Monday, March 4, 2024

Labor will find a middle ground between employers and unions

A new attempt at social dialogue to conclude with an agreement on the revaluation of the inter professional minimum wage (SMI) for 2024. The Ministry of Labor convened unions and employers this Monday with the aim of unblocking the decision on the size of the wage increase as the minimum income, which currently stands at 1,080 euros in 14 payments. The official offer from the government is expected with today’s appointment.

Government negotiations with CCOO, UGT, CEOE, and Cepyme aim to agree on a new increase in SMI; however, the difference in the proposals put on the table so far suggests that, once again, the increase will not satisfy everyone. .

The employers proposed the most modest increase, which would include raising the minimum wage by 6.4% in total over the next two years, which would leave the SMI in 2024 at 1,112 euros (+3.4) and 1,145 (+3%) in 2025, with the option of a possible additional 1% increase if inflation deviates. The method will not reach the level of average inflation, which is expected at 3.8%—the National Institute of Statistics (INE) will confirm the CPI data for November in a few days—and, therefore, it will not be enough for labor and for unions.

Union representatives have yet to come together on a common proposal. The most concrete proposal was brought to the negotiations by the leader of the CCOO, Unai Sordo, by proposing an increase in at least the level of the increase in the average salary, which marked an increase of 5.2% in the second quarter of the year, and to set the minimum income at 1,136 euros, even if they are willing to negotiate an increase of more than 4%, as indicated by Mari Cruz Vicente, Secretary of Union Action and Employment of the CCOO, upon arriving at the meeting. From the UGT, the statements of Pepe Álvarez in recent weeks point to a more distant ideal, which will put the SMI at 1,200 euros (+11%).

In this scenario, the Labor proposal is lost, which has not been made official at the moment but shows a revaluation of the minimum wage of almost 4% (43 euros per month) where, in principle, it is not far. taken. Without knowing how the negotiations will shape the level of the increase, the Ministry led by LaDaz will ensure that the SMI does not fall below 60% of the average salary and that it does not lose purchasing power.

The current 1,080 euros per month for fourteen payments already covers 60%, so, as they show, maintaining that level without losing purchasing power requires compliance with two parameters: the average wage increases in collective agreements and inflation. Taking into account the two variables, the increase should be between 3.6%, where the average salary increase agreed in the agreement is expected to end the year, and 3.8% of inflation.

In this context, Díaz found it possible to find an agreement in the middle between 3% and 5.2%. It should be noted that without an understanding, the government can unilaterally set an increase in the SMI for the next year, although the intention of the second vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, is always to negotiate to meet the increase. from the consensus.

What they do seem to agree with CEOE and Cepyme is that this negotiation includes the need for businesses to include the indexing of contracts with public administration to SMI.

World Nation News Desk
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