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From: FairTradeInTourism on 18 Mar 2010 12:53
On Mar 18, 11:37 am, smoothmyhackles <ziggyar...(a)googlemail.com>
> A reply (of sorts)...
Agreed, it's mostly talk, and doesn't really address the ZDF
allegations at all, above all Sandemans New Europe guides earning
pretty poor money. 19 for four hours work, with no benefits, like we
saw on TV? As has been observed elsewhere, you could make more selling
Strassenfeger / Big Issue. Or even owing Sandemans money for the
doubtful pleasure of working for him!
Tim Fairhurst of the ETOA (European Tour Operators Association) rushes
to Sandeman's rescue. Who is Tim Fairhurst that he can defend wages
and conditions like this? Does he think that is fair on these
apparently badly exploited young people? Does the ETOA think it is OK
to have employment contracts rated as 'crudely illegal' by a professor
of law, or does the ETOA think it is fine for their members to play
fast and lose with national laws?
From: FairTradeInTourism on 18 Mar 2010 12:56
This was just posted on the Rick Steves thread in answer to the
Sandemans Press Release:
"SANDEMANs NEW Europe employs over 50 full-time staff members, who all
receive a wage, holiday, health insurance, and social insurance. As is
standard with tour operators and city tour companies across Germany
and Europe, SANDEMANs NEW Europe maintains a freelance relationship
with some tour guides." The biggest lie i have ever heard. But we're
fired every 3 months, so no chance for social security. 12 secretarys
in one year. Guides for just a season. Bad quality and just money-
making. He lives on a different planet
Posted by: extom - Mar 18, 2010 2:57 AM
From: Mxsmanic on 18 Mar 2010 16:46
Keith Anderson writes:
> So Chris Sandemans New Europe Tours are not actually "free".....
> News item in English (hope the link works)
> further discussion:
> Keith Anderson, Gepr�fter Stadtf�hrer/Qualified Berlin Guide.
> (Verband der Berliner Statdtf�hrer/Berlin Guide e.V.)
Some things are being left unsaid here.
First, most cities and localities do not require licensing of tour guides; it
is a logistic nightmare and does nothing but further impoverise guides by
forcing them to pay more money to the state (in addition to sales taxes,
income taxes, and other "contributions" that they must make as regular
Second, a great many "respectable" tour companies use a nearly identical
business model: the tour leader actually pays the tour company for the
"privilege" of leading the tour, and then makes his money from tips and from
commissions on side trips and events that he sells to customers on the tour.
The companies doing this are large, well-established, international tour
companies, and their guides make a great deal of money in many cases, despite
the fact that they are paying the tour company.
I notice that the sources above don't actually provide the math, but 38 people
times fifty cents net is 19 euro, and, depending on the length of the tour,
this is not necessarily a bad wage. The only dishonest part of the "Free
Tours" is that customers are not told that the guide has to pay money no
matter what--at the better companies, customers aren't told this, either, but
since they are _required_ to pay for the tour, the guide is guaranteed a
minimum amount of money per person, and thus easily turns a profit.
Many tour directors and guides also receive kickbacks from businesses to which
they lead their clients. This is illegal, but it happens all the time, anyway.
Overall, the legal details and ethical details are sometimes fuzzy, but it has
worked this way for years.
From: Mxsmanic on 18 Mar 2010 16:47
Tom P writes:
> I guess you could extend this practice to other employment areas, like
> having restaurants where the waitresses pay for the privilege of working
> and rely on tips?
It has already been done.
From: Mxsmanic on 18 Mar 2010 16:52
> Agreed, it's mostly talk, and doesn't really address the ZDF
> allegations at all, above all Sandemans New Europe guides earning
> pretty poor money. �19 for four hours work, with no benefits, like we
> saw on TV? As has been observed elsewhere, you could make more selling
> Strassenfeger / Big Issue. Or even owing Sandemans money for the
> doubtful pleasure of working for him!
The problem is that it's very difficult to get a regular job if you don't have
> Tim Fairhurst of the ETOA (European Tour Operators Association) rushes
> to Sandeman's rescue. Who is Tim Fairhurst that he can defend wages
> and conditions like this?
Tourism has always paid dirt to field workers. There's nothing new about that.
> Does he think that is fair on these apparently badly exploited young
If they are operating without work permits, who is exploiting whom? The
practice isn't limited to tourism (which depends on it to some extent, in some
cases). A lot of bars and restaurants hire people without papers, too, and
then pay them less than minimum wage. The irony is that they may make more
illegally at less than minimum wage than they would legally at more than
minimum wage, since the standard deductions (which are often huge) are not
> Does the ETOA think it is OK
> to have employment contracts rated as 'crudely illegal' by a professor
> of law, or does the ETOA think it is fine for their members to play
> fast and lose with national laws?
Ultimately it's supply and demand. If there are people willing to take these
jobs, then the jobs will continue to exist. And if people are taking jobs that
exploit them in this way, then one can only assume that they aren't able to
get any better jobs. Depriving them of the only jobs they can get doesn't
really help anyone, does it?