October 27, 2020

Bargaining to the limit keeps ERTEs in the air



Despite the fact that at the opening of the negotiating table, held on September 1 in Palma de Mallorca, the Government and unions promised not to exhaust the deadlines in this extension, the agreement remains unspecified less than a week after the expiration of the month. Yesterday’s marathon meeting – which lasted until around ten o’clock in the evening after starting at four thirty in the afternoon – was the first to be held since last week the meetings were suspended pending a new proposal by the Government was put on the table.

The differences with the previous document were so strong that the social agents raised the need for a “recess” that would only end with an approach that changed the principles set out so far. Sources of the negotiations assure that the Department of Social Security and Inclusion led by José Luis Escrivá pressed for the businessmen to accept the sectorization of the sectors, something that, however, the employers continue to refuse to accept. “It is a red line that we are not going to cross,” they say.

The agreement keeps the thousands of companies and workers who are still under this scheme in suspense. Yesterday, the Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, yesterday estimated at 739,000 workers those who still continue under the ERTE umbrella, after “more than 80%” have already recovered to their posts. Calviño offered these figures during an interpellation in Congress by the popular deputy Mario Garcés, who asked the minister to assess the “alarming” economic and labor forecasts.

The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, tried yesterday to give a boost to the tripartite table and, in an interview on Onda Cero, asked the social agents for “high-mindedness.” “For the good of this country we must shake hands,” he said. “I always say that we could carry the royal decree without the consensus of the social agents, but I don’t want to do that,” Díaz clarified, although he also assured that the schemes will be maintained as long as they are necessary. “This mechanism saved more than 550,000 companies and 3.4 million workers, so it makes no sense to drop it when it is most needed,” he remarked.

According to sources from the negotiations, Escrivá’s proposal has maintained the sectorialization of ERTEs although it tried to bring positions closer by improving the access routes of companies that are outside the umbrella but that are part of its “value chain.” However, social agents are suspicious of this formula and point to the bottlenecks that were generated during confinement with the filters established with the drop in billing. They also give an example of the minimum income fiasco. “They created an aid with such exhaustive filters that it turns out that it is not reaching people. We fear that the same thing could happen now with the ERTEs, ”the same sources remarked.

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