In solidarity with the Spanish CNT-AIT we publish an account of a current dispute. We condemn the attempts to intimidate workers at Yelloh Village San Miguel who are only organising together to defend their rights. We join with fellow IWA sections, CNT-AIT in Spain & France, in their demands for solidarity, fairness and respect. We urge British holidaymakers staying at any of the Europe Plein Air resorts to support the workers & ensure that they have decent pay & conditions. There’s no holiday from slave labour!
The Yelloh Village San Miguel in Colera on the Spanish Costa Brava is a ‘luxury’ campsite. It’s part of the Yelloh Camping franchise Europe Plein Air whose European headquarters are in Nîmes. This is how the company describes itself: “The Yelloh Village company is a network of dynamic campsites geared to all desires. It boasts near a hundred high end franchises to suit all tastes: 84 in France, 6 in Spain and 3 in Portugal. The franchised chain Yelloh Village attracts the very best outdoor hospitality professionals to form the first high end camping village network of its kind. Yelloh Village places comfort, quality, services, and entertainment at the heart of its values to cement itself as one of the major stakeholders of the outdoor hospitality sector.” As its website claims: “You’ll fall in love with the San Miguel campsite.”
But behind this advertising, reality can be quite different. This is the case at the Colera campsite, which is a far cry from the picture perfect quality of service Yelloh Village boasts. The Colera campsite is run by the village’s mayor who is in charge of ensuring sanitation and safety regulations are upheld. He is both judge and plaintiff, and it’s hard to imagine the mayor sending himself a formal complaint when regulations are not enforced. So used to his authority going unquestioned, he behaves as a prince ruling over his employees who are treated more like slaves, and refuses any questioning of his despotic authority.
According to our Spanish comrades, the campsite recruits workers every year without respecting their legal rights. Come the off-season or winter, the business fails to declare all its workers to the Spanish social security ministry effectively barring them from being able to claim social security rights. Come the start of the summer season, the boss sets 12 hour days, 6 days a week which leads to exhaustion without enough recovery time. This can potentially have knock-on effects on the quality and safety of the services the business provides to its users. This year, a number of workers decided that enough was enough. They got together and formed a trade union affiliated with the CNT-AIT (IWA ) in order to bargain collectively and demand the boss respect their basic workers’ rights: a year round contract, the legal 40 hour working week and more staff hired to cover the work. In the face of his refusal, 5 complaints have already been filed against the business at the employment agency standards inspectorate.
After the union attempted to bargain for weeks, the employer decided to exacerbate things on June 29 and took dubious action by banning the union from exercising its freedom of speech: it was no longer permitted to use the noticeboard as a mode of communication. But worse than this, the employer targeted the comrade who had been picked as a representative for the other workers in the union. He was framed in order to be sacked and evicted with no respect for the law. First the CNT-AIT rep was accused of ‘verbal abuse’ then three waiters from the restaurant were ordered to break into his accomodation and throw his possessions out onto the street. His luggage then went missing without the worker being able to do anything about it. He was then fired without due process and banned from returning to the campsite, all this in complete breach of even the most basic regulations. If this is what falling in love is to the San Miguel Yelloh Village, we’d rather stay single!
The CNT-AIT in Spain and in France is calling for solidarity with our unfairly sacked comrade. We are asking campers who are thinking of vacationing at the Colera San Miguel site to boycott it until the campsite workers - including the union rep - receive basic rights.
We encourage all the campers at the 93 Yelloh camping villages in France, Spain and Portugal to check with the local workers that their basic working rights are being respected in order to ensure their own comfort and safety.
We call the employees of the 93 Yelloh camping villages in France, Spain and Portugal to express their solidarity with the workers of the Colera San Miguel Yelloh Village campsite. If any workers at these sites are facing violations of their working rights, please contact the CNT-AIT. No holiday from the struggle! Only the struggle pays! An attack on one is an attack on all!
More information: https://colera-santmiquel.cntfigueres.org
Spanish CNT-AIT website: https://cnt-ait.org
Text in French : https://cnt-ait.info/ 2022/07/29/camping-colera/
Text in Flemish / Dutch: https://cnt-ait.info/2022/07/31/camping-colera-nl/