January 26, 2021

Unai Sordo: “If to end free dismissal you have to make it more expensive, go ahead”



In the midst of meetings to address the labor counter-reform and with the field scrambled by the rise in the minimum wage, Sordo bets on opening the negotiation, it is unmarked by the hard criticism of his colleague Pepe Álvarez to the farmers and he is even critical of the Excision of Labor and Social Security.

– Have you had to see Iglesias in the negotiation of the SMI?

– Intervened in the closing of the figure. But the complicated thing was to bring the CEOE into the negotiation, knowing that there was going to be a pull of relevance. The trick, in quotes, is that the CEOE has understood that the agreement is better than being in the trench.

– Does this mean they have had to “swallow”?

– The reading of the CEOE is that, unless Catalonia dynamite everything, a very powerful reform will be undertaken and it is interested in addressing it from the centrality. Even more knowing the firm commitment to raise the SMI to 60% of the average salary, although we could negotiate the times. We have all had to look up. If we had thought in the short term, we would have forced a larger rise in the SMI. I also don’t know if it was the intention of the Government.

– For when the next rise to 1,000 euros?

–Now they touch on labor reform and pensions.

-Which is the limit? There has been talk of 1,200 euros …

– There has been a dance of figures. 60% of the average salary refers to the net. About 1,003 euros. We have to agree, because some have said 1,100, others 1,200. In four years we will see where the average salary is, I am not a fortune teller. What we aspire to is that nobody charges the SMI.

– 43% of farmers charge less than SMI.

– It will be because they work part time. It is said that the self-employed increase in the SMI means a rise in salary costs of twenty percent, when what they have to do is apply the agreements. There is no equivalence between being autonomous and paying the SMI to employees.

– Do you accompany Pepe Álvarez’s statements that the farmers who manifest themselves are the “landowner right”?

–Agricultural associations are right when they say that the price paid at source is very low. The problem is the oligopolistic power of the large chains, which set leonine conditions, and imports with almost slave labor. Farmers are not manipulated. We agree with them. What we do not share is to place the problem on the rise of the SMI. You can’t put people to work for a plate of lentils. A field table has to be opened.

– To study a gradual application of the SMI or compensatory measures, as President Extremadura has proposed?

– It is illegal not to apply the SMI. And more than help to perpetuate that situation, what you have to study is the market power of distributors.

– The negotiation has begun to repeal the labor reform, with red lines.

– It does not go of red lines. The last two reforms (including Zapatero’s) devalued wages and facilitated dismissal. The value of the collective agreement must be recovered. And then come precarious hiring and firing as an adjustment formula. We must put more obstacles to free dismissal in Spain.

– They are going to try to increase the costs of dismissal?

– To replace the precarious contract and dismissal as ordinary formulas for the management of companies by a model of agreed measures, some formulas must be encouraged and others discouraged. And if that’s why we have to make the dismissal more expensive, we agree. The problem is that they will want to take us to the cost of compensation.

– That’s what I’m going to …

– It is more complex than that. The debate is not whether 33 or 45 days, is that both the causes for the objective dismissal have been opened that are 20 or 12 days, as in some temporary. Compensation not given for dinner. Then, if to prevent the dismissal from being the ordinary adjustment formula, it must be increased, go ahead.

– Not yet all employment has been recovered. Do you not fear that if the next data is negative, the counter-reform is thrown at you?

–Niego the oldest. I do not believe that the labor reform has created employment. With the same legislation, in Spain there are territories that triple the unemployment rate of others …

–Because each region can take measures to boost economic activity.

–Not in labor matters. The same is that the causes of unemployment are other. In fact, in Spain less employment has been generated than in other exits of the crisis. To defend that we are going to compete with wage falls is to believe very little in Spain and send the Spanish to galleys.

– To what attributes that Madrid monopolizes almost all the employment?

– To the effect capitality and to that all the great companies of Spain have their headquarters in Madrid, which distorts the whole analysis. This allows Madrid to make irresponsible policies, almost fiscal secession, with a lack of commitment from a country incompatible with putting so many flags on the balconies. Madrid cannot generate a tax hole or aim to become a tax haven. There is no more antipatriotic policy.

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