Garamendi advocates separating the SMI from the IPC: “The negotiation is working”


The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, has expressed this Thursday his “absolute respect” for the mobilization called for today by CCOO and UGT to precisely ask the employers to raise wages. Garamendi, in declarations to RNE, has indicated that the CEOE “is not saying that wages should not rise”but do not increase to the same extent as inflation.

“We are not saying that they cannot raise wages. What we cannot do is sign that wages rise just like inflation without more. You can talk about productivity, benefits. There are formulas,” said the leader of the employers’ association. Garamendi has assured that, despite the fact that the union protests are “legitimate”, he does not agree with the union approach because collective bargaining “is working” although it has not been possible to sign a global agreement between unions and employers as on other occasions.

“It is very difficult today to make a global approach with the one that is falling (…) The agreement of agreements is a recommendation and if it is homogeneous and with a rise indexed to inflation, it will be difficult for us to reach a agreement,” he insisted. Garamendi has assured that what has a normative character are the collective agreements, not an agreement of recommendations, and has underlined that many agreements are being negotiated and closed despite the fact that they are not easy negotiations, since not only workers are suffering from inflation, but also companieswhich 98% have less than ten employees.

Asked about the increase in the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) that the Government is preparing to take it up to 60% of the average salary, Garamendi stated that the SMI exceeds this threshold in “many autonomous communities” and that it is necessary to assess how it would affect the field sector. In his opinion, it is “premature” to start talking about the SMI now when it is an issue that is usually addressed in December. “We have to talk about the SMI, but at the end of the year. The minister has started talking about this almost halfway through the year and it is still premature to talk about it. It seems that, like it or not, we are going to live in a political campaign for a year”, Garamendi ironized.

The employer’s leader has recalled, in any case, that setting the SMI is a power of the Government, after consulting the social partners, so “little can be done” from the employer. “We would all like everything to be updated, but we have income and expenses that are what they are,” said Garamendi, who recalled that for every point that pensions go up, the expense is 1,500 million euros. “It is a bill that we are going to have to pay,” he remarked.


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