealth and not keep it all for themselves. Agreed, the season is short, but nowhere near what it used to be (2-3 months); now it's around 5-6 months. Staff need to be able to live on their salaries too.

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