Pepe Álvarez does not close the labor reform: “The most important thing remains to be negotiated: the dismissal” – CVBJ


The at 19:12 CET

Rafa Bernardo

What is the global balance sheet for 2021?Considering the fact that this is a pandemic year, I think the results are positive. I have a feeling he has gone beyond what is strictly managing the pandemic and there is a whole host of issues that we have addressed that are structural, fundamental, and which will persist in the country over time. years. year. And when we are in a situation like the one we find ourselves in, it is appreciated that it is visualized that things are being done that are not just getting confused. It is clear that there are problems there: the price of electricity, whether the average is lower than that of 2018 or not, is a serious problem; partly circumstantial and partly substantial. We have an energy system which is far from optimal, and which deserves measures designed to have the instruments which will never again make the price of energy spill out of control. There, we think that it is essential that the State intervenes; He should never have left this sector and now it is becoming more and more evident that the presence of the State would have been essential to control the price of energy, not only for the consumer, but also for the industry, which is also very important.We are facing an election year, with meetings with the ballot box at least in Castilla y León and Andalusia. Are you worried that the political and social climate will become scarce?I think it is very difficult for it to become rarer than it already is. But what is obvious is that an election year like this will leave little room for substantive politics, because we will live with an eye on the ballot box. It is also an election year for the CEOE, which signed the labor reform by the hair and won the last pact on pensions. Will these be difficult months for social dialogue?Well we still think it’s gonna be tough months. Before agreeing on the labor reform, I did not even take it for granted that it was going to be agreed with the employer. In any case, I believe that the bipartite dialogue will gain ground. This goes way beyond the political conjuncture as we have ongoing collective bargaining which, if not addressed by a framework agreement, will certainly be full of conflict, and we will not be able to bring in some of the issues we are dealing with. we agree in the labor reform so that they can be developed in collective agreements.Specifically, the UGT and the CCOO recently protested at the headquarters of the CEOE to demand this framework agreement. Do you see the possible pact?With the negotiation phase with the government over, there seems to be no excuse not to do so, right? I believe that we will not only have to push harder, but that we will raise our level of requirements in collective agreements, which is the door that will force the CEOE to sit down and negotiate a general agreement.Once the labor reform is approved, what remains to be negotiated on the labor market in the coming months? I would dare to say that the most important part remains. So far, we have only addressed the three issues on which the government has committed with the European Union. We have in abeyance the causes of the dismissal, the procedure of the era or the cost of the dismissal itself. These are questions that we will have to discuss with the Executive; Of course, right now it will be very difficult, but we will insist, because in reality we are halfway through the substantive changes that the labor laws of our country need.What would you recommend to the parliamentary groups to propose amendments to the labor reform, since it is a text accepted by the employers, the unions and the government?We are not facing a new problem either; We agreed with the government on the interim issue and during the parliamentary debate it was opened on the channel. So we ourselves have negotiated with certain groups so that some of the amendments are proposals that fell during the negotiation period. We also accepted the pension reform, and it passed practically intact by the Congress of Deputies. I believe that with the labor reform we will have to see in the coming weeks how the groups that support the government want to change it. We came to an agreement in good faith, which seems very positive to us, but it is also clear that we have left things open, and if members are willing to change it, we will have to work in this context.Nationalist groups want more autonomous collective bargaining, and the bosses refuse because they say it threatens “market unity”. What do you think of giving more power to regional agreements?I believe that territorial agreements have power. Especially the sectorial ones, which are not so much autonomous as they are provincial; they have a very important weight in the labor relations of our country. I don’t know how you can get more horsepower; In any case, the complete frameworks of labor relations in the Autonomous Communities would make us face an unreasonable madness of competences. The fiscal policies started there, and today it is one of the main burdens on the economic framework of our country. I think we have to think about the consequences of such an approach, because they are not always bottom-up; sometimes they are going down.Labor reform includes more penalties for employers who break the rules; But these fines are imposed by the Labor Inspectorate, and the unions complain that their workforce is very insufficient. What can be done?During negotiations, we proposed that the number of labor inspectors be doubled in four years. Not just models, but all media. The Inspectorate has been underfunded for a long time, both in people and in other elements, such as the possibility of accessing other databases of the administration itself. I think this is essential if we want the new rules to have an effect in practice. No one would dream of adopting a highway code without having the police to enforce it, and in this case the same thing happens: we can have top-notch labor laws, that without enough labor inspectors we cannot. will not be on the right track. For this reason, the government has an agreement to increase the endowment, and it is now a question of how much and in what way it can be advanced, also technologically.One of the ongoing negotiations for this year is the new phase of pension reform. Among the changes that Europe is asking for is an increase in the number of years used to calculate the amount of the pension. How do you live this negotiation?There is nothing to say ; there is no case. The pension deal has touched all extremes, and maximum caps remain to be broken [de cotización], but no matter how much the International Monetary Fund or others insist, we have no plans to open another negotiation. The agreement is made, Social Security continues to apply the 2011 pact, which will not be completed until 2027, and this year the extension of the calculation period to 25 years has entered into force. . And there is nothing more to say. With us who do not count, not even to sit at a table, to talk about these questions.2021 was a year of changes for the UGT, with a Congress in which they renewed the teams and even the name: General Union of Workers and Workers What priorities are set for 2022?The union’s priority is collective bargaining and wage increases: this is the central axis of our policy for 2022. Indeed, the average wage in Spain has practically stagnated since 2008. It is true that the agreements have increased , but because there are many people who have concluded agreements on low wages. On the other hand, the entry into force of the regulations which have just been approved requires that we maximize union action, of course in the companies where we are, but also that we try to extend the union in order to control what happens with possible contracts and if the regulations are applied. new rules on agreements or subcontracting. And the union must continue to grow, it must continue to become more transparent, more open to society, especially in a very particular way to young people and women. The approval at the last Congress to put women workers first in the name is a statement of principle on the extent to which we want to devote trade union action to women, who are a clearly discriminated group in the world of work. Women, and young people too, undergo the majority of temporary contracts; hence the importance of the evolution of the recently approved regulations, and this is where we are going to focus our work.

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