Imagine having a job where you didn't actually show up for 15 years, but you continued to get paid – that would be a pretty amazing gig wouldn't it? Well, as it turns out, two guys in Jerez, Spain actually pulled that off.
Two men, a chauffeur and a gardener, have been collecting full pay from Jerez city council in Andalucia without putting in a single shift for the council, as part of an apparent deal with local unions.
According to the Telegraph, as registered representatives for the CGT union, the two men have the right to divide their time between their jobs and union activities, however when the council's human resources department carried out a recent audit, it found that the pair had not clocked in a single day in 2015 or 2016. Furthermore, upon contacting the two men to inquire about the findings, they said that they had not gone to work since 2001! The reason given was that the men had a "tacit deal" between the council and the union.
One has returned to work, but his union colleague presented a letter "demonstrating that he was using the accumulation of union hours not taken up by other reps."
The CGT union leader in Jerez, Juan Gonzalez, said the council's probe was a frontal attack on union freedom", and pointed out that union hours could legally be transferred between representatives, saying "we have 15 reps and each has 40 hours a month for union work. According to the agreement, these hours are not personalized but accumulative, and these colleagues have accumulated the hours that others did not use." – that's a lot of union activities to be sure.
Jerez is one of Spain's most indebted local governments, owing half a billion euros to the banks the Telegraph notes. It's all good, what's a few more headcount to cover when Draghi is buying all of the debt in Europe anyway, right?
The council is also investigating three other workers suspected of taking unjustifiable amounts of leave to perform union duties. Jerez is not alone however, in February it was revealed that nearby Cadiz city hall had a had a phantom civil servant on its payroll who had not been seen at work for six years.
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There really isn't much else to say except that this is good work if you can get it. It reminds us of Milton from Office space who continued to get paid due to a glitch in the payroll after he was laid off… except Milton actually kept showing up for work.