Hotels in Larnaca are looking for Cypriot staff to work as chambermaids and waiters but there is little interest from the local labour force.
Stavros Rossos of the Tourism Businesses Association said foreigner workers have been leaving Cyprus in the last few months, resulting in vacant positions in positions they traditionally filled.
Rossos said there are vacant positions in other hotel departments but foreign workers have an advantage as Cypriots tend to speak only Greek and English, at a time when Russian, German and other foreign languages are considered a major qualification for working in Cyprus’ hotels.
“When a hotel requires Russian speaking staff and cannot find Cypriots it has no other choice but to employ foreign workers,” Rossos said.
His view is that although there are currently vacant positions for chambermaids and waiters there is lack of interest from Cypriots, including people who are unemployed.
“It seems that we have learnt to work a five-day week, not to like to work night shifts and to avoid jobs which mean we work during the holiday season,” Rosos said.
“It’s not a matter of salaries. Salaries are the same for Cypriots and non-Cypriots. It’s all down to the mentality of the local workforce,” he added.
He expressed the belief that Cypriot politicians have to admit that they spoiled Cypriots by arranging jobs for them and now they look for work without shifts, night work and working on holidays.
Rossos referred to the Golden Bay Hotel in Larnaca as an example of an establishment making a great effort to employ Cypriots with local staff now representing 72% to 74% of its total workforce.
He assured that there are hotels everywhere on the island which adopt a similar policy.
If the economy picks up and returns to the good old days, workers will want to move from hotels to other sectors which do not impose terms like working on weekends, he added.