26 Jul, 2023 @ 18:45
1 min read

Dirty sheets: The latest strikes to ruin your holiday? Laundry workers laying down the detergent in Spain’s Balearic Islands

Javea Hotel Javea Bedroom

HOTEL guests in the Balearics are facing the prospect of sleeping in soiled sheets after laundry workers voted to go on strike.

Tourists visiting the islands in August should check their bedding carefully after the UGT and CCOO unions voted for an indefinite walkout from the first day of the month.

They will refuse to wash the islands’ bed sheets until their demands for better pay and improved working conditions are met.

Visitors to popular holiday spots like Majorca and Menorca face the prospect of being without fresh sheets or towels during their trip.

While tourists heading to Ibiza can afford to be a little more smug knowing that most hotels on the island handle laundry services in-house.

According to reports, employers have proposed a meagre €20 a month wage increase, taking the monthly pay of workers up to €1,100 euros. 

Unions have rejected this offer out of hand, being fully prepared to inflict suffering on hotels that will only receive minimum cleaning services to essential facilities

Miguel Pardo, the general secretary of the CCOO Habitat Balearas union, said: “It could be disastrous for tourism. It’s going to affect hotels full-on. There won’t be sheets or towels.”

The proposed strike will cause consternation among the British, German, French and Dutch tourists, among other countries, expected to fill up the Balearics’ hotels in August.

The laundry workers will know they have hotel bosses where they want them, as tourism accounts for fully 44% of the region’s GDP.

Last year saw 16 million visitors, nearing pre-pandemic peaks, and this year is expected to smash all records.

The union’s demands include not only wage increases but also additional pay for night shifts and improvements in regulated rest time. 

Furthermore, they insist on a guaranteed two consecutive days off each week for their members, deeming it a ‘red line’ request.


Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
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