Díaz pressures businessmen to agree to the extension of the ERTE in one week

The Ministry of Labor wants to assert the word of Yolanda Díaz and pressures the businessmen to agree to the extension of the ERTE within a week, so that the new scheme is approved in the next Council of Ministers. The technical meeting called this afternoon has concluded with some fringes to close, in the opinion of the Minister of Social Security, Jose Luis Escriv.

Negotiations will resume next Thursday with very tight deadlines so that, if there is an agreement, it will be approved by the directors of the social agents and taken to the Council of Ministers on January 19. Sources of social dialogue have indicated that the atmosphere between the parties seated at the negotiating table is one of understanding, with some differences in aspects such as the extent of the clause that shields against dismissal to the workers of companies that have accepted ERTE or the term until which the call would be maintained “counter to zero” whereby workers affected by regulatory file related to Covid do not consume their right to unemployment benefits.

For the moment, the clause of the dismissals remains intact, as well as the counter to zero of the rights for the collection of unemployment. The biggest obstacle that employers, unions and the government are trying to solve is the way in which companies should process changes in ERTEs that may request from next January 31. The experience lived last autumn with the irruption of the second wave and the obligation to adapt to the administrative framework designed by the Government is one of the issues that employers and unions want to avoid in this new stage, which will last until May 31.

With a third wave already present in the health field, new restrictions on mobility and hours are to be expected that could lead companies to request extensions to the number of workers affected by files. The negotiation focuses, therefore, on automating the processing of ERTEs as much as possible, be it to reduce or extend their term and their impact on the workforce.

After the failure to promote an increase in the Interprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI) which the Government rejected, Minister DÃaz announced that the negotiation to extend the ERTE should be rapid, with a deadline of January 15. The message was addressed to businessmen, who last September hurried until a few hours before the Council of Ministers their yes to the scheme that the Government was already preparing to approve.

Minister DÃaz has summoned business and union leaders to a meeting just after the ERTE negotiation. Labor wants to set a calendar of negotiations in which different reforms to which the minister has committed are addressed. The meeting generally addressed structural reforms, the evolution of social dialogue at present and the tables that will open in the coming months, as well as the use that the Ministry intends to give to European funds and with special attention to active employment policies, the youth guarantee and training.

DÃaz’s commitment is to “dismantle” the labor reform, an issue that has not been addressed until now and that has the open opposition of the Vice President of Economic Affairs Nadia CalviÃo. The delay in addressing this issue is costing the head of Labor a growing skepticism on the union side, which is already raising how it could mobilize itself to express its discomfort to the Government. In the coming months and as part of the agreement to receive funds for the reconstruction of the economy, the Executive will have to send to Brussels a plan with the labor reforms that it intends to promote. In this sense, the clash with CalviÃo, who defends an update of the Workers’ Statute rather than a dismantling of the labor reform, seems assured.