The incorporation of representatives of the Ministry of Economy to the negotiating table in which the future of the labor reform is settled, in accordance with the pact between PSOE and United We Can, has stimulated social dialogue. The employers have welcomed with more joy than the unions the presence at the table of members of the department of Nadia Calviño, whom they consider closer to their postulates than to the Ministry of Labor, headed by Yolanda Díaz.
“There is only one government and we negotiate with it,” said Antonio Garamendi, president of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), during an informative breakfast. “I’m not in the game of whether I love Daddy more than Mommy,” she added later. Although the leader of the businessmen distributed pinches to the vice presidents – ”This [la reforma] It is much more complex than talking about the war between two ministers ”- Garamendi reiterated that the will of his organization and that of Cepyme (the employers’ association of small and medium-sized companies) is to maintain dialogue, regardless of who is in charge.
“In all the negotiations we think that we are negotiating with the Government. Who decides the Government who is at the table or how it is organized is up to it, “acknowledge sources from the CEOE. Regarding the alleged “interference” by Calviño that originated the crisis between the Government partners, Garamendi was quick to contain the blow to the economic vice president: “I am interested not only in what the Ministry of Employment says, but also in the European Commission, the IMF, the OECD, the Bank of Spain and I am also interested, how could it be otherwise, what the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Education say … “.
Suspicion in UGT and CC OO
The harmony between Calviño and the businessmen has been observed in other negotiations, such as that of the minimum interprofessional wage (SMI). The employers justified their refusal to increase the minimum pay set by the Administration in the impact that the rise could cause on employment, something that the socialist wing of the Government, and particularly Vice President Calviño, valued in the same way. It was not until the praise of international organizations such as the IMF for the recovery of Spain that the Government opened the lock and agreed with the unions to increase the SMI to 965 euros per month in 14 payments.
The entry of representatives of the Economy, however, generates some suspicion among the unions, mainly due to the moment in which the negotiations are taking place. Internally, sources from the UGT and CC OO, the most representative organizations with a seat in social dialogue, reduce the importance of the political agreement because they consider that it does not alter the basis of the negotiation. However, publicly, the leaders of both centrals have given some more shine to the white smoke of PSOE and UP.
“Anything that involves intense coordination in the Government and that the positions are collegiate is going well for us, because it gives more reliability to the table,” said Unai Sordo, leader of CC OO. Although he warned later: “The problem would come if the proposals that have been brought to the table are reviewed, because part of the negotiation, the one that has to do with collective agreements, is very mature.” Pepe Álvarez, secretary general of the UGT, was somewhat less effusive with the resolution of the conflict: “All this has been a storm in a glass of water.”
“In the same way that we carry the representation that we consider appropriate, but we speak with a single voice, we take it for granted that the Government does it,” they point out from the CEOE. Sources familiar with the negotiation, which experienced its last chapter this Wednesday, point out that this was “especially good”, since different proposals were presented “by all parties” on various sections of it.