Unpaid Employees – Who is to blame???
Speaking with many local and foreign workers on Kos no one is excluded from this, whether people are working in hotels (large and small), cafe’s, bars, restaurants, tour offices, private schools……or, or, or…. the list goes on. There are many people not receiving their salary.
There are reports of hotel workers who have not been paid since they started work this year (for 2 months) and even who have not received their salaries from last summer. Reports of single parents who have not been paid for months and who have small children to support working in the tourist industry. Reports of people not having the money to pay for petrol to get to work and then being sacked for not going to work (even though they called their employers and told them the reason), Reports of teachers working in private schools who have not been paid (non tourist industry)… Like I said above the list goes on…. what does this mean?
Well we all need to think about it? There is NO MONEY circulating on the island…..
Now how does this happen? One thing is for sure that there is no reason why hotel workers should not receive their salary!!!
We all know that when tourists come to this island they have paid for their holidays in FULL sometimes even up to a year in advance… Now if you calculate even 100, 000 tourists all staying for average of 10 days on the island (2 sharing a room) at an average of 10 euros per night per room (which is paid to the hotels) that generates 5,000,000 (5 million euros). Now I have to say these figures are just guess work and only used as an example… My figures could be way out but the point being that there should be some money ciruclating on the island (even if it is not a lot). Where is this money? Are the hotels being paid from the tour operators?
If the answer is no, then there is part of the reason we are all in such dire straights…. If the tour operators are not paying, then the hotels obviously cannot pay the staff, who then in turn cannot pay their rent, bills, shopping let alone go out for a coffee or meal…. Which then means the landlords are suffering as no one is paying their rent (some not receiving rent for currently over 6 months from their tenants) so the landlords are unable to go out and spend money as they don’t have any…. so you all get the picture all services and sectors are slowly and painfully dying as it is a knock on effect.
Another thing is that surely the larger chain hotels are profitable otherwise why even build and open them so why are they not even paying?
If the hotels are being paid from the tour operators, then why are they not paying their staff?
Now I am not saying that all the hotels are not paying their staff, I could not even answer that question if asked but I have been told personally from the actual staff of the hotels that there are many that aren’t paying. I am also not saying that if the hotels were paying their staff that all the problems would be solved (the problem is much larger than simply that; obviously the reduction in tourism & the debt incurred previously by a lot of people needs to be taken into account) but I am saying at least there could be more money circulating around the island.
Here at the moment (and for some for a long time) it is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul and that is if you even have Peter there to rob!!! Is this situation going to improve?… Are people going to receive their pay in July? Are landlords going to receive some rent? is food going to be bought? If the answer is no then we are looking to a future of worry, stress, sadness and maybe even much, much worse!
With ryanair pulling out of the October flights, and the uncertainty of if they will even fly to Kos at all next year… a mayor that refuses to talk and at least comfort his people, stories of suicide, people fleeing from Greece, the possiblity of countries such as England closing the borders to Greek people. Threats of electricity being cut if you cannot pay your taxes, friends, family and co workers being unable to buy medicine or see even get to see a doctor…. What do we have to hope for, where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
What is being done by the people in power to help their people and where are the leaders who are supposed to be there for their people and giving hope? Where are they? From what I see they are driving around in their expensive cars, eating and drinking in restaurants, buying luxuries whilst mothers and fathers are worrying how they will feed their children today, even after they have worked a 70 hour week in their job…
For those who are being paid, the stories are that the average wage is 2 euros an hour….. that is 560 euros a month… with average rent being at 300 euros that leaves 260 euros to pay electricity, food, clothing, medicine etc and if you have children the list is endless.
Please people in power look at your fellow countrymen and see the stress, worry and desperation in their eyes and DO SOMETHING!!! STOP Burying your head in the sand and show you give a damn!!!
Photo of Kos by Manuela Eibach