moonlight | Two jobs to make ends meet

Last year, Kike Canet had eleven payers to, among other things, earn a living wage. He is a private security guard and usually works five in the morning in a Labora office. It’s the most stable thing you have. In the afternoon, a wheel spins in which he does not know where or for which company in the sector he will work. It could be a music festival, a concert, a Villarreal match, a private company, a residence for people with mental disorders or one after the other at any time. Each month, he works at least two weekends.

Instability. Although in his case, partially chosen. He has a 13-year-old son with whom he lives week after week. So it’s good to have free afternoons. The week when the child is not there, he takes advantage of it and works as many hours as possible. On the other hand, he recognizes that the salaries established by the private security agreement are not enough to live on: “Doing 40 hours doesn’t give you enough to pay for life. If you have rent, a child, gasoline, which now costs double, and utilities to pay, our base salary is not enough to support you,” Canet explains.

He is one of around 67,000 Valencians who have a second job, according to estimates by major unions based on social security data. They are approximately 31,800 men and 33,200 women. At the state level, the data is already comparable to that of 2008, after several series of increases. The moonlight returns, if it ever left.

But not every case is like Kike’s, who has some ability to decide his day and change it freely on a part-time basis. The reality is that most people watch forced to accept two part-time and precarious jobs be able to earn a living wage at the end of the month. This is the case of Augusto Juan Epam, who works in the morning as a street recruiter for an NGO and, in the afternoon, tries to run a company organizing events in schools and institutes.

He started the business with a partner after organizing games for children in his neighborhood and the goal was for it to be his livelihood. At first yes, but the pandemic came, which destroyed the cultural sector, and he ended up looking for another job that would help him stay afloat. He came to accumulate 4,000 euros in debt despite his work. The company still hasn’t recovered and needs that extra money to literally survive.

It’s been like that for 8 years. “There comes a time when you see yourself with a job and a business, working to pay taxes and you end up borrowing at the end of the month for public transport,” he laments. That’s how he’s supposed to stay afloat, joining two streams of income, but as he points out, “The hunger you have chosen is not the same as the imposed hunger”.

Juan Carlos Gallart is responsible for employment at CC OO PV and explains that, “On the one hand, we are creating jobs in a very remarkable way”, and this is due to labor reform. But on the other hand, the available employment is precarious. “The vast majority of moonlighting is forced, not voluntary. There are many people who have a more or less permanent but poorly paid and part-time job, and they have to look for another one that looks like it for at least s ‘ensure that they are not left with nothing,’ he notes. The sectors that most concentrate undeclared work are services, hospitality and others like private security. he adds, several part-time contracts.It is very difficult to have a full-time job and a part-time job.

Some provinces, such as Alicante, are the ones with the most precarious undeclared work, particularly due to its large hotel sector. In the North, by contrast, industry still predominates “with jobs that require training and are generally more stable and comprehensive,” says Gallart. “There is a very clear relationship between the service sector, precarious work and undeclared work. This will be much more common among waiters and hotel employees than in the industry in the Castelló region.”

Ismael Sáez, secretary general of the UGT PV, specifies that “we cannot say that there is a trend towards an increase in undeclared work”. He specifies that, while he was in Spain represents 2% of the labor market, in other countries like the Netherlands it is much more common and reaches up to 4%. It is also widespread in other European countries. On the other hand, there is no age profile more likely to have two jobs, but the origin of the person and the fact that he is foreign have a great influence. “Everyone recognizes that within the hospitality industry there is a lot of undeclared work, like in the countryside, which usually falls to immigrants,” says Sáez.

Despite everything, he recalls that the labor reform focused on strengthening labor inspection and put in place tougher measures, with which he hopes that all this submerged economy will prosper in the coming months. So moonlighting, in this sense, doesn’t have to be bad if it at least contributes to it.

On the other hand, those who work twice a day have a high chance of suffering an accident at work. « Accumulate long or marathon days is an occupational health hazard, especially when the work is linked in the usual way with little rest. It’s even more dangerous if it’s monotonous activities, as they can affect mental health and there is a direct relationship with traffic accidents,” says Gallart.

There are also those who choose and combine two jobs with one life. This is the case of Ana Vanaclocha, accountant in the morning in a fruit warehouse in Carlet, and in the afternoon in an academy in Alginet. He has been practicing in both since 1992. “People were worried when they entered ERTE because they had two payers in the income statementI’ve been like this for almost 30 years,” she says. She explains that she prefers this rhythm of life much more than that of a regular job. “I like to cook every lunchtime at home and having free time between an hour and three and a half hours is easy,” he says.

She already had the possibility of teleworking at the end of the 90s, when the academy installed a computer at her home, and at the moment the two jobs offer her great flexibility of work: “I can come earlier or later as long as that I work my hours and finish the job, so that suits me very well,” he says. They even give you the option of extending the hours in either of the two jobs if you need to.

In his entourage there are also people who have two jobs, although these are more seasonal. This is the case of many women who work seasonally in the fruit warehouse and at the same time take care of the residents of a rest home in Carlet. a job for if only it wouldn’t give them to pay the bills, but both, yes.

Private security guards are in the process of negotiating their collective agreement. Currently, companies in the industry offer few 40-hour shifts that give enough to sustain a living, so most prefer to work at multiple companies and work longer hours. “There are times when you end up merging one service with anotheryou travel, you change your uniform and you end up doing 11 hours, or that gas costs almost more than the short time you are going to spend there if it is, for example, a match of football”. That’s why he’s asking for wage improvements in his deal.

Every time I do more hours because everything has increased; food, electricity, water, gasoline, absolutely everything. You can quit to save, but you can’t quit fueling to go to work,” he says.

In Juan Augusto’s circle there are many people with undesirable moonlighting. “Now we got working poor. And they have two jobs. Several cases come to mind but they do not want to expose themselves. A person who has two jobs and who still accumulates debts on the floor. You end up occupying the whole day to arrive exhausted from work, without any type of family life and you see how you have to eat the cheapest food to move forward. I have acquaintances who work 16 hour days in beach bars. And it still doesn’t affect them.”

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