The lines of negotiation between unions and employers are beginning to be drawn to address the first state agreement that covers all textile and footwear workers, currently governed by the different provincial agreements. Workers’ Commissions, the union with the greatest representation at the table, has revealed its intention to establish a maximum of 1,750 annual hours of work, a proposal that would allow the working day to be reduced to around 38 hours per week compared to the 40 generally offered by the s company.
CCOO thus seeks to agree on a maximum annual working day below the majority of current agreements, some of which comfortably exceed 1,800 hours of work – the maximum is established at 1,826 hours and 27 minutes by the Supreme Court. The organization has indicated its interest in negotiating “upwards” and guaranteeing the casuistries that employees in each province have today through a series of clauses.
In the union’s opinion, the new agreement should also allow workers to enjoy at least one weekend of rest each month, the so-called “quality rest.” To this end, they defend that there are companies that have already implemented this formula of guaranteeing that their employees do not work for at least one Saturday and Sunday each month. In exchange, they point out, the agreement should include “full voluntariness and compensation” in those territories that open their businesses on Sundays and holidays.
National salary scale and regulate discontinuous fixed positions
Regarding remuneration, the union’s intentions are to establish a professional classification scale that guarantees a base salary at the national level and defines the different complements to be signed. Another of the industry’s pending challenges has also been put on the table, that of reducing the number of partial and temporary contracts in search of an increase in permanent ones.
The union also advocates regulating the figure of the discontinuous permanent position in the sector, a tool widely used by companies today due to its marked flexibility. CCOO demands that a minimum period for calling employees be established and that their refusal not be penalized, a situation that today can mean the immediate dismissal of the worker.
CCOO, with eight representatives, has indicated its intention to formulate a common front with the rest of the unions present at the table (UGT has five representatives, and the Galician unions CIG and the Basque ELA have one each). Both the union forces and the employers have shown their intention to move towards a regulation that leaves behind the provincial agreements – ARTE’s founding objective – that complicate operations for companies and generate deep differences between their employees.
From ARTE they have limited themselves to pointing out that at the meeting “the will of all parties to advance in a modern negotiation that makes the improvement of working conditions compatible with the development of companies in the sector has been evident.” The employers announced at the time their intention to respect all existing company agreements that include more beneficial conditions for workers.
ARTE continues to incorporate partners
The next meeting between both parties will be held on October 25 and the unions are already announcing their intention to address issues such as complementary social provisions, training, equality, teleworking or digital disconnection, among others.
Meanwhile, the business association continues to add members little by little and in recent days it has managed to incorporate Hugo Boss, Mayoral and the Encuentro Modas group. Promoted by the Galician multinational Inditex —owner of Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Oysho and Zara Home—, other giants in the sector such as Mango, H&M and Tendam, owner of Women’secret, have been enlisted for their cause. Springfield, Cortefiel or Pedro del Hierro.
To all of these, which account for a good part of the commercial surface of the sector in Spain and have a notable international presence, we must add companies such as Bimba y Lola, Kiabi, Parfois, Pepco, Primark, Punt Roma, Uniqlo, Iberian Sports Retail Group, which includes Sprinter, JD or Sport Zone and AWGWG, under whose umbrella are Pepe Jeans London, Hackett, Façonnable, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.