Hotel maid wanted ... in return for bed and board

Hotel on Aegina condemned for offering 'voluntary' work

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Advertisement offering hotel work in return for food and accommodation remains online and in print weeks after it was first placed

(File photo: Reuters) (File photo: Reuters) A hotelier on the island of Aegina has sparked outrage after posting a job advertisement offering "voluntary work" to a maid in return for "bed and board", in what unions and other hotel owners say is exploitation. 

The advertisement first appeared on Xrysi Efkairia, the country's most popular classifieds website, on July 27. A similar advert appeared on October 8. Both were last updated on November 22. 

"Maid wanted for voluntary work at a hotel in Aegina, accommodation and meals provided," reads the advert, which has also been published in the Xrysi Efkairia's print edition.

The contact numbers provided with the classified, the older one of which has been viewed almost 3,500 times, matches those of the 24-bed Hotel Artemis, which describes itself as a family-owned business located 100m from Aegina's famous seafront.

The hotel's website tells potential guests guests that "a friendly smile will always wait for you in our hotel, that of the traditional hospitality of Aegina. We will serve your café or your breakfast in the yard and you will feel like your house."

Despite the extensive media coverage the illegal advertisement has received, no action seems to have been taken by the labour ministry, labour inspectorate or other authorities.

The listing offering work in return for no wages was condemned by the country's private-sector trade union federation as "unacceptable and highly dangerous".

"In the Greece of the crisis, of unemployment, of unsustainable taxes, this type of behaviour by employers must not go unpunished," the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE) said in a statement on Thursday.

"While this case may be an extreme example, it provides us with a clear picture of where a situation can lead to when, according to the latest figures, four in ten workers are uninsured," the statement continued.

The union called on the labour ministry to beef up control mechanisms and to reinstate recently abolished labour rights.

The chairman of Aegina's hoteliers' association condemned the advert as "provocative" for all his colleagues and the island.


Speaking on Mega TV on Friday morning, Stavros Kalamakis said that the hotel in question did not reflect the union of hoteliers and its owner was not a member.

He said the hotel was being run by "an exploiter, who has leased it for the past two years. These professionals are denigrating the efforts we have made in this difficult period to restrain our customer base and at the same time to expand."

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