The deputy of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) Jordi Salvador i Duch went up again to the rostrum of the Congress of Deputies this Wednesday to demand that compensation for unfair dismissal be raised to 45 days per year worked, instead of 33 days set by the last reform carried out by the Government of Mariano Rajoy. The Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, was open to proposals to receive in this regard, since this task was pending in the processing of the labor reform. However, according to union sources to La Información, it was the Ministry itself that ruled out addressing this issue in the negotiation with the social agents of the 2021 reform.
This Wednesday, the leader of the United We Can space listened carefully to the Catalan deputy from the blue bench of the Chamber and agreed on several occasions, although as it was the presentation of a motion, he did not speak. Díaz had already anticipated that the ‘purple’ group would vote in favor of the text and the representative of the group in plenary has spoken in the same sense, in which she has advocated being ambitious and not limiting herself to recovering the legislation prior to the 2012 reform. In the same sense, the minister pointed out in the previous Government Control Session, in which she said that “unjustified dismissals are a very serious illegality” and that if they did not do what was necessary to combat them, “the damage would be irreparable”.
However, as this newspaper has been able to learn, the severance pay was deliberately set aside in the negotiation with the social agents of the latest labor reform. Union sources present at the dialogue table ensure that at no time was there any opportunity to address the dismissals in these talks, since they exceeded the points set in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan designed by the Government for the management of funds Europeans. For the moment, there have been no movements from the Ministry to convene a dialogue table to deal with the so-called “reparative dismissal”, although the union representatives point out that it would be positive to anticipate the European doctrine in this regard and believe that it would be good to have the opportunity to debate and agree on the regulation of these dismissals.
It is not a priority for the Ministry of Labor
In Yolanda Díaz’s environment, they confirm that this issue did not enter the negotiated matters, but they clarify that this does not mean that it is blocked, but rather that it was not “object of the labor reform.” The Ministry sources consulted defend that this project focused on making employment stable instead of entering into the conditions for the dissolution of contracts. And, therefore, this task was pending for an upcoming negotiation, which despite Díaz’s favorable gestures, they do not expect to take place in the short term due to the number of “open fronts” that the portfolio has. Among which is also the Scholarship Statute, another pending fringe of this reform.
The reparative dismissal is not included in the government agreement that PSOE and Unidas Podemos signed at the end of 2019. favorable to rethinking compensation for unjustified dismissal, since they understand that it is part of the commitment to repeal the labor reform of 2012. However, in recent days the socialist members of the Executive have not ruled on this issue, while the parliamentary group has been profiled in this debate.
The PSOE delegates it to the social dialogue
The spokesman for the socialist group, Patxi López, announced on Tuesday that his formation would vote against the ERC motion, considering that the labor reform had been successful and that any extension of it should come from social dialogue. The deputy Mercè Perea i Conillas, in charge of transmitting the position of the parliamentary group in plenary this Wednesday, spoke along the same lines. “Yes to restore the rights taken by the PP from working people. Yes to the path of dialogue”, she has defended after pointing out to ERC for not supporting the labor reform -which was supported by an erroneous vote of the ‘popular’- . “Today the dismissal has to be the last resort and in that case the compensation has to be fair, balanced and of course dissuasive. But that, in the social dialogue”, she has maintained.
This Thursday the groups represented in Congress will vote on this motion, which operates as a wake-up call to the Government to express the will to legislate on a certain issue. EH Bildu and BNG have shown resounding support for the initiative, even the PNV has stated “to converge to 98%”, since it believes that setting a new fixed minimum amount is not the solution and could clash with the European Social Charter. Therefore, all the usual partners of the Government have taken a common position, while the majority party of the Executive has taken a step to the side.
However, in the event that this motion does not go ahead, as the representative Salvador i Duch has indicated, there is a second opportunity to debate the issue in the same house. Given that ERC, EH Bildu and BNG presented a joint bill in May 2022 to “approve the measures that were pending in the labor reform” -the three formations voted against this norm- however, for the moment the Board Congress has not set a date for its consideration.
pending task in the election year
Therefore, despite the fact that the result of the vote on the motion is not binding on the Executive, the fact that the left groups stage a common position puts the Government in a bind, which is going to have to find an excuse to do so. ‘deaf ears’ to the request. Although, the fact that it remains a pending task for the next legislature can benefit both Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) and Yolanda Diaz (Sumar) in the face of the next general elections. Since they could find in the electoral campaign an opportunity to formulate the promise that responds to the demands that both unions and progressive formations have made since the green light was given to the labor reform.