Anna, I have a house in Kentroma and don't personally know anyone from the UK who is looking for work in this area. Most British people who move over to Corfu looking for work would normally go to live in areas such as Sidari, Kassiopi or Acharavi where there is also bar work etc. to be found. I do know a couple of people who have cleaners who are Greek so they don't come on these message boards. I think Bob hit the nail on the head when he said you would probably find local Greek cleaners as the travel would normally prevent British people from working to the area.
Message posted by janmanessi on 23 January 2010 at 2:16pm - IP Logged
I know this may be controversial- and I do understand the need for people to find work who come to Greece- but cleaning jobs have traditionally been lifesavers for the Greek village women living in or near tourist areas.
If English people start taking this kind of work too will it not risk unbalancing the relationships between locals and 'incomers'? No-one grumbles in UK about heart surgeons coming into the country- but the supermarket check out girl or the labourer- that is another matter
If they are seen as threatening the local peoples' livelihoods surely they will not be welcomed so sincerely?
Times are hard for all at the moment I know, but more and more it seems to me that some English people coming abroad isolate themselves from the local community- to their great detriment.
Please don't anyone take this personally. I am well aware of the advantages of employing someone who speaks the same language as you, but there has to be a balance, and it will greatly enrich your life in Corfu to get to know the local community, and how better than by welcoming someone into your home to work
Message posted by Bob and Wendy (Uncle Bob) on 23 January 2010 at 3:40pm - IP Logged
Bob and Wendy
Jan, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.
Message posted by Bill on 23 January 2010 at 4:00pm - IP Logged
I can see where you are coming from Jan, but (isn't there always one!)to reply to your comments...
Villa and apartment cleaning is the one area of work within the tourist industry where, in the north at least, demand seemed to outstrip supply last year. I have many Greek female friends, and I didn't hear a single one complain that they couldn't find cleaning work - although Greek friends who own properties did have trouble finding cleaning staff.
I'm not sure that English (or perhaps we should more correctly just say 'migrants', as it isn't just English, but other Brits, other Europeans and not forgetting Albanians who look for work on the island in the summer) may "start taking this kind of work". They have been doing so for many years already. Conversely, British and other non Greeks who own property on the island also generate employment for the local community (irrespective of nationality) in building, maintenance, gardening,cleaning and numerous other trades.
In respect of threatening local peoples' livelihoods. Again, this is a situation that has been around for many years and there are those in the local community who resent non Greeks working here per se, whatever the nature of the work. On a broader note, Greece is part of the EU and EU citizens are entitled to live and work anywhere within the community. This might not sit well with everyone in the local community (look at the fervour about the use of migrant workers in the UK over the last few years), it is nonetheless a right that we all have.
In situations where the owner of a property is not a Greek speaker and is not living locally, I'm not so sure that it's simply an advantage to employ someone who can speak the same language as you, but necessity. That is not to say that the employee needs to be the same nationality, but, as is the case in many privately owned villas, the cleaner is also the keyholder and deals with minor 'on site' difficulties for the absent owner, making good communication essential, especially if the property is rented out to visitors.
However, when all said and done, I firmly believe that you will be hard pressed to find a more thorough and effective cleaner than a Greek village lady! I've done cleaning work myself (including for a Greek apartment owner who wasn't in the least bit concerned about employing a non Greek). It's hard, thankless work that demands high standards and commands low wages, but the Greek ladies normally do it very effectively, whilst keeping a smile on their faces
Message posted by janmanessi on 23 January 2010 at 4:12pm - IP Logged
Understand all you say but do explain one thing- surely the cleaner if she is also the keyholder will be better placed to quickly sort out the maintenance problems that arise if she is Greek and knows local workmen than someone from abroad (point taken, not only English!) who may only have been on the island for a few months and not know who to turn to.
Surely responsible owners would make sure that additionally to the cleaner their tenants have a phone number they can call to speak to someone who speaks their language to avoid any confusion?
Message posted by Mrs D on 23 January 2010 at 4:51pm - IP Logged
I tried to get a local Greek lady to look after my little 2 bedroom house. All I wanted her to do was open up on good days occasionally over the winter and to have the house ready when we visited twice a year. I also wanted her to clean and wash the bedlinen etc when we left.
She didn't speak english but her son offered to interpret for us. I nearly fell off my chair when he said that they wanted 500 euro per month all year round!!! I expected to pay the going rate but to my mind this was excessive. Needless to say we still haven't got a cleaner/housekeeper.
Message posted by janmanessi on 23 January 2010 at 4:58pm - IP Logged
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