SOME 20,000 workers in Almeria have been forced onto the dole by the coronavirus crisis.
The UGT trade union put at 4,680 the number of ERTE temporary employment regulations presented in the province by Wednesday.
This is a mechanism which allows companies to suspend job contracts or to reduce employee working hours due to force majeure in order to relieve financial tension.
So far 19,835 employees have been affected, but the expectation is this number will keep growing, the union said.
On the positive side for Almeria, one of the most important sectors in the provincial economy is agro-food production and marketing.
This is still going despite the health emergency as it is classified as an essential activity under the government decree.
Other provincial sectors are taking a complete hammering. The State of Alarm has had a major impact on tourism, trade and the hospitality industry, and under the tightened restrictions, on the construction, marble and gypsum industries as well.
According to press reports companies operating in Almeria which have already negotiated ERTEs include Michelin, Mercedes, Zara, Primark, Starbucks, El Corte Ingles and a number of the province’s big hotels.