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article imageOp-Ed: Spain — Palace servants to walk — Private staff to cope

By Larry Clifton     Mar 16, 2013 in Politics
Madrid - Got a tissue handy? Hope so, because this report may break your pea-pickin’ heart. It seems that unionized palace staff members who cook, clean and serve Spain’s Royal palaces are set to strike for the first time since Spain became a Democracy.
So, in a country where unemployment is more than 25 percent, one might ask one’s self what has these cooks, maids, butlers and valets so teed off.
It seems the Royal government increased the servant’s work week from 35 to 37 hours. How’s that for indignity? Barely leaves a peasant time to catch a ball game. Adding salt to the wound, these 140 union servants to the Royal are being asked to forego 15 percent of their salaries for the good of austerity.
One might further wonder how these union servants decided to deal with the twin domestic slaps from the Royal elite whom they feed and dress.
It seems about 500 employees at Crown heritage sites across Madrid have been called to strike on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday when the palaces usually attract around 100,000 tourists.
That’ll show those royal pains in the purse the kind of union fire they’re playing with, right?
Well...not exactly. It turns out the royals also employ a platoon of private staff, so it is thought that Spain's Royal bloods will be spared the indignity of preparing their own meals, let alone scrubbing full-featured palace toilets or polishing gold-plated dinnerware.
Having a small troop of private servants will come in particularly handy since earlier this week King Juan Carlos underwent lower-back surgery - his fourth operation in ten months. Can you imagine some royal dude prancing down a palace corridor with the King's bedpan in hand?
Royal stress is also an issue; the Royal family is enveloped by an embezzlement scandal starring Inaki Urdangarin, the king's son-in-law. How’s a family suppose to worry about cooking and cleaning and handle Royal scandals all at the same time?
Still, the union is hedging its bets since loyal palace servants would not be hard to find given Spain’s recessionary economy and explosive rate of unemployment.
In a communiqué to the royal household, palace union representatives insisted the union was only protesting the new working conditions and still held the "utmost respect for the essential role of the Monarchy."
Meanwhile, it was unclear whether the Royal ones decided to declare the palace a nonunion estate.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Spain Royalty, spain unions, spain unemployment 25 percent, spain palace, king juan carlos
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