Working poor in Spain

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A NEW wave of ‘working poor’ is coming through in Spain, led by infrequent work and low wages.
Charity Caritas warns that this community of workers, who are on such low wages, cannot achieve a decent standard of living and it is being overwhelmed by the amount of help it is having to give to families living on the breadline.
Co-ordinator of Caritas in Elche, Francisco Javier Ruvira, said there are a large number of people employed in jobs that are of short duration, with precarious contracts, low wages and with erratic and unreliable payments.
“We know that there is more work about,” he said. “However, in order to be of real benefit that work needs to be of a certain standard with decent wages and proper contracts.
“Some people are now living at home without electricity or running water and the situation is exacerbated by the lack of secure employment.”
The charity presented its 2014 report this week alerting local social security authorities and also the business community to a new and unpleasant reality that has developed as a result of the economic crisis.
The issue is particularly prevalent on the Costa Blanca thanks to the seasonal tourism and hospitality jobs that last during the Easter and summer seasons. These jobs rarely provide workers with sufficient wages to keep their heads above water in the off season due to the low level of pay.
Ruvira said: “We call upon the commercial and political sectors to improve the standard of employment and job remuneration; it is the best tool we have to overcoming the crisis with dignity.”


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