Tourism: Sicotur worried about “disrespect” and working conditions

Tourism: Sicotur worried about “disrespect” and working conditions
Tourism: Sicotur worried about “disrespect” and working conditions

Africa-Press – Cape verde. The Union of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (SICOTUR) has a slightly different position than the Cabo Verde Companies Association. Although he still does not have information on how the hiring of Cape Verdean labor for the Algarve will be processed, the president says he welcomes this opportunity to seek better living conditions. The trade unionist makes it clear that he is more concerned about the “disrespect” for workers’ rights and asks the General Labor Inspectorate for a “firm hand”.

This unionist says he finds “some reactions” from “some entities” strange, but he has no doubt that this process will serve as an “alert” for government entities to analyze possible readjustments in the sense that Cape Verdean workers have “better” conditions. wages .

“We, the union, are happy and are open to supporting all Cape Verdean workers who want to

embrace this project. Because, even though the work situation in Portugal is not easy, for many young people, it is an opportunity to go out in search of a better life”, he admits.

Nilton Vaz recognizes that this hiring can dictate the departure of the best cadres in Cape Verde.

“We are aware of that,” he says. But he argues that it could also be an opportunity for some who are on the wane.

“In Cape Verde we still have many unemployed young people and this pandemic has brought many problems to the tourism sector. We have many companies in Sal that are still in compliance with article 198 of the Labor Code. We still have many workers looking for their first job”, he analyzes.

Revision of the Labor Code

This trade unionist believes that this opportunity will be more directed not only to those who are already in the market,

but also to those who have already graduated and are about to start, as it is “an opportunity to start here in Cape Verde”.

However, he defends the revision of the Labor Code in Cape Verde in order to provide better conditions for workers.

“There is a lot that this review should be done. Cape Verdean workers have lost purchasing power”, he admits, which is why he says it is “the ideal time” to carry out this review.

However, he warns that in Portugal “we also have precarious contracts”. “We have an idea of ​​that”, he acknowledges.

The union, says this official, is still not aware of the content of the contracts to be drawn up, but says he hopes that they will be “good contracts” and a “good” opportunity for Cape Verdeans.

“We will have to monitor and create safety mechanisms so that any worker who wants to leave here can have sustainability and another opportunity”.

The president of Sicotur hopes that the job fair to be held in Cape Verde on hiring human resources to work in Portugal will clarify several points regarding the recruitment process.

“We have not yet been heard. We hope that the entity that will host this fair will listen to the unions so that we can give our opinion and create the best conditions for Cape Verdean workers”.

Salary and cost of living

Nilton Vaz recognizes that the national minimum wage of 13,500 escudos, when compared to Portugal, makes the Portuguese country more attractive for those looking for better living conditions.

“I think going to Portugal to earn, I don’t know, the minimum wage, in Portugal, it’s almost a thousand euros, and with better conditions.

Here we have workers who earn 25 thousand escudos in Sal, or even in Boa Vista, in the tourism sector, who have the right to food, transport and having a contract in Portugal, with the same content, with food and transport and accommodation, I believe that many young people will go out in groups”, perspective.

This, he explains, even knowing that income in Portugal is “high”. “They will get together and do their tricks, because it’s the Cape Verdean spirit, try one today and better tomorrow”, he argues.

Fear leads to silence

For those who stay, it is necessary to continue to fight for better conditions.

“We, the unions, will have to continue to put pressure on the Government to definitely try to create the best conditions in terms of salary and the protection of our Labor Code”.

Nilton Vaz speaks in a work context of fear that leads to the silence of national workers.

“There is a certain fear of workers in trying to speak, because there are threats in Cape Verde.

Right now, to get a job, we have to keep quiet, because there is a saying used that is, if you don’t want to sign that contract, under these conditions, there are many people looking for it out there”, he denounces. A scenario that, he regrets, because “it’s bad and it’s sad to say that”.

The trade unionist says that there are “regrettable” situations in relation to some hotels, referring “mainly” in relation to large hotel units.

