June 15, 2021

The ERTE meeting ends without agreement and with doubts about whether the Government will extend them without the endorsement of employers and unions


Uncertainty about the extension of the ERTE beyond May 31. The social dialogue meeting to try to reach an agreement on its extension until September 30 has ended shortly before eight o’clock in the afternoon of this Monday without agreement, due to the aid to the companies’ contributions, and without the security of what is the government going to do? The extension of the ERTE is guaranteed, since the Executive has insisted that it will not drop this mechanism, but it is not yet known on what terms or if the Government will extend the negotiation throughout this week or if it will carry the extension tomorrow to the Council of Ministers without agreement in social dialogue. “We do not know”, repeat various sources of social dialogue.


The businessmen pressure Minister Escrivá to increase aid in the ERTE or "there will be no agreement" extension

The businessmen pressure Minister Escrivá to raise aid in the ERTE or “there will be no agreement” of extension

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The negotiation of the extension of the ERTE has been complicated. The Executive’s idea was to approve it tomorrow, after agreeing on it with the social agents, but so far it has not reached consensus with businessmen and unions. Several sources consulted trust an agreement “in extremis” in the next few hours, in which the talks will continue. It already happened in a previous extension, but this time the atmosphere is more rarefied.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 25, is the last ordinary Council of Ministers prior to the expiration of this employment hibernation mechanism, May 31, although the Government could summon an extraordinary council at the end of the week to give more time to the negotiation. Social dialogue sources explain that the social agents have left the meeting this Monday without being certain what the Government is going to do, which is also exerting pressure for a possible extension without an agreement.

The looks point to Escrivá

The stumbling block to reach the agreement is the aid in the listing of companies in ERTE, dependent on Social Security. The ministry led by José Luis Escrivá insists on the proposed exemption scheme, which rewards more companies that take workers out of the activity compared to those that keep them suspended, as happened last summer. The model is categorically rejected by employers and the unions do not like it either. The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, although she has not criticized him publicly, has repeated that in her opinion the ERTE should be extended with little change.

The businessmen have pointed out this morning Escrivá directly as the person responsible for not having an agreement to extend the ERTE. This afternoon the CCOO and UGT unions, although they have avoided blaming only the minister, they also point out that it is Social Security that must move to achieve consensus.

“There is no justification for the total agreement not to be produced and taken to the Council of Ministers tomorrow. The parties concerned from the Ministry of Labor are agreed and the only thing missing is the commitment of the Ministry of Social Security,” said Mari Cruz Vicente Secretary of Union Action of CCOO, at the end of the meeting. Failure to reach an agreement on the contribution aid, “someone will have to assume this irresponsibility and of course it is not us.”

In the UGT they point out that the union continues to “defend that it is important to maintain the agreement of all the parties involved.” As the general secretary of UGT Pepe Álvarez has maintained this morning, “it would not be understandable for the Government to legislate without an agreement,” the organization insists.

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