HOTELIER’S Union PASYXE said on Monday it was committed to ensuring at least 70 per cent of hotel staff was Cypriot as part of general efforts to reduce soaring unemployment.
Speaking after a meeting between the union and DISY leadership, MP Zacharias Zachariou said discussions centred on supporting the hotel industry to open up positions for the unemployed, the structural problems of the industry and the possibility of extending the tourist period.
“We believe that the infrastructure is in place but instead of being used throughout the year, it is only used for four months a year,” he said. “With such an infrastructure, with a proper strategy and with vision and perspective we can extend the period to between eight and ten months.”
Zachariou said he believed that would mean an influx of foreign cash to Cyprus and new jobs which would help the economy.
The deputy went on to say that PASYXE had shown the willingness to contribute to the suggestions made on employment practices.
“It is with pleasure that we have been informed that there is a commitment by PASYXE to fill 70 per cent of their vacant positions with Cypriots and 30 per cent with foreign nationals,” he said.
Zachariou called on the government to organise winter programmes to help inform unemployed workers about the hotel industry.
Head of PASYXE, Haris Loizides told reporters after the meeting that various subjects were discussed which were aimed at enhancing the industry.
“We discussed a series of measures and programmes which include the liberalisation of flights, the effort made by operators to increase the recruitment of unemployed Cypriots and various other issues that are intended to extend the tourist season,” he said.
Loizides was asked how the union plans to employ a larger percentage of Cypriots when new government measures to hire unemployed people within the tourism industry did not have the expected response. He replied that the programme had been discussed with the labour minister and that the hotel industry had hired around 2,500 unemployed people since the government had announced the plan in April.
He explained that more than half of the 2,500 had been hired through the government’s programme and the rest without the state’s help.
“We will encourage the hiring of local people in the next one or two years so that at any given hotel, Cypriot employees will reach 70 per cent.”