ERTE or Death – Benidorm's workers and business community unite to demand 'urgent measures' to save the town


ERTE or Death – Benidorm’s workers and business community unite to demand ‘urgent measures’ to save the town.
THE crippling affect of the Covid-19 crisis and a “lack of Government organsation” has united Benidorm’s businesses and workers’ network, with more than 200 vehicles taking part in a protest dubbed ‘ERTE o Muerte’ (ERTE or Death) today, Tuesday, September 29.
The demonstrators met at Aqualandia and drove through Benidorm, making their way to Terra Mitica where a manifesto was read, demanding ‘urgent measures’ to save the town and its workers.
The manifesto demands, as one of the essential measures for the salvation of the tourism sector, “the extension of the ERTE for all sectors involved in the tourism industry”.

CREDIT: Nuria Llull Ots Facebook

Organised by businesses and associations, the protest received huge support, with hundreds of businesses, workers, entrepreneurs and self-employed from almost every sector taking part.

“This demonstration is the consequence of what we consider to be a continuous nonsense, lack of organisation and programming that the Government of Spain has shown during this health crisis,” said a spokesperson.
Aico Benidorm added: “Given the exclusion of our sectors in the extension of ERTEs, we demand extraordinary and urgent measures from the Spanish Government.
“Benidorm and all Spain need strong support for the business fabric and today, the most urgent is the extension of ERTEs to businesses and autonomous that directly and indirectly depend on tourism.”
Benidorm businessman, Alexandre Fratini sumed up the importance of today’s demonstration.
“This cursed Covid 19 has united the entire business network behind the same banner in defence of the rights of workers and in order to save a town that is slowly languishing since we were all confined right at the beginning of the summer season,” he said.
Meanwhile, Las Kellys Benidorm, an association which represents female hotel cleaners, also protested against their “struggle for dignified conditions”.
CREDIT: Kellysbenidorm Twitter

“Listen #Benidorm, poverty is at your door. Women without unemployment with grants of €430. What do we live on? Years of business profits while we are left without any help.”
The demonstrations come just two days after the regional government announced it is adding a three-week extension to last month’s restrictions on the hospitality industry and nightlife venues across the Valencia Community.
Health chief, Ana Barcelo, said limitations on opening hours and closures of discos, pubs and cocktail bars will continue into the first two weeks of October.
Dealing a further devastating blow to businesses on the Costa Blanca, Barcelo also ruled out the possiblity of easing restrictions in zones where Covid-19 rates are low.
She said that restrictions would be lifted regionwide “once the experts recommend it”.
But this offers no reassurance or solution to workers and businesses in urgent need of immediate support.
*ERTE was brought into play after State of Alarm in March, to pay workers’ wages and prevent masse sacking of staff as companies were forced shutdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
This could either be 70 per cent of a worker’s full pay if they were laid-off, or 70 per cent of half the employee’s wages while they worked part time.
However, the self-employed and businesses must still pay social security contributions.
The ERTE scheme was due to end on September 30, but the government in in talks this afternoon to extend it until January 2021, though it is still not clear exactly which sectors are included.
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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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