The SMI froze at the beginning of this 2021 and the Government, led by Vice President Nadia Calviño, said that its rise would be addressed later in the year. “How long do we have to wait?” The majority unions cried out in Madrid on Monday in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation led by Calviño. CCOO and UGT have mobilized this morning for the third consecutive month in some fifty cities to demand the Executive to raise the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) and to comply with other labor commitments, such as the repeal of the labor reform and the pension reform of the government of Mariano Rajoy.
Unprotected, invisible and precarious: nursing home workers battle COVID-19 for a thousand euros a month
Both unions have mobilized again this Monday within the mobilization ‘Now it is time’, which demands that the coalition government comply with several of its commitments in labor matters. CCOO and UGT demand, above all, urgently, that the increase in the minimum wage is already addressed, which is defended by the Minister of Labor and now also the third vice president, Yolanda Díaz, against the criteria of Nadia Calviño and other members of the Government, like president Pedro Sánchez.
“We are already working on it,” said Yolanda Díaz this week about whether she would propose raising the SMI again, in this interview with elDiario.es and Infolibre. A few days earlier, Nadia Calviño stressed that it had been wise to be “prudent” and keep the lowest salaries intact for the moment, given that the first quarter of the year had been worse than expected. The Ministry of Labor launched in January a commission of experts to study the path of rise of the SMI throughout the legislature, so that the commitment to reach 60% of the average salary is fulfilled.
The union leaders of both organizations, Unai Sordo (CCOO) and Pepe Álvarez (UGT), have reminded the Government this morning that the vast majority of European countries have already increased their minimum wages, such as neighboring Portugal and France, and have demanded the Executive that already agrees to its increase.
“We tell the second vice president of the Government, who we have here in front of us, that this postponement that they were making of the rise in the SMI. Until when is it? Or is it one more way to let time pass? When are we going to sit down to really negotiate the rise of the SMI? “, has summoned Pepe Álvarez, secretary general of the UGT, who has demanded a large participation in this year’s demonstrations for May Day.
Unai Sordo has claimed to the Executive of PSOE and United We Can that “a majority of progress has to make policies for the people, to improve the living conditions of the social majority.” The CCOO leader has considered that these measures, the increase in the SMI and other policies against job insecurity, “is going to convince citizens through the facts” against the “confrontational speeches” of the right. In this sense, those present have denounced the attack suffered by the Julián Besteiro trade union school of UGT, which has suffered graffiti tonight.
“We residential workers were there and we have not been paid”
In CCOO and UGT they wanted to highlight who are some of the workers who charge the SMI and they keep their salaries frozen in 2021. Two workers and union delegates, from the nursing home and fast food sector, have intervened in the protest in Madrid. “There are salaries in residences that do not exceed 1,000 euros, many only charge the SMI. We remind the Government, in case it does not know, that the residences for the elderly are mainly cared for in very precarious conditions”, has warned María Santos of UGT.
“The nursing home workers were there, in the senior centers during the worst of the pandemic. On the front line of battle, many times alone,” Santos recalled. “No one has paid us to assume that risk,” added the worker, who has demanded that the Executive improve working conditions in residences in a broad way, also through the control of outsourcing in private hands of many centers for the elderly. .
Raúl Calderón, CCOO union delegate and worker in the fast food sector, has denounced for his part that many workers in this economic activity “still today earn below the SMI.” The trade unionist has reminded the Executive that this sector, in which young people are very numerous in the workforce, lives “that scourge that is job insecurity, translated into vital insecurity in all areas of our life.”