DISGRUNTLED staff from the Alhambra have mobilised against alleged harassment from el Patronato, the company in charge of the management of the 14th century palace, and the lack of communication between the two parties.
Workers have been protesting under a banner reading “For the Dignity of the Staff of the Alhambra” and are supported by trade unions who claim the harassment suffered by the staff has reached unacceptable levels.
Tensions stem from the widespread ticket fraud that is currently under investigation in Granada. Trade union CCOO say the staff are “on the side of justice” in the investigations but insist they cannot be seen as complicit in any wrongdoing as the ticket sales have already been privatised.
As inquiries continue, the management appears to be coming down somewhat heavy handed on Alhambra staff. A report in newspaper Ideal states disciplinary proceedings have been opened against 47 of the 220 staff.
CCOO officials claim staff are even being disciplined due to the fact they have complied with new rules imposed by el Patronato. More rigid guidelines demand workers are more thorough when guarding the entrances to the palace. This has led to tensions between tourists and the Alhambra staff as they try to sniff out those trying to breech Alhambra rules.
The CCOO is also campaigning against the proposed expansion of the privatisation of the Alhambra services, as has already happened with the security and ticket sales. They aim to continue with their protests every Tuesday between 10am and 12 noon in front of the Alhambra.
According to a trade union spokesperson, the general discontent has grown amongst staff due to a “permanent lack of dialogue” with the management. The president of the company’s committee, Elías Berbel, stated there is a “climate of terror” between the workers and the management of Spain’s most visited monument.
Meanwhile, designated computer points allowing people to vote for the Alhambra as one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World” have been displaying pornographic websites instead. Families eager to support the Alhambra’s campaign to be included as a modern wonder have been subjected instead to graphic sexual images on the monument’s monitors. An investigation is said to be taking place.