The CEOE recommends moderate increases linked to productivity and employment

The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi. / ARCHIVE

Employers avoid giving a specific salary increase percentage for this year but make it clear that they must refuse to link them to inflation

Lucia Palacios

Finally, the CEOE will not recommend any specific salary increase for this year. Not even a hairpin, as has happened other times. What does make clear in the recommendations document that its executive committee approved this Tuesday, after the failure of the negotiation that they had with the unions, are two things: they will be moderate prudent increases and in no case will they be linked to inflation, as That's what the unions demanded.

Therefore, the representatives of the employers will sit down to negotiate at the more than 4,000 open tables without having fixed a salary increase, but yes, in any case from the employers' association they warn that, although it is not explicitly contemplated in the document, the maximum they are considering is the one they offered to the unions: 3.5%, sources from the CEOE confirmed to this newspaper.

The organization led by Antonio Garamendi has preferred in this case to leave it in the hands of each company and sector to set the salary increase for 2022, since it considers "it is essential to take into account the specific circumstances of each area of ​​negotiation, modulating them, in each sector or company" , but asks to have in terms of productivity and employment, «in such a way that the resulting figure allows maintaining a competitive position».

Moreover, the CEOE defends that "given the global context and the uncertainty regarding the scope of the economic recovery, it is necessary to make an effort to moderate wages to preserve the viability and competitiveness of companies and preserve employment." And he asks to bear in mind that “a significant rise in wages would entail an increase in labor costs that may also constitute a barrier to entry into the labor market for unemployed people; less room to introduce variable remuneration criteria; and the promotion of the inflationary spiral.

For this reason, employers recommend avoiding linking wage increases to "concepts as volatile as inflation", which also feeds back price growth. “If this is the case, limits or ceilings must be established,” they point out.

Red line

Because businessmen remain firm in the position they have maintained in recent months: that of not linking wages to the CPI, since this would turn the current inflation into structural, as they warn, as other organizations such as the Bank have also done. of Spain or Fedea. That is why the salary agreement failed, not because of the percentage increases, but because of the demand of the unions to include a review clause at the end of the year of that revaluation so that it is in line with inflation and there is no loss of purchasing power.

That is why in this document they categorically reject indexing wages to the CPI and recommend, on the contrary, that factors such as GDP, employment and productivity be taken into account in the negotiations. "It is not prudent to inflate wages," warned the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, on Tuesday, who pointed out that the "main objective" is that there be employment, "that employment is, above all, on the table and for that it is necessary that companies have the capacity to generate that job or maintain it ». In any case, he recalled that the country is going through a "difficult time" and the "situation is very different" for each company according to its sector.

On the other hand, Garamendi acknowledged that the employers and the unions are "in a difficult moment" to reach an agreement on the AENC, although he did not rule out that they could sit down again "later." “We have detected that at this moment we cannot reach an agreement,” he pointed out.

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