Monday, December 29, 2008


When I reported on the purchase of the luxury Los Monteros hotel in Marbella by the Russian petroleum company North West Oil I presumed the job insecurity and lack of investment was at an end.

The Russians took control at the beginning of the month then 72 of the staffed were sacked on December 23, just two days before Christmas.

Ho, ho, ho said the oligarchs – an unhappy Christmas and miserable New Year to you all.

The number dismissed represents 40 per cent of the work force leaving 100 people still employed at the hotel. It has been suggested that under the mechanism used by the management the number laid off should have been 10 per cent. This has forced the regional government’s ministry of employment to send an inspection team to the hotel.

The minister for employment, Antonio Fernández, stated that the delegation from Sevilla will examine the exact situation at Los Monteros. It will report back as to whether the hotel has broken the labour laws or not.

The remaining workers have called a 24 hour strike for December 31 and January 4 then from January 7 for an undefined period.

Today the union is presenting a case before the Málaga employment court to have the sackings nullified. The union also hopes to meet with the North West Oil representative, Ernest Malysehv, who has been in Russia for the Christmas holiday –no seasonal gloom for him then.

Naturally I feel for and support the workers of Los Monteros. Employment delegations and court cases are all well and good as too are protests and strikes. However at the end of the day this same breed of Russian had no qualms about invading Georgia so laying off 72 workers won’t even register on their conscious.

And to think the Soviet Union was once the workers’ paradise.

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