The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, claims “respect for social dialogue” and the private company of the new government, whose names were announced on Monday. The business leader recalled that companies and their activities are the key for the country as a whole to grow and create jobs, which is one of the main objectives of the legislature. Therefore, it is committed to working with the integrity of the institution of the new Council of Ministers, where he did not go to evaluate the names, waiting to know the policies they intend to implement, as he stated in his speech at the 2023 Líderes La Información Awards, held this afternoon in Madrid.
“We have signed more than 16 agreements in recent years,” the president of the most representative business association in the country remembers, among them the labor reform, the first part of the behavior in which the pension system is changed, or the change in the contribution system for self-employed workers (RETA). Garamendi also mentioned the agreement signed by the unions in May, the Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining (AENC), where a salary increase of 10% was agreed for three years, until 2025. “I am asking for social respect in that dialogue. because in many cases, the agreement that we studied was ignored,” joked the president of the employers’ association.
The CEOE leader mentioned the main commitment of the Minister of Labor and Social Economy for the next four years: the reduction of the maximum working day to 37.5 hours for a maximum period of two years. Garamendi checked that the problem This is not the case when working hours of 40, 37, or 35 hours are set, but rather the respect of those agreed in the agreements, because there are already companies where they work under the maximum. The employers’ president appreciates that when “an effort as big as labor reform” or wage agreements is made, “if we bypass it in law, we bypass the infrastructure of social dialogue and those 4,500 open tables.”
“We want to be clear about the orthodoxy of the economy and the strictness of the budget because Europe will ask us to account, and when 2024 passes, they will tell us, gentlemen, that from now on you have to manage your country,” he said in reference to the new tax rules that must be agreed upon this semester. In this sense, they expressed that they are a little worried every time millions of dollars of spending announcements are made without calculating the corresponding income needed to sustain the new policies.
Garamendi also made little reference to the agreements that the PSOE has sealed with nationalist groups in recent weeks, according to a statement issued by the owners’ association after an urgent meeting with the federal executive. The CEOE president expressed his doubts about the violation of the separation of powers that can happen after agreements and equality between the Spaniards, which he remembers is protected by Article 139 of the Constitution. “We Spaniards have the same rights and the same obligations before the law in any of the Spanish territories,” he said.
Despite the issues that raised doubts, the representative of the business committed to working together for institutional integrity “so that dialogue can flow and the country can progress.” “There are four years left; the most important thing is that we work together to move our country forward—the companies, the businessmen, all the workers—we will always increase, and by increasing, we will do more,” he concluded.