I wanted to leave Jon’s moving story (see previous post) at the top of the blog for as long as possible, but time to move on and catch up on a few news items. Thanks again Jon! Approaching 1400 unique visits illustrates the interest that the “guest post” attracted (obviously much more interesting than my usual rubbish – including the first item below which I wasn’t going to mention but my “better half” thinks is exciting!)
“H&M” to open in Funchal as work restarts at the Rotunda.
The work on the old building of the ‘Minas Gerais’ near the rotunda do Infante, resumed this week after several delays and embargoes. The news today is the first page of the print edition of the Diario, which reveals that the international brand of ready to wear clothing H & M will open a shop in the building.
H & M is the second largest worldwide group of ready-made garments and plans to occupy the newly renovated building in the first quarter of 2013. The contract is valid for 25 years and the project will create 60 jobs.
Prominent in the port of Funchal this week, The Argentine training ship ‘Libertad’ is leaving Madeira today.
On board are 329 people, seen around Funchal perfectly turned out in their white uniforms. The ship arrived from La Guaira (Venezuela) and will sail to Lisbon on a journey that began six months and ends in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Major employment law changes
Cutting in half the amount paid for overtime, and the reduction by four of the number of holidays and vacation days are some of the key changes to employment legislation came into force on August 1. Overtime hours will be cheaper and the workers no longer be entitled to compensatory rest in days of extraordinary work .
The changes to labour law is enshrined in the MoU signed between Portugal and the ‘troika’ (European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund) and also arise from the Commitment for Growth, Competitiveness and Employment concluded on 18 January 2012 between the Portuguese Government and social partners, with the exception of CGTP.
The main changes:
– Cut by half the amount paid for overtime: In the first overtime, the amount payable will increase by 25% (against the current 50%) and 37.5% in the following hours (versus the current 70%). If additional work is carried out at the weekend or holiday, the worker earns only 50% compared to the current 100%;
– Overtime no longer gives the right to compensatory rest, which currently represents 25% of each hour of overtime (15 minutes)
– Reduction of four holidays: Corpus Christi (movable holiday), August 15, October 5 and December 1;
– The Portuguese will no longer enjoy the 25 days annual leave and come to enjoy only 22 (I don’t know how this tallies with the reduction by four in the “headline announcement?)
We have to be careful what we say here because no official announcement has been made by the company or any administrators. However the various hotel groups statements can be found here:
The websites operated by Strawberry World are:
www.madeira-portugal.com (and any combination www.HOTELNAME.madeira-portugal.com, i.e.www.portosantamaria.madeira-portugal.com);
The Parliamentary Specialized Economy, Finance and Tourism meets today at 10am.
The agenda for this meeting is a request for a parliamentary hearing by Regional Secretary for Culture, Tourism and Transport on “the problems occurring in the tourism sector with the travel agency "Strawberry World" and subsequent threats to the Regional Government and hoteliers in the Autonomous Region of Madeira”.