“The General Labor Inspectorate (IGT) has to be tough and control some situations in relation to contracts. It is unacceptable that a hotel worker cannot enjoy the 22 working days of vacation as established by the Labor Code. The hotel forgets about it and does it the way it wants”, he denounces.

In the absence of IGT control, combined with “accommodating workers”, for fear of losing their jobs, the situation only gets worse.

Need for greater safety for workers

“The government and the right entities have to control this.

We, the union, have been hitting this key a lot. The conditions must be created for the IGT to have a tougher hand, in the sense, not only of controlling, but also of bringing greater security to workers”, he


“There is a clear disrespect on the part of the human resources of some hotels here in Sal. The system is so strong against workers that fear reigns,” he laments. .

Companies, he argues, in addition to guaranteeing wages, must “treat and respect” workers.

“Let’s do our part, be closer to the workers. We have been asking workers to also embrace this project of being closer to the union and to bring information so that the union can act”, he appeals, explaining that the fear of reprisals leads to the omission of situations.

“Often, we do not know certain information because workers are afraid to speak up. We often visit hotels and feel this retreat from workers”.

As he says, people also need to understand that the union “is here to support the workers”.

Very interested in going to Portugal

Asked if he is aware of the workers’ interest in going to Portugal, he guarantees that he is.

“There is a lot of interest and there are people in this process. We will have a lot of workers leaving which, for us, is good, as long as the worker has a good contract in Portugal”.

“We have an individual here who has worked for eight/10 years in a hotel and who, at the moment, is trying to terminate the hotel”, he advances.

The same explains that when the hotel does not want the worker, it terminates the contract, and gives salary protection, which is 21 days in the first year and 15 days in the second.

But when you don’t want the same to come out, the situation complicates.

“It’s little money and that’s what we should review too, because there has to be more support in this situation. But hotels are not open to this negotiation”, she clarifies.

The unionist defends that a “mechanism for opening hotels should be created to negotiate at least one worker who has worked for 10 years, so that he can go”.

Concerns about worker flight came “late”

Nilton Vaz says he naturally sees the concerns raised by businesspeople in the sector about the flight of trained staff in which they invested. However, he considers this to be an afterthought.

“The workers who are working in the hotels have already gone through the training phase and losing these workers to any company is a cost”.

However, he warns that companies do not take this into account when they pressure workers to sign a certain contract on the grounds that “there is someone else out there waiting”.

Therefore, he concludes that, in his view, this concern with the workforce came “late”. “This concern should have been taken into account a long time ago and I think it is the right of any worker to have more respect and a

decent wage in Cape Verde”.

Job fair to recruit workers

In a recent interview with Rádio de Cabo Verde, the president of the IEFP played down the uproar and concerns generated around the hiring of Cape Verdean labor to work in the tourism sector, in the Algarve Region, Portugal.

Paulo Santos assured that the Institution, together with other entities involved, will monitor the process. This following the visit to Cape Verde, at the beginning of July, of a Portuguese delegation, which included the president of the Algarve Tourism Region, João Fernandes.

At the time, he made it clear that Portugal needed 5000 workers and they had, precisely, come to prospect the market in Cape Verde.

“Avoiding situations that none of us want, in order to ensure that everyone who goes from Cape Verde to Portugal or even from Portugal to Cape Verde is guaranteed all of their rights. And this is a concern that is present in all partners,” he said.

The delegation also included the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) and the Office of the Secretary of State for Labor of Portugal.

More recently, Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security of Portugal, announced that Cape Verde will host a Job Fair promoted by that Portuguese country, together with Cape Verde. It is aimed at recruiting workers.

“Portugal is already implementing mobility agreements and for the first time Portugal will hold a job fair in Cape Verde so that, in an organized, regulated and framed way, companies and organizations are in Cape Verde recruiting workers,” he said. quoted by the Eco Sapo website.

This official also guaranteed that the idea is “to simplify processes and ensure that people come in decent working conditions and that we value work in Portugal”.

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