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Greece in need of hospitality and food service workers

More than 100,000 jobs in hospitality sector are expected to remain vacant in the tourism industry in 2023, the President of the Panhellenic Hoteliers’ Association (POX) Grigoris Tassios has estimated, causing a headache again this year due to the lack of hands in the country’s heavy industry. At the same time, the pre-booking messages show a 20% increase in arrivals this year compared to last year, which makes equating the problem even more difficult.

The race to find staff began earlier than any other year by tourism professionals flooding the internet and social media with advertisements and organizing career fairs across the country, but so far the response has not been as expected.

“With the change of time, all professionals in the sector have been activated to find staff, they are looking for more, but no one knows where this effort will lead. In any case, there is nothing organized and I do not know that a certain number of workers will come from any country to cover the gaps”, explains the President of the Professional Chamber of Halkidiki, Yiannis Koufidis, in whose geographical area the problem was quite acute last year.

They resort to patents to avoid being shut down

For another year, entrepreneurs in the hotel sector and also in the catering sector will be forced to resort to emergency solutions in order to “hold on” and operate either by reducing the available tables, or by enlisting relatives and friends to cover the missing staff, or by removing dishes from the menu, or by reducing the opening hours of the business, president of the Federation of Chefs of Greece Tasos Zisopoulos told newspaper ethnos.

“We will have a problem again this year. The professionals will not close their stores and facilities. but they will under-perform. He’ll enlist his mother, his cousin, his aunt to lend a… hand but that doesn’t mean he’ll provide a high-level service. He will be forced to patent. And depending on the entrepreneur, an equation begins,” emphasized Zissopoulos.

The part of washing and cleaning has been covered by foreigners for years, while in the second jobs the entrepreneurs will be forced to hire foreign workers this year as well.

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, reported daily kathimerini.

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.

Employers are asking the Labor Ministry for approval to bring workers to Greece for the summer. However, 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 non-competent to issue an opinion on the matter.

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3 comments

  1. hotel and restaurant iwners: raise the wages and you will find greek workers.

  2. Yeah paying for the work would probably solve the issue

  3. It’s impossible to find rental accommodation especially on the islands.