The leaders of CCOO and UGT have argued this Monday that a wage increase is necessary in Spain and have rejected the call for "prudence" from the employer in case this rise further unleashes inflation and makes the country lose competitiveness. Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez recalled that the rise in prices, which in November it climbed to 5.6%is related to the energy market and they have stressed that it is "temporary", while the devaluation of wages in the country has been a pending problem for years. "In Spain, wages suffer the effects of inflation, they do not cause a rise in prices," said Sordo.
The CPI rises two tenths in November, to 5.6%, its highest in 29 years
The statements of the union leaders took place this morning at a press conference with the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, after a meeting with the Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Luca Visentini. The leader of European trade unionism has also called for the rise in wages and explained that in a recent meeting with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde agreed that "in most member states it was worrying that they had not risen enough wages, "said Visentini.
In CCOO and UGT they have responded to the declarations of the vice president of the CEOE, Íñigo Fernández de Mesa, who this weekend pointed out that the high inflation was "temporary" and was due to the prices of the energy markets, but urged to be " prudent "with respect to wage increases so that" second-round effects that generate an increase in inflation are not generated. "
Pepe Álvarez, secretary general of the UGT, has argued that "the rise in wages goes beyond the increase in inflation or GDP" at this time. "We have an endemic salary problem, the average salary in Spain frozen since 2008. Salaries have to rise yes or yes regardless of these factors, which is clearly a conjunctural issue."
"In Spain there is no risk that the rise in wages will cause an inflationary spiral", Unai Sordo, leader of the CCOO, has responded forcefully. "If you want to intervene in the containment of prices, you have to act on ineffective markets when it comes to signaling prices, mainly energy," he added.
The Minister of Labor has been more prudent in her words, although she has also rejected that inflation is due to the rise in "pensions or wages." Yolanda Díaz has slipped that "there are voices that always ask for the same thing, to moderate wages." The vice president has spoken of the "need to talk about decent and decent wages" in Spain and the rest of the EU, "not only in minimum wages, we have a lot of work to do," she said.
The governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, has shown this Monday against the rise in prices resulting in a general improvement in wages. "Excessive and generalized increases in salaries would be, in the current context, counterproductive," said the supervisor's manager in a meeting with bankers organized by KPMG and Expansión. "This episode of rising inflation, which is already considerable, would rise further if the strong increases in costs and prices of certain consumer goods and services observed to date were incorporated in a generalized way and in a high magnitude in the final prices and negotiated wages, giving rise to a hypothetical inflationary spiral ", he added.
Hernández de Cos has pointed out as a relevant point that cushions the impact of this episode of inflation, which the Bank of Spain considers "temporary and transitory", the fact that there is no longer a link in the agreements in the salary increases with the evolution of the CPI. Before the 2008 crisis, the safeguard clauses covered 70% of workers and currently only 17%, according to the governor. Hernández de Cos has been more open to wage increases occurring in rising sectors. "Consistent increases with the evolution of individual productivity and the demand of individual companies are clearly desirable," he said.
Letter from various countries on platform workers
Vice President Yolanda Díaz has announced "a letter" that she has signed together with other Labor officials from several European countries addressed to the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, to demand that the European directive on digital platform workers be " ambitious ". Díaz has defended that the debate on the protection of workers and on the legal status of workers (salaried or self-employed) must be faced with "the highest expectations."
Specifically, the letter - which publishes this Monday El País- has been endorsed by Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy and Labor; Yolanda Díaz, Minister of Labor and Social Economy of Spain; Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security of Portugal; Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs of Germany; and Andrea Orlando, Minister of Labor and Social Policies of Italy.
In addition, it is signed by several MEPs and progressive politicians from different European countries, such as the Spanish socialist Iratxe García Pérez, president of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Sergei Stanishev (Chairman of the Party of European Socialists, Socialist Party, Bulgaria), Ska Keller (Co-Chair of the Group of the Greens / European Free Alliance, Die Grünen, Germany) and Philippe Lamberts (co-chair of the Group of the Greens / European Free Alliance, Belgium), among others.
The Spanish Rider Law as a "reference"
The leader of the European trade unions, Luca Visentini, also signs the letter to Von der Leyen and has stated that the Spanish Rider Law it is a "benchmark" for this debate on European legislation.
"The Spanish law is the most advanced in the European Union in terms of social protection," Visentini said at a press conference, although he stated that the European directive should not only accommodate riders or platform distributors, but also to other workers linked to these digital companies, which already extend into sectors such as "care, construction, tourism and digital services," he warned.
Spanish regulation "considers the riders as employees, not self-employed, it grants them due protection ", highlighted the European union leader, but also considered another" important element "of the Rider Law: access to the algorithm in labor matters." If you do not have access to the algorithm cannot adequately protect workers ", stressed Visentini.