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On the occasion of the 2020 International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid (22-26 January), EFFAT affiliates CCOO Servicios and FeSMC-UGT launched ‘Hoteles Justos‘, a Spanish wing of the global ‘Just Tourism‘ initiative.

The idea of this ‘social labelling’ scheme is to identify and promote hotels that respect workers’ rights, differentiating them from those that do not. Under the system, hotels whose employment practices and whose staff’s working conditions meet pre-determined criteria for decency and fairness are given a ‘seal of approval’ by trade unions. The validation criteria have been developed in close cooperation with the University of Malaga.

As a whole, ‘Just Tourism’ seeks to tap into growing sustainability-consciousness among organisations and tourists who are increasingly likely to factor in ‘social labels’ of this sort when choosing a hotel or restaurant. This, in turn, is intended to provide hotels and restaurants with an incentive to improve pay and conditions for their workers.

Similar schemes have been developed by other EFFAT affiliates, including in Croatia (‘Fair Hotels’), Denmark (‘OK Forhold’), Ireland (‘Fair Hotels’), Norway (‘Hoteller med tariffavtale’), Slovenia (‘Fair Hotels’) and Sweden (‘Schystavillkor’). Next week EFFAT is organising a seminar to explore the possibilities to promote and expand this concept into more countries.

Tourism is one of the sectors of the European economy with the highest potential for growth and job creation. At a time of high youth unemployment in many countries across Europe, many young people also find their route into the labour market through tourism.

However, the sector is plagued by atypical and exploitative work arrangements, with the goal of decent and fair working conditions remaining a dream for many tourism workers. This is what makes initiatives like ‘Hoteles Justos’ so relevant.

The project was officially endorsed at a ceremony on Thursday with members of the Spanish government, whose Ministries of Tourism and Labour have signed a collaboration agreement with trade unions guaranteeing its status.

 

EFFAT General Secretary, Kristjan Bragason, commenting from the launch of ‘Hoteles Justos’ in Madrid, said: “It’s an important moment for tourism workers in Spain – the launch of an ambitious project to improve working conditions and reduce precariousness in the sector.

“Hospitality workers work hard to ensure that their guests have a wonderful experience. In return, the least they deserve are decent working conditions, a living wage, respect for their union rights and a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. ‘Hoteles Justos’ – and ‘Just Tourism‘ more broadly – will help deliver that.

“It is a really positive sign to see such strong support from the Spanish government, too: the Ministers of Tourism and Labour both came to welcome and pledge their support for the initiative.”

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