“Sector by sector. Agreement to agreement”. The majority unions CCOO and UGT have taken 1,500 negotiators of collective agreements from different parts of the country to the streets in Madrid to send a clear message to employers. “Either wages go up or there will be a conflict,” warned Pepe Álvarez, leader of the UGT, as the union centrals have already repeated last May Day, Labor Day. "The CEOE's position of selfishness and greed is not defensible", criticized Unai Sordo, secretary general of the CCOO, in the face of the employers' refusal to agree to wage increases with guarantees of purchasing power in the context of high inflation, above the 8%. "Wages cannot be paid," Sordo has repeated, "while companies raise prices and increase their margins."
Families begin to cut spending to withstand inflation
Both unions have once again demanded from employers, with the support and muscle of their representatives in numerous open negotiations in the country, that it is better to negotiate "for good". That is, at a dialogue table, talking and trying to agree on solutions thanks to collective bargaining between employers and workers. But if the bosses don't move, 'the bad ones' will be inevitable, the unions have insisted, predicting “an escalation of the conflict” in the agreements, sectors and companies throughout the State.
These conflict scenarios, already open in many cases with strikes and mobilizations, have presided over the act held this Thursday with a long enumeration that sounded like a warning from the stage set up in the Plaza del Museo Reina Sofía in the capital, under a blazing sun .
The Dependency agreement, fighting its clause already approved in the past of salary revision that the employers refuse to apply; Teaching of people with disabilities: the contact centerwhere they denounce the non-payment of teleworking and very low wages; Consulting and ICT, with employers who propose to extend maximum working hours to 12 hours a day; that of the countryside in Extremadura and Ciudad Real, fighting for wages that reach the minimum wage; that of Hospitality in Cantabria and that of Lodging in Madrid, which have had wage freezes for years.
The message to the negotiators: "It's time for conflict"
The event held this Thursday has been a message to the outside, but also to the inside. Of recognition, encouragement and didactics for the negotiators who are at the base of the unions, fighting every day for better wages and working conditions within the companies and in the sectors.
The directions of CCOO and UGT have called for unity, the "tensioning agreement to agreement", to force the employers to change their position. “If it is not by way of agreement, it will be by way of conflict”, Unai Sordo claimed, acknowledging that “it is not easy” for the representatives and workers of these open labor negotiations. "But you have to take it to the conflict, because now it's time for conflict," Unai Sordo has demanded.
"You have to try," the CCOO leader insisted, "union unity is decisive." Pepe Álvarez has agreed on the need for "unity" and not to give up in the wage battle. "We cannot, in any way, pass without raising wages", has reiterated the general secretary of UGT.
“Salary distribution or tax distribution”
The CCOO leader has also demanded that the Government take a position in the face of the scenario of blocking wage increases. Unai Sordo has demanded that, in the event that employers continue to resist wage review clauses so that workers maintain purchasing power in the short term, he intervenes with an increase in tax pressure.
“Wage distribution or tax distribution”, Unai Sordo urged, recalling that companies have received great public support during the pandemic crisis thanks to measures such as ERTE. The union leader has demanded that, thanks to a higher tax collection, the Executive will send monetary support to the workers with aid to face the increase in prices, with more impact on those who have less.