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Díaz will promote a higher rise in the SMI if the CEOE does not sit down to negotiate

Date: June 5, 2023 Time: 02:15:27

The rise in the interprofessional minimum wage (SMI) for 2023 will be more contained if it has the support of employers. Or what is the same, the Ministry of Labor will promote a higher increase in this salary reference if the employer does not sit down to negotiate and the agreement comes out only with the unions. This is how sources from the social dialogue say that this is the “usual negotiating strategy” of Vice President Yolanda Díaz. “The unknown lies in the resistance that the Ministry of Economic Affairs may eventually oppose, although the final decision will be made by Pedro Sánchez,” insist the sources consulted in the field of social dialogue.

The committee of experts that advises the Ministry of Labor on the path that the minimum wage must follow to be at least 60% of the average salary, as established by the European Social Charter, has proposed an increase of between 4 .6% and 8.2% for 2023, until placing it between 1,046 euros gross per month for fourteen payments in the lower part of the range and 1,082 euros in the high band. That is the reference that will guide Díaz in the express negotiation with the social agents, which starts this Wednesday, December 21, when there are barely 10 days left until the end of the year.

It must be remembered that the Government is not obliged to agree on the SMI with the employers and the unions, but it will try to find a consensus, since the ideal is that this type of measure is born with an agreement in the social dialogue, according to government sources. Although in Diaz’s team they already take it for granted that the employers will not sit down to negotiate. That is the feeling that spreads in the Ministry of Labor, after the employers have announced the breakdown of social dialogue on account of the amendment agreed with EH Bildu to increase the control of the Inspection over the ERE.

Sources from the Ministry interpret the harsh statement issued last week by the CEOE, in which the employers denounced the agreement reached with the pro-independence party for assuming a “betrayal” of social dialogue and rejected the dialogue with Labor as being “cheaty and contrary to good faith”, as a “staging”. “The employers were not going to sit down to negotiate the minimum wage because they do not want to raise it, this has only been the hanger to which to cling to justify a decision that they know is unpopular,” interpret sources around the vice president.

In this way, in the Ministry of Labor it is already taken for granted that the negotiating team of the business organization will not attend the meeting called this Wednesday and, if it does, it will be to formally reject the rise in the SMI. And in that case, Díaz’s negotiators will bet at the table for an increase in this salary reference in the highest range of the range proposed by the experts, that is, at 1,082 euros. This was announced by the sources of the social dialogue who recall that the vice president had already opted for this strategy on previous occasions, specifically, when she had the increase to 1,000 euros in 2022, compared to the 996 that the experts proposed.

Although the vice president assured this Monday that she is not leaning towards any fork until she listens to the social agents, the sources in her environment appeared in private that Diaz and her team are enough to shoot for the highest part of the experts’ recommendation . They maintain that increases in the SMI reduce inequality and, contrary to what one side of the academic world assures, they do not negatively affect employment. In any case, the minister called on the social agents to “comply with the constitutional mandate”, sit at the table “to work” and have a “high vision”, without being contaminated by the “noise” and the “political anger”. congressional.

Díaz has already opted for this strategy on previous occasions, such as when he found the rise to 1,000 euros, compared to the 996 that the experts proposed.

That amount – 1,082 euros – would fit the union centrals, although the UGT is committed to a higher increase, up to 1,100 euros. In addition, the unions welcome the fact that the Ministry is opening up to review the minimum wage within six months, depending on the evolution of inflation, as the vice president of Díaz announced at the press conference to present the report this Monday. This is a review that is contemplated in article 27 of the Workers’ Statute, although traditionally it has not been carried out, and that would imply a new negotiation and a new rise in half a year, something that the CEOE rejects.

The final amount, in any case, will be highly conditioned by the position adopted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs headed by Vice President Nadia Calviño, who is in favor of more moderate increases in the SMI so as not to contribute to the inflationary spiral. “The clash between Labor and the Economy has been a constant in the latest minimum wage negotiations within the Government, although the final decision has always corresponded to the president, Pedro Sánchez,” recalls one of the social partners. “Now, however, we have the recommendation of the experts and that makes the difference compared to previous years,” they insist.

All in all, Labor will listen to the social agents this Wednesday and, as we said, it will propose a greater rise in the SMI if the employers refuse to negotiate it. Later the figure will be debated within the Government and Sánchez will have the last word. Although the intention of the Executive was to have the royal decree ready for approval in one of the two councils of ministers that remain this year, sources familiar with the pace of processing the text have shown that, at this point, “there is no longer time to carry out to the BOE before New Year’s Eve”. So they are already working on a scenario of approval of the subsequent rise, always retroactive to January 1, 2023.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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