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Labor officials say Cancun, Riviera Maya living in bubble of informal jobs

Cancun, Q.R. — Although the state has shown an increase in employment, jobs in cities such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen only offer seasonal employment without benefits. Labor officials say the region is living in a bubble.

Although Quintana Roo is seen as a champion of employment, labor officials say it still offers precarious employment because 47 percent of workers have informal jobs. Nearly half of all workers in the state are employed seasonally and without proper benefits, says the official from ILO.

Soledad Aragón Martínez, national official from Formalization of Employment of the International Labor Organization (ILO) for Mexico and Cuba, said that formalization should be worked on, which “is the means to transit and have access to decent work, which consists of a remunerative salary, having social security and not being discriminated against.”

He says that, “Generation of employment is needed, however in Mexico the problem is that they are being created, but they are not of quality.

“That is, the objective would be to generate jobs with the concept of decent work, meaning employees have access to all labor rights and to social security to move from informality to formality.”

Aragón Martínez pointed out that although Quintana Roo has made some progress in the generation of decent employment, it still has a great lag because “47 percent of employed people in the country have informal employment.”

“Quintana Roo is below the national average, which is 57 percent. We could say that this situation is better, although it still remains as precarious employment because Quintana Roo has 47 percent of workers with an informal job. The informality rate is very high.”

The representative of the ILO addressed the issue of tourism and pointed out that it only generates temporary employment.

“Having a temporary job does not have to be translated as informal employment. Mechanisms would have to be created through social dialogue to negotiate with employers, unions and the government to generate formal employment, even with the conditions that temporary tourism provides.

“And I know that in Quintana Roo many workers are unemployed for three months. September, October and November people are unemployed ,” he added.

He explained that people often sell to the tianguis, saying that it happens at a national level and that “it is a double occupation to supplement income because low wages are also a problem for Mexico. The workers look for other alternatives.”

In particular, Cancun, Riviera Maya and Tulum live in a bubble because the government says “we are champions in generating employment. Yes, but the type of employment being created is not the right one or the ideal one.

“The ideal is to have a decent job with the whole concept that already marks Article 2 of the Federal Labor Law that includes remunerative salary, social security and non-discrimination. That would be the aspiration, not only to generate employment, but employment of quality. We have to work in that direction.”