Hospitality workers wanted

Tourism and food service employers are asking for labor to be imported from abroad

Hospitality workers wanted

Hospitality employers are asking for the importing of at least 80,000 workers from third countries, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Balkans, with the aim of filling vacant positions.

According to data from the tourism and food service industries, last season vacancies reached 60,000, with Greece now proceeding with interstate agreements, such as that recently voted on by the Parliament with Egypt, for foreign citizens to come to Greece for the purpose of employment in the agricultural sector.

In total, it is estimated that more than 100,000 workers from other countries could come to Greece and fill job vacancies at hotels, in specific positions at food service companies (in the kitchens), in reception areas, as waiters, as well as vacancies in positions such as outdoor laborers.

With the domestic economy having overcome the pandemic, the number of Greek companies looking for workers is increasing, but they are facing great difficulty in finding the right staff. These are businesses that operate primarily in hospitality, retail, IT or the agricultural sector. In fact, according to analysts, this is neither a new nor a uniquely Greek phenomenon.

Therefore employers are asking the Labor Ministry for approval to bring workers to Greece for the summer. Workers’ representatives have protested strongly, arguing that 80,000 foreign workers would alter the labor landscape in terms of both labor rights and wages. The Supreme Labor Council (ASE) declared itself noncompetent to issue an opinion on the matter.

It should be noted that at hotels alone, the shortage of workers in 2021 exceeded 53,000, and reached 60,000 in 2022.

A pilot agreement with the government of Egypt, so that Greek employers (mainly in the agricultural sector) can bring farm laborers from Egypt each year to cover their needs in the primary sector, was recently sanctioned by Parliament. During the first year of the agreement’s implementation, the number of Egyptian workers could reach up to 5,000.

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