Díaz inclined to increase minimum wage without employers’ agreement

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unemployment benefits

This Friday, the Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, said she is inclined to raise the minimum wage before the end of the year. 

Díaz stressed, “There will be a rise, and it will be immediate,” even though there is a reluctance by employers to agree to such a raise.

Negotiations not going well

Díaz showed in an interview with La 1 her disagreement with the employers´ position in the negotiation. “I feel very sad, because this table could have been a mere consultation and, nevertheless, I wanted there to be social dialogue and there has been. But it is true that there is a part that has sat at that table without negotiating, that has said that it wants zero euros, and leaves the table saying that it wants zero euros. That is not negotiating. I will try to reach an agreement with the greatest number of interlocutors”. The vice president, however, has also left the door open to the employer. “I prioritise the agreement on the amounts.”

Rise expected at the end of the year

Díaz has stressed the rise in the SMI will occur. “Without a doubt”, in October, November and December there will already be a minimum wage higher than the current one. The vice president considers it “incomprehensible” to say from business sthat now “it is not time” to raise the minimum wage. She feel that now, when Spain is in a “rampant crisis”, is the time to help the weakest.

Cogesa Expats

In the meeting with the social agents last Monday, the ministry modified its aspirations downwards to try to obtain the favour of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE). For this, it opened the possibility that the increased amount was below €12. This is the minimum value proposed by the expert committee for 2021.

However, this proposal did not satisfy the claims of the CEOE. One again, it expressed its refusal to have the SMI increased this year. For the representatives of the employers, the recovery of the economy has to be consolidated first. They continue to maintain “now is not the time” to increase the minimum wage. The current minimim is in place since January 2020 at €950 per month in 14 payments.

The unions expressed forcefully their feelings in recent days about the increase in the SMI. For them, there are no reasons not to increase it this year. Therefore, they will not sign any agreement that does not include a path of increases for the years 2022 and 2023, indicated the general secretary of the UGT, last Wednesday.

Extension of the ERTE

The Minister of Labour announced she will summon the social agents to begin discussions on the extension of the ERTE (furlough) on 16th. ERTE is due to end on September 30. “I do not like at all that we go to the limit, but we always go to the limit,” said the minister. Díaz has asked companies and workers for “tranquility”, because those sectors that need it will continue to have the ERTE instrument at their fingertips.

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