Moncloa tries to settle the deepest crisis that the coalition has gone through in its 19 months of life by assuming that the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, is the one who leads the negotiation of the labor reform within the social dialogue after the head of the economic area, Nadia Calviño, will notify him that she was taking the reins. That communication prompted United We to demand the convening of the coalition agreement monitoring table, considering that it was an “interference.” They left the meeting this Monday without agreement, but the conversations continue and sources from the socialist part of the Executive suggest that there may be an internal understanding throughout the afternoon. Moncloa has lowered the bet and the Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, has assured that the one who “leads and represents” the Government in the negotiations with unions and employers is the Ministry of Labor, but has defended that other departments have to participate as well.
What is at stake when we talk about the “repeal of the PP labor reform”
“There is no problem in that at the table of social dialogue who leads and represents the government is the Ministry of Labor but it also seems reasonable that at that table (…) members of other departments participate. It would not be understood that a part of the Government does not be part of the dialogue, “said the spokeswoman at the press conference after the Council of Ministers in the same vein that Calviño herself had spoken minutes before. The idea that the spokesperson has conveyed is that the Ministry of Social Security be part of addressing the ERTE or Education mechanism to provide the vision of dual vocational training. However, the fundamental conflict was in the supervision of Calviño, whom Unidas Podemos considers the “wolf” that should not be put to “take care of the sheep.”
Rodríguez has sent, yes, a message to Yolanda Díaz in the face of the fear of the Socialists that she will exclusively capitalize on the new framework of labor relations: “I do not believe that any member of the Government has their own name.” The spokeswoman has assured that what concerns the labor reform is a “triple” commitment: the inauguration speech of Pedro Sánchez, the programmatic agreement of the coalition and the agreement reached with Brussels for European funds. In this framework, what the first vice president raised this Monday is that the global labor reform hangs on the social dialogue table for the Recovery Plan, which Sánchez or herself has chaired up to now.
“Maximum dialogue and greater consensus”, has repeated Rodríguez, who has not clarified, however, if the socialist part of the Government would agree to move forward with the new framework of labor relations without the agreement of the employers. “We prefer an agreement of all, which gives satisfaction to unions and employers. We would like to achieve the objective of this labor reform with everyone: representatives of workers and representatives of companies,” the spokeswoman has limited herself to saying, who insisted that the interests of unions and employers are “conjugatable” as well as those of the government departments. In Moncloa they limit themselves to saying that there is an “opportunity” for there to be an agreement and that this path will be explored to the maximum, but they avoid saying at all times if it would be carried out without the employer being in the game, something that a priori it would damage the vision of Brussels.
Given the doubts that Unidos Podemos has sown regarding the ambition of the socialists in repealing the labor reform, Rodríguez has assured that there is no divergence between the coalition partners. “We are aligned in terms of content,” he said. However, it has not ruled on the realization of some aspects that, according to the second vice president, the Socialists now reject, such as the primacy of company agreements over sectorial ones.
“We have the specific issues in writing,” the spokeswoman replied in reference to the programmatic agreement. “This is a government that complies,” added Rodríguez, who has bet, however, to recover social dialogue, which did not exist in the case of the PP labor reform, and not to enter into the “nuance issues” that it has been referred to the negotiating table. Moncloa makes it clear that the conversation with unions and employers will be led by Díaz but that he will have to “enrich himself” with the rest of the departments.