The unions believe that “there are no reasons” not to raise the SMI and warn of mobilizations if it remains frozen


CCOO and UGT will fight so that the Government finally ends up raising the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) this year, an issue that has opened a strong debate within the Executive, with conflicting positions between Nadia Calviño and Yolanda Díaz. The unions consider this claim as a fundamental piece and open the door to go out on the street if it finally remains frozen throughout the year. “He is going to have to upload it because there is no reason not to,” said Pepe Álvarez, secretary general of the UGT, on Wednesday.


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Álvarez has met in Santander with the CCOO leader, Unai Sordo, in the context of the UIMP summer courses. Both have warned of the consequences if the Government does not continue with the path of rising this SMI. “If there is not, let it be clear that we are going to mobilize,” said Sordo, after the employers indicated this week in the same forum that “this is not the time” to proceed with a new rise in the SMI, which it was postponed at the beginning of the year due to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

“We are not going to release this piece, this year the SMI has to be raised,” said Sordo, noting that no report has clearly stated that this measure is bad for employment, if even the one published last week by the Bank of Spain. Sordo has justified this firm stance due to the rise in inflation, “which remains to be seen if it is temporary”; the strong GDP growth expected this year and the employment growth expected this summer as the workers who continue in this protection system leave the ERTE. “It seems to me unsustainable that the Government remains in this position,” he has settled.

The other union representative, Álvarez, has been confident that the Government will end up raising the SMI this year. “If you do not want to lose purchasing power, the people who collect the SMI must be raised to maintain their standard of living,” he defended. “We count on our forces so that the Government takes our opinions into account,” he warned, in line with the mobilizations that Sordo has raised in the event that the freeze is chosen throughout the year.

Garamendi was skeptical about the committee of experts that last week supported an increase in the SMI already this year and pointed out that in this case the social agents are only advisory and their agreement is not required to raise it. Álvarez has acknowledged that this is the case, but has bet that an agreement can be reached that already contemplates the increases for this year and the next two, in order to achieve the Government’s program of ending the legislature with 60% of the average salary .

Despite the discrepancies with the employer’s leader, Álvarez and Sordo have come out this Wednesday in defense of Garamendi, after the attacks suffered by his favorable stance on pardons, which he later had to finish qualifying. “I do not know if my words will go against him, but I believe that what has happened is an unworthy lynching,” said the head of the UGT. “He has all the right in the world to speak out,” he added. In the same line, Sordo has positioned himself, who has defended that “there is a part of the right that is beginning to resemble the inquisition.” “I know that there are many economic agents who seek a solution in our country and believe in redirecting the political situation in Catalonia and believe that this degree of polarization is not appropriate,” he emphasized.

Both union leaders have defended that the agreement on pensions is not closed but is expected to be signed next week. “We are close and it would necessarily entail the elimination of the sustainability factor”, has defended Sordo, who has avoided going into the details that are pending for the firm. “It will be an agreement thinking about the pensions of the future, not only the current pensioners,” the CCOO leader insisted. “The agreement is to develop measures that have just clarified sources of financing for Social Security,” he pointed out, referring to the elimination of some expenses that are currently charged to Social Security and would become part of transfers of the General Budgets of the State. In addition, he has pointed to the need for the pensions of the future not only to be financed with contributions but also with Budgets. “There will be pensions as long as the country wants them to exist.”

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