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    BusinessDiaz asks the CEOE to return to the table of the AENC and defends the positions of the unions

    Diaz asks the CEOE to return to the table of the AENC and defends the positions of the unions

    The Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz, appears at a press conference after a meeting with officials of the Citizen Assembly for Climate, at the Ministry’s headquarters, on August 31, 2022, in Madrid (Spain). – Alberto Ortega – Europa Press

    MADRID, Aug. 31 (EUROPA PRESS) –

    The Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz, has asked the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) this Wednesday to return to the table of the Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining (AENC), while defending the rise salary demanded by the unions.

    “I make a summons to the Spanish employers to return to the table of the AENC. They got up from the table on May 5 and have not returned to it. I make a summons, with all the affection to the employers, to return to the table”, said Diaz at a press conference.

    The Minister of Labor has lowered the tone towards the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, whom last week she asked for “commitment” with Spain to stop “blocking the negotiation of agreements”, and has extolled the commitment of the employers in other ocasions.

    “The return to the negotiating table is key and that is why I make this summons to the CEOE and the social agents. They have always been up to the task and I ask them to do so again, we need to meet again with an employer that was up to the task of his country,” he declared.

    After the controversy of recent days, the second vice president and Minister of Labor has clarified that whenever the employers have been right, they have recognized it, although on this occasion she considers that the unions are the ones who are correct.

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    “They are right because the unions in Spain are defending the general interest, 17 million salaried people in our country. Today the position and economic solution that the unions are giving is to defend the general interest in Spain and that is why I think they are right”, Diaz has emphasized.

    The minister has also compared the positions of the unions with those of the vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Luis de Guindos, who a few months ago advocated a salary increase “to prevent the economy from getting worse” and not “out of ideological conviction “.

    The AENC negotiating table was terminated on May 5, after the employers refused to accept the unions’ demand to include the salary review clause in the collective agreements.

    Diaz has guaranteed that the unions “have never talked about an indexation to the CPI” and has warned the employers that wages, which have been revalued by 2.5%, are not the cause of inflation, which stands at 10 .4%, according to advance data for August.

    “I summon the employers to return to that table, to take into account that salaries are today the victims of inflation”, repeated the minister, and recalled that the solutions to this crisis “have to be different” from those offered by the PP in 2008.

    Diaz has aligned himself this Wednesday with the positions of the Government, after the spokeswoman and Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodriguez, asked this Tuesday “respect for the parties to the collective bargaining”, in response to Diaz’s statements.

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    “The Government of Spain has a unique and convinced position. We represent it very well in this house, we defend social dialogue and I defend it so much that we have reached 14 agreements in this headquarters. I am a great defender. It is the mark of the Government of Spain and the brand of the Government outside of Spain”, commented the minister.

    Diaz has defended that the Government, “with the president (Pedro Sanchez) at the head”, is committed to raising the Interprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI), which is currently at 1,000 euros.

    The objective of the Executive is to set the SMI at the equivalent of 60% of the average Spanish salary. The Ministry of Labor has convened this Friday the Commission of Experts to make its new calculations, since the current estimates are based on 2018 wages.

    Once the Committee of Experts determines that 60%, Diaz will wait to know the average annual data of the CPI to summon the social agents at the dialogue table on the SMI.

    “We always convene the dialogue table to fix the salary in November, because it has been that way. It is key to have that data (CPI). All the indicators are that it will end at 7% or 8% and this is key to knowing the global effect”, the minister clarified.

    She has also stressed that she does not set the amounts and has alluded to article 27 of the Workers’ Statute, which establishes the four parameters “that should guide the revaluation of the SMI”: inflation, the national average productivity achieved, the increase in participation of work in national income and the general economic situation.

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    Asked about the salaries of the civil servants, Diaz recalled that it is a matter that is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Public Function, which is also negotiating the salaries of public employees in the social dialogue.” “Be careful because they are negotiating. When the competent minister (Maria Jesus Montero) has a position, they will take it “, she has specified.

    Diaz has clarified that an AENC and an income agreement cannot be confused, and has assured that she is not against the second. However, she has said that “in Spain an income pact is not being worked on”, since that requires a negotiation between the Government and the social agents that go beyond salary increases.

    “We are talking about a tax system, which is not in this, we have to talk about housing, about a lot of realities… We are not working on an income agreement,” Diaz insisted.

    Before the press conference on Wednesday, the second vice president and Minister of Labor met with the Citizen Assembly for Climate, which presented 172 proposals in “a very intense meeting.”

    Diaz has advocated “green collective bargaining”, which he has already exposed to other “European green ministers and in the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Councils (Epsco, for its acronym in English)”.

    The minister has announced that she will summon the social agents “to create an AENC based on ecological and energy efficiency”, so that they continue “with the constitutional mandate” and advance in the pending matters of “this new reality”.

    Source: Europa Press


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