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May 12, 2020

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by Juan M. Ferrer

Today I am going to write to the group of people who embodied the work, sacrifice and illusion of the Spanish transition, extrapolated to tourism and the figure of all those unique cases and to all the group of people who, with their work, values and inexperience, built bridges to political, union, family understanding and progress in action and not in words.

In those singular cases is that of my father, who began to work as a waiter at the age of 10, after 11 hard years with 12 and 14-hour days, a plate of food and the occasional slap, that’s why just in case, at 21 he managed to open his first establishment with eleven years of savings on the third line of Sometimes, Playa de Palma, it was in 1966. Eleven more years passed and he was able to expand his first establishment to several more, this time in Beachfront with the help and support of my grandmother and once married, with the unconditional support and physical work of my mother, raising four children.

It was in 1977 when he founded the Asociación de Restauración de Mallorca, by the way the first restoration association in Spain, currently CAEB Restauración, with his friend and great mentor Francisco Izquierdo. At that time everything was new and those were moments of construction and foundation of democracy in Spain, its businesses sector and above all, huge pacts with unions that still endure. It was also time to save the Mallorcan gastronomy from the disappearance with great food samples that were celebrated all over the Paseo del Born and where all the restaurant owners of Mallorca proudly showed their dishes to the thousands of people from Palma and tourists who were unaware of this kind of cuisine since in Mallorca mixed dishes and fish & chips were dominant in tourist areas.

A year after setting up the asociación de Mallorca and seeing that there was no voice in Madrid, Izquierdo and my father took their suitcases and, with the help of two Velencian restaurant business man, Jesús Barrachina and Vicente Muñoz, constituted the Federación Española de Hostelería y Restauración (FEHR), which today we know as Hostelería de España and which represents the largest hospitality collective in Spain with 300,000 associates, and employs 1.7 million people throughout Spain, of whom 243,000 have not been able to be hired or enter in ERTE, 932,000 are in the Ertes and 315,000 are like the bees, there are many but if one day they disappear, the world ends in less than five years. I’m speaking of our great self-employeds.

Not satisfied with establishing and founding the Federación Hostelera for all of Spain, together with his other great friend Ferrer Salat and with other businessmen they founded the CEOE. The secretary they elected at that time was José María Cuevas, who later later presided for many years what has been and is the most representative and important “patronal” in the industrial sector of the whole of Spain, now represented by Antonio Garamendi, who by the way, has not been very happy lately with the tourism sector.

The day before yesterday I was able to visit my father, along with my mother, to bring them groceries, and I was able to have a conversation 5 meters away from them. I asked my father, – How do you see what is happening now at the economic and labor perspective? and he replied, – my son, I spent some “fucked up” years as a worker and then I have spent them as an entrepreneur, now I see that both employers and workers will spend them together, since we are both on the same boat to cross the river, those who do not see themselves on this boat, are the politicians and officials.

This reflection left me thoughtful, and I could clearly see that workers and entrepreneurs use the same conductive vessels to survive and prosper, and if one dies immediately afterwards the other dies as well, the one that seems to always survive is the obese official apparatus of the state and its leaders, our politicians ..

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Published by mallorcadiario.com