The president of the employers’ association, Antonio Garamendi, picks up the gauntlet thrown last week by Unai Sordo, leader of the Workers’ Commissions. The CEOE leader believes that the union’s proposal to link wage increases to inflation but also depends on the economic situation that each company is going through “opens up an interesting space” for dialogue. Unions and employers failed last year in the attempt to agree on a collective bargaining agreement that would set the revaluation of salaries for the coming years in full inflation rally, which ended the year with an average rise close to .
“It’s a bit in line with what we’ve always said. We’re not saying that salaries can’t be raised. It makes all the sense that they can go up more in those places or in those spaces where things are going better and they can’t go up both in those places or spaces where they can upload less”, Garamendi pointed out in statements to the media after leaving a meeting held this Monday between Spanish and Mexican businessmen.
The president of the employers’ association has assured that the negotiating tables for the agreements are still open, with the businessmen seated, and has added that it is “interesting” to talk about them. Unai Sordo had last Thursday to link the salary review clause to the real economic progress of the companies, in addition to the evolution of inflation. “We are for the work of linking it to the real economic progress of companies and sectors. This is what the CEOE usually wants to do. We assume the challenge, but let’s take the bull by the horns. Let’s provide ourselves with an index so that at the collective bargaining tables, which are more than 1,000, let us take into account the real progress of the companies,” Sordo said last week at an informative meeting.
CCOO maintains that the elaboration of this index “is relatively simple”, because the data already exists, and that it only depends on the “will to do it”. The union referred to the System for the Improvement of Economic Information for Collective Bargaining (Sienn), which includes data from the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT), the General Treasury of Social Security, the statistical service of the Ministry of Labour, the National Statistics Institute, the National Advisory Commission on Collective Agreements and members of the Higher Statistics Council. In this way, data on salaries and benefits of companies would be uploaded and crossed.
CEOE insists on a 4% increase in the minimum wage
On another of the key issues in the labor field, Garamendi has also stressed that the employer has already presented its proposal for the increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMI) for this year and it is reaffirmed in an increase of 4%. “No one is saying that wages should not go up, absolutely no one. We believe that, in addition, indeed, something must be done, but we must speak as a whole, not just a number,” says the leader of the businessmen. This proposal has already been recently rejected by the majority unions.
Garamendi opted to take “more variables” into account, not just the figure, when addressing the rise in the SMI, and has referred to the situation of specific sectors, such as the countryside, or of companies that may be “in losses”. As he has said, to date, the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy has not summoned the social agents to a new negotiating table. The employers did not attend the only meeting called a few weeks ago, although they sent a written document.
The social agents have only met once, on December 21. The Government took to that negotiating table the recommendations published by the Committee of Experts, which proposed an increase range of between 4.6% and 8.2% for 2023. That would be equivalent to setting the SMI for this year between 1,046 euros and 1,082 euros gross per month in a total of fourteen payments.