The unions issue an ultimatum to the CEOE and ask for a 5% rise in 2022
The General Union of Workers (UGT) and Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) have launched this Wednesday a joint proposal by which they ask the employer to include a salary review clause in the Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining that combine the evolution of the purchasing power of workers and the economic trajectory of companies. Both union associations had previously warned that this would be the last offer they would present to CEOE and CEPYME in order to close a minimum agreement at the national level and that otherwise, they would “launch” the negotiation of each sector and company. The proposal demands minimum initial increases of 5% for 2022, 4.5% for 2023 and 3.75% for 2024.
“This is the moment of the agreement, the CEOE has to be aware, the businessmen of this country have to be, that Either there is an agreement or the negotiation at the state level will be closed without any agreement. And that is going to lead us to a situation of going to negotiate agreement by agreement and adding conflict by conflict in the country as a whole,” warned the UGT secretary, Pepe Álvarez. “Spain needs to improve wages,” defended his colleague Unai Sordo in an interview in 24 hours, who has recognized that the negotiation “has a long way to go” between now and the month of May and that otherwise it will move on to much more conflictive conversations within each company.Sordo has also pointed out the importance of the Government supports this mechanism, but has not conveyed whether it has its support “We have done some prior exploration and I would not understand that the Government does not row in favor,” he said.
As the CCOO secretary, Unai Sordo, announced weeks ago, the unions have accepted the employer’s proposal to take into account the progress of the specific company when requesting salary improvements. As reflected in the document, at the initial percentages an additional rise would be added that would take into account the deviation with respect to inflation registered in each of these three years. To carry out this calculation, CCOO and UGT propose to develop an Economic Information System for Collective Bargaining (YES) that encompasses all the information that will be taken as a reference to apply the ‘extra’ upload.
The objective, according to the unions, is that “the recovery of the purchasing power of wages has a relationship with the economic evolution of the sectors with reliable data.” union representatives they want the SIENC to be based on official sourcesTherefore, they have also requested the General Treasury of Social Security to generate a list of the companies that are covered by each collective agreement through the code that the companies transfer to the Ministry of José Luis Escrivá. Afterwards, the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT) would bring together the information on sales, purchases and salary payments that it has collected since 2014, to complete the mechanism.
CCOO and UGT have stressed that this configuration requires that the indicator be submitted to “a process of dialogue and negotiation” for which they consider it essential that the Government’s disposition be favorable to “provide and make the necessary data transparent”. In addition, with the aim of endowing the indicator with ‘neutrality’, they propose that it be integrated into the Tax and Statistical Studies Service of the AEAT, which is included within the Ministry of Finance and Public Function. The unions understand that it would be the most logical option, since most of the information that the mechanism would include has this origin.
The two trade union associations, the majority at the national level, want put an end to the “ballast” implied by “asymmetric and incomplete” information in collective bargaining processes through the use of this indicator. “The SIENC will reduce costs and negotiation times and will result in a better adaptation of what has been agreed to the situation of companies in the sector and in a fairer division of wages in the distribution of productivity”, they have defended. In addition, they attribute the stagnation of the average salary “since the mid-nineties of the last century” to the lack of this information.
For union representatives, the development of this formula would also have benefits in terms of household consumption, which would be boosted by a rise in wages. This, they indicate, would be affected by a increased economic growth and tax collection. And consequently, to the rebalancing of public accounts and the maintenance of employment. The definitive proposal has been launched by the organizations the same day that the secretaries of both unions had planned to offer a press conference this Wednesday morning that has finally been canceled due to a leak, which according to what they have assured, has occurred before that the associations closed all the details.