The Kellys is a national Spanish union of hotel cleaners
Today Adeje hosted the first ever Kellys Union Tenerife Congress, organised with the support of the Adeje Council. The goal of the conference was, according to the Union’s founder Eulalia Corralero, to “create a space for conciliation”, and to strengthen the collective, which has only been in existence for a short number of years. (The name ‘Kellys’ is a play on words on ‘those who clean – que limpian’).
Representatives from all parts Spain were in attendance, as well as the president of the Tenerife branch, Mónica Garcia, the Cabildo councillor for equality, Estafanía Castro and the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga. The founder explained that the movement started four years ago with a Facebook group, and has grown since then, and the (mostly) women are fighting to ensure that, despite changes in employment law and hotel practises, often outsourcing cleaning services, their rights are protected.
Estefanía Castro said “it is no accident that the first conference in Spain is being held in Adeje, given the commitment this council and the mayor has always had for the more vulnerable. This conference is not looking for confrontation but for conciliation as the founder has stressed. The position of chambermaids has been intolerable in the past but thanks to the Kellys their struggle is now visible”.
The mayor of Adeje welcomed the delegates and underlined the importance of their work in building the society we enjoy today, “women workers who have, over the years, sacrificed a lot, silence and invisible in helping to create a healthy tourism industry in Spain. Sometimes we forget that the construction of a country depends on many more people than simply intellectuals and business leaders”.
The Adeje major commented that “if tourism isn’t working to improve the lives of those who live here we’re not doing things properly, tourism has to create wealth but that has to reach all the sectors of the population to allow us live in a society that is more just and equal.” He pledged that the council would be with the Kellys in their judicial fight for better work conditions, saying that exploitative practises harmed tourism destinations.
Department of Communications