Yolanda DÃaz met this morning with social agents at the Economic and Social Council prior to the negotiation that the Ministry of Labor will hold this afternoon with the same interlocutors to agree to an increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) in 2021.
In open opposition to the vice presidents Carmen Calvo and Nadia Calvio, DÃaz has declared himself in favor of raising this indicator, although so far he has not said to what extent. This morning, at the entrance of the Economic and Social Council, however, he has already advanced his opinion on the matter. “Of course, it would be very worrying news if Spanish companies could not raise workers’ wages by nine euros, of course the Ministry of Labor is concerned about companies but also about the million and a half workers that they would be negatively affected by the non-rise in the SMI “.
The nine euros marked as minimum by DÃaz refer to an increase of 0.9% in the SMI, which is currently 950 euros. This 0.9% increase would be justified because it is the revaluation that the Government has applied to the pensions and salaries of civil servants. But the curious thing is that the SMI regulation in the Workers’ Statute indicates that the factors to take into account for a rise are others such as the CPI, productivity or the share of work in the country’s income, with the current situation general economic as the basis for the final decision, which corresponds to the Government. For economists, there is no technical basis for raising the minimum wage.
And it is precisely within the Executive where the greatest shocks have been unleashed to establish what is done with the SMI in the year of the pandemic. If DÃaz advanced the rise last week on behalf of the Government without agreeing to it with the Vice President of Economic Affairs, Nadia CalviÃ±o and it unleashed all the subsequent controversy, today it has raised the pulse again.
CalviÃ ± o declares herself “in favor” of not raising it and waiting to take this measure until the recovery “is more aligned.” In statements to La Sexta, the vice president pointed out that the Government has a “very clear” commitment to raising the SMI, but “the question is whether, in the current economic circumstances, the time is right.”
“The Government has not made the decision,” he stressed in reference to the statements of the Minister of Labor. “If there is no agreement between the social agents, maybe you have to take a little time, until the moment when we have the economic recovery in line and there is greater certainty “, he explained.
In practice, conditioning the rise to an agreement is equivalent to freezing it, since the businessmen are determined not to agree to a raise. The CCOO leader has warned, Unai Sordo, understanding that CalviÃ ± o is granting businessmen “the right of veto.” But the swords are held high. DÃaz’s initiative threatens to bypass his powers so that his clash with the Ministry of Labor is resolved at a higher level by the president Pedro SÃ¡nchez and the vice president Pablo Iglesias, the two heads of the parties present in the coalition. A rise in the SMI, therefore, would disavow CalviÃ ± o, which has already been challenged by Iglesias on issues such as evictions, rent prices or labor reform. On the other hand, a victory for CalviÃ ± o would disavow DÃaz in front of businessmen and unions.
Faced with the look of the harassment by United We on CalviÃ ± o last week, SÃ¡nchez came out publicly in defense of his vice president. He highlighted its essential role in the arrival in Spain of more than 140,000 million euros in European funds for the reconstruction of the economy, an achievement that, he explained, is what has allowed the financing of ERTE, the largest Ã © the success that DÃaz boasts in managing the crisis.
“There is an open debate”, is the most that Diaz has admitted today in reference to his confrontation with Economic Affairs. In its meeting with employers and unions, Trabajo will try and extract a commitment from them. The pressure will fall on the entrepreneurs represented by CEOE and Cepyme, who have already openly expressed their opinion that, given the circumstances of the economy, the rise in the SMI must be frozen. It is a position that is difficult to reconcile with that of the unions UGT y CCOO, who advanced last week that if the Government proposes to freeze the SMI, they will understand how the negotiation for an agreement to support DÃaz is broken.
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