The Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, announced this Thursday that she will open the negotiation table with the social agents to update the current regulations on occupational hazards, in force for twenty-eight years. Díaz made the announcement at the signing of the Occupational Health and Safety Strategy (2023-2027), which was attended by the CCOO and UGT secretaries, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, the president of the CEOE , Antonio Garamendi, and his CEPYME counterpart, Gerardo Cuerva. The union representatives had demanded in their explosions that he update the norm, which dates back to 1995 and the minister has picked up the gauntlet.
This has been the first public meeting between Díaz and Garamendi after the CEOE’s criticism of the 8% rise in the SMI that the Government agreed with the unions (which comes into force retroactively from January) and after the Minister of Work charged against the leader of the employer for the regularization of his situation and his salary increase. The second vice president has valued how the social agents and the Government have come together in an aspiration that goes through the seventeen social dialogue agreements signed between the parties.
In addition, taking advantage of the reason for the act, he has emphasized that health cannot be understood as an obligation or as a cost, but rather teaches “dignity and respect” inside and outside companies. From his point of view, in a global and complex world, unfair cost competition should be eliminated, so that there would be an extensive commitment to a healthy society in a broad sense. Thus, the new frame of reference will serve to configure the concept of comprehensive prevention linked to work and dignified lives.
“We have to worry” about the figures for work accidents, Diaz remarked. Last year, 826 people lost their lives in their workplace or in ‘in itinere’ accidents, 121 more than the previous year and the figure exceeds pre-pandemic levels. The incidence is concentrated above all in industry and construction. Earlier this week, the UGT called for a shock plan against the “alarming” figures for occupational accidents with special attention to psychosocial risks that, in the opinion of the union, have not been addressed in depth in the new occupational health strategy.