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A young man who is a waiter over the summer in a restaurant in Dalmatia spoke about the conditions he is working in on Adriatic coastline and what kind of scams they have to use in order to earn their wage. He says that he doesn't have a single free day, that overtime is not paid, he has no sanitary book, part of the pay is given under the table.
He decided to speak about his experiences and how the hospitality works on the Croatian coast, but he wanted to remain anonymous in order not to lose his job. He is just one out of a thousand similar who spend their summer working at the Adriatic coast.
- I am 38 years old and I have been working season jobs in the hospitality business for years on the entire coast. I have sent my CV on many addresses and a lot of employers contacted me. It seemed to me that the best one was the one where I am working now. The boss told me that he is offering 8.000 kunas for the job of a waiter (a bit more than 1.000 euros) for nine hours of work. With that, I have accommodation and food provided. That sounded great for me and I accepted it. I didn't ask him anything about free days because I didn't want to seem not serious. That is normal here - he speaks for "Slobodna Dalmacija".
This man said that he didn't get a single whole monthly wage so far, because he has to "earn" the rest on the special way.
- That means we have to charge even more and without taxes. That is how we earn the second part of the promised pay. That way, we charge between 2.600 and 6.500 euros without taxes. That is my estimate, but according to the traffic in the restaurant, that is at least 2.600 euros per day. Of course, that varies from day to day. Tourists are mostly paying with credit cards and there is nothing you can do about it, and we are charging extra to the people who are paying in cash - he describes the way certain employers run a business.
He said that's not all, and waiters have to issue bills on someone else's name at least once a week.
- So it is recorded that I have a free day on that day. And I don't have it. They introduced it when fiscalization was implemented because inspectors from the Tax Administration saw that the same waiter issues bills every day in the month. It was clear that the waiters are working without rest. Which is not allowed.
Then the owners of restaurants and cafes introduced as a "standard" that each waiter, once a week, has to issue bills on someone else's name so it looks that he didn't work that day. Here, I will issue bills in the name of my boss tomorrow so it will appear as if I have a free day, and that is common everywhere. Season workers have to accept it if they want to work - said the displeased season worker and he concludes that the workers are chronically tired, sleepy, nervous and they often argue among themselves and with guests.
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(Telegraf.co.uk / Slobodna Dalmacija)