Six apprentices working without heating and warm water

Six apprentices have been working at a hotel on Wörther Lake in Carinthia without heating or warm water in their rooms, according to the provincial Labour Chamber (AK).AK added that none of them had received any training as receptionists, cooks or waiters and a 16-year-old female apprentice had to prepare washing water in a water heater.Helmut Krainer, the head of AK’s division for protection of apprentices and young people, said today (Fri): “It is shocking that such a situation is not an isolated case. Many young people have been exploited or disadvantaged.”He added that many apprentices working in such conditions were afraid to speak out about them for fear of losing their apprenticeships.Tourism industry union bosses recently warned about the worsening situation for trainees as the number of people in the sector without a job soared last year.Rudolf Kaske, head of tourism workers’ union vida claimed many bars, restaurants and hotels in top tourism destinations would “exploit” the three-month trial period for trainees to manage the situation in peak season.Kaske claimed some companies would, for example, keep tips given to trainees until the end of their trial period and only pay out the amount they deserved if they work through the full peak season.The vida head also warned people working in the tourism industry of signing “all-in contracts” which often mean employees must work ten or more hours per day without any overtime pay.”Hands off from such contracts. Those who work under all-in contracts often earn less than the industry’s minimum wage,” he said.The warning comes as tourism chiefs said there had been a year on year rise in unemployment for people working in the industry in 2009 with 32,569 people without a job, 3,804 more than in the previous year.Tourism industry bosses also announced the number of vacant positions in the sector decreased year on year last year from 5,760 to 4,650. Negative developments regarding the situation tourism industry trainees have been confronted with – as described by vida head Kaske – could be the reason for a 6.5 per cent year on year slump to 13,546 for this group in 2009.