Barely two months ago Antonio Garamendi (Getxo, 1958) has reached the CEOE presidency replacing Juan Rosell. And almost from the first day he has maintained discrepancies with the Government. The rise in the minimum wage, the increase in taxes, the announcement of CC OO that it had agreed with the Ministry of Labor a partial repeal of the labor reform … The list is long. In contrast, Garamendi, always close, smiling and talkative, does not see a bad relationship with the Executive of Sanchez. "I do not think there have been differences. When we talked about those differences … it was a union saying that it had agreements and the Government said no. I do not have to doubt the Government. "
During the interview, on the other hand, it does show these differences: "I do not want to be given papers that are practically the position of the unions". In December, when CC OO made the announcement that it had agreed with the Government to repeal the most damaging aspects of the labor reform, Garamendi declared that the Government was "an arbitrator who dressed in the opposite team". "And I still think so. But the government says it's not like that. "
-Do you believe it?
-I have the obligation to believe the Government.
"I have to believe the Government if it says it has not agreed to change the labor reform [de 2012]"
– Do you have an obligation?
-I think I have to believe him.
A definitive opinion about the Budgets is kept until the beginning of February, but the starting point is critical. "It does not seem to be the year in which we have to spend more or where we think we are going to enter so much. And we do not believe that all the weight [fiscal] have to fall on the companies, "he says.
With the unions, the president of CEOE differs in the forms. "A dialogue table is not done on the street or on TV." And in the background. "Four themes are discussed: the first is the prevalence of the sectoral agreement over the business one. That is a subject that we can not admit for an ideological fact. I say it that clear. We are the first to sign sectoral agreements, but companies must be able to decide. " The second is the automatic and indefinite extension of the agreements that the labor reform limited to one year and the unions want to recover. "It is an element of collective bargaining. I do not think it should be fixed by law. " And he does not like that you want to force companies to keep a time and day record. "We are not saying that it is not controlled, for that there is a body of inspectors, but it is killing flies with cannon fire."
Lastly, where this long-term employer executive sees "the core" is in the legal regulation of outsourcing of services between companies. "We had agreed to act on the 42 [el artículo legal que la regula], establishing the reference of the national or provincial agreement for those who externalize. Now the unions are asking to outsource the agreement of the parent company. Wow! Then we directly terminated the subcontracting. There is a more than reasonable margin to act. "
With a cursus honorum Almost destined to the position that he occupies (first president of the Spanish Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs, maximum responsible for the employer's of the metal and of the SMEs), has faced the first internal controversy by his remuneration in CEOE of 300,000 Euros to the year. "The statutes say that the president can have a pay, statutorily says that the board has to approve it, and has approved it, and statutorily says that the budget control committee is the one that manages this issue and that is what is being done" , he emphasizes.
His usual cordiality diminishes when he talks about this topic and he is asked if he does not think it is much. "This is the private company. I'm a businessman. I'm not a politician I represent the presidents of the Ibex companies. That debate is absurd, it's not a CEOE debate. Moreover, I think it is a humble retribution in a high level business environment. Look where are the remunerations of any Ibex company cost. It's a subject that seems demagogic to me. "
He resorts to the same expression when he is reminded that among the five CEOE vice presidents there is only one woman, Pilar González de Frutos. "I'm going to expand the vice-presidencies to find balance. But until the bylaws are changed, I can not ". When talking about outside his organization, he rejects the obligatory quotas to promote parity: "I believe in equality and we work in it. In a few days we will present a report on the wage gap. We have the Promociona project, 400 directives have passed, where we got women to jump to managerial positions. You have to make active policies and aid. But I do not like the imposition of standards. "
Another significant decision of his first weeks at the head of the CEOE is the integration of the autonomous association ATA. "I believe in the business unit. This adds up, "he justifies. He does not see an insurmountable problem in the different interests of large companies or freelancers: "Here are the big stores and the small business; the electric and the big consumers. I think it is perfectly compatible. I'm also self-employed. "