“This is not the time to open this melon”




Negotiations begin to dismantle the labor reform. The Government meets in a few minutes with the social agents to set up the dialogue table – baptized as “Modernization of the Labor Market”– with which the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz, and future Vice President of the Government, seeks to begin to smooth what they consider the “most damaging” aspects of current labor legislation. A process that starts in a moment of maximum political upheaval and with the economy and the business class preparing for the harsh months of contraction that still lie ahead after having a year of crisis already on their shoulders.

The reform is, along with pensions, the great negotiating table of the legislature, which anticipates complex conversations. The conciliatory spirit of the minister, who already has to her credit seven agreements with employers and unions, makes it easier for the business world to come today with the intention of “listening to what approaches Job offers”, although as they point out, the opposition will be maximum in terms of undertaking legal changes now: “This is not the time to open this melon”, say business sources.

This same sentiment has been reflected this morning in a meeting held by the CEOE leadership and in which it has also been clear that, although what the ministry has to say will be heard, the resistance will be maximum: «Now is the time to to get out of the crisis, to think about ERTE and direct aid. Nothing more. We must stand firm ». One of the main tools of the Government in the negotiation promise to be the commitments acquired by the Government in the files sent to Brussels related to the labor field, an end that generates many doubts in the business world due to the lack of transparency and negotiation with which these reforms would have been drafted.

The intention of the Ministry of Labor is for the negotiations to resume where they left off in March. And it is that the pandemic interrupted some work that had already begun with the previous head of Labor and current president of the Toledo Pact, the socialist Magdalena Valerio. At that time, issues such as collective bargaining, subcontracting or hang-up clauses had been dealt with. The unions would support this idea, which, however, is rejected among employers, who ask to analyze all the changes in a comprehensive manner in light of the very delicate situation that companies are experiencing.

Beyond this first block, the Government’s target is the excessive temporality and the objective is to cut it. The Government wants to simplify and reorder the contracting modalities with the intention of generalizing the permanent contract. The idea is to return causality to the temporary contract and for this, formulas could be proposed to require companies a clear justification of the reasons why they resort to this contract, so that it is limited to the performance of purely temporary activities.

The idea of ​​the head of Labor is to leave the contract modalities in only three, which would remain indefinite, justified temporary and training. But, in addition, accompanying this reform of access to the labor market with a review of subsidies and bonuses for hiring to simplify them and limit them to permanent contracts for unemployed people. It would be a matter of hardening, once again, the use of very short-term contracts, as well as ensuring «An adequate use of subcontracting discouraging the cases in which it is a mere instrument of cost reduction “, according to the document sent to Brussels.

A very complex negotiation that affects the competences of several ministries and that gives its starting signal coinciding with the promotion of Minister Díaz to third vice president of the Government, replacing Pablo Iglesias, who will compete against Isabel Ayuso for the Community of Madrid. The different sensitivities within the coalition and, especially, the relations with the Minister of Economy and the next second vice president, Nadia calviño, and the Minister of Social Security, Jose Luis EscriváThey promise to also mark the times of future reform.

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