“Without a doubt.” Yolanda Díaz has responded so forcefully this Monday about the Government’s intention to extend the ERTEs, maintaining the employment safeguard clause that prevents the firing of companies benefiting from this tool, financed by a significant amount of public funds. “The mechanism that we have now designed has worked very well. From the first rule to the last,” said the third vice president of the Government and Minister of Labor in an interview in Al Rojo Vivo de La Sexta. “What works that is not touched”, has defended.
Labor requires companies to return all aid if they lay off in the six months after an ERTE
The vice president has announced that she will convene the majority unions and employers on May 6 to negotiate the next extension of the ERTE (temporary employment regulation files) linked to the pandemic, which expire in their current conditions on May 31. The social agents have been meeting with the Government continuously in the tripartite commission that evaluates the operation of this mechanism, but on May 6, negotiations on its continuity officially begin.
Yolanda Díaz had already said publicly that she is in favor of maintaining the ERTE in conditions “similar” to the current ones, while the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, and the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, have emphasized the need to further encourage the incorporation of ERTE workers into the activity. Díaz has expressed that, “although vaccination is going very well,” there is still a large population without vaccination and there are important limitations to activities such as “tourism, culture and transportation,” among others.
The Labor Minister responded this Monday that her wish is for the job suspension tool to be maintained with the same scheme last May, including the limitation on dismissal. “Let us preserve what is positive for society. Now reopen the debate on what mechanism we want, I think it is not adequate,” he said.
At this time, the restriction on dismissals is applied in two directions: through the so-called ‘no firing’, by which objective dismissals are vetoed due to the pandemic in which companies can apply an ERTE (Article 2 of Royal Decree 9/2020), and through the six-month employment safeguard clause in ERTE, by which companies must maintain employment at that time after a file.
The employers have tried in all the extensions of the ERTE that these limitations on dismissal disappear given the economic difficulties derived from the pandemic.
Opposition with Calviño on the SMI: “It’s a mistake”
Yolanda Díaz reiterated this Monday again her rejection of the freezing of the SMI (minimum interprofessional wage) that the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, has defended and continues to defend. “I have a discrepancy with that decision of Nadia Calviño that is known. Nadia Calviño defended before the pandemic not to raise the SMI and continues to defend exactly the same. I think it is a mistake, when it is the most needy who would be most reflected that SMI “, has expressed.
Regarding the next pension reform that the coalition government intends to undertake, headed by José Luis Escrivá, the Minister of Labor has highlighted “the important step” that was taken last week at the social dialogue negotiating table. In it, the minister yielded to the requests of the unions so that the new formula for the revaluation of pensions allows the gain in purchasing power in the years of negative CPI, without having to ‘return it’ in the following three years.
“What has been said about the revaluation goes in the right direction,” said Yolanda Díaz. “It goes in the direction of the Toledo Pact and what we have signed,” he added.
On the layoffs announced by large financial institutionsLike Caixabank and BBVA last week, Yolanda Díaz has urged banks to “rethink” the job adjustments they have announced and to “rise to the occasion.” Díaz has warned that, although the banks have not taken advantage of the ERTE, they have benefited in recent years from public money through the so-called bank bailout.
The minister recalled that the labor reform of the PP eliminated the need for an ERE to have administrative authorization, so that the Ministry of Labor “cannot do anything” in these collective dismissals, although it can mediate. “We can mediate and that is what we will do,” he added.