Sunday, November 27

Moncloa sneaks into a consumer law the regulation of temporary employment in ports

The lawyer of the Commission of Health and Consumption of the Congress, when he saw it, expressed his doubts. Said it was incongruous and there could be a contradiction with the criteria of the Constitutional Court in this regard. This is how two parliamentary sources who lived through this moment relate it: the inclusion in the consumer protection bill of an amendment to regulate temporary work in ports of the State and another for change the cadastral regime of public railway companies.

In other words: the inclusion of two very specific issues in a law on a radically different third matter.

They add those sources to The newspaper of Spain that the launch took place a few days ago in the presentation that has finalized the opinion of the bill, approved this Tuesday in Congress, in the Health Commission. The text already travels to the Senate so that, if there is a majority, more adjustments are made. There is very little to go before it comes into force.

It was a verbal warning that was not later reflected in the report on the opinion, accessed by this medium. In it, the representative of the legal services of Congress in the Health Commission draws up a kind of notarial act on the accepted amendments that would change the initial text, the one sent by the Government after approving it in the Council of Ministers. Thus, remember that the groups of the PP and of Vox protested the procedure Parliamentary followed, promoted by the majority that supports the Government, essentially PSOE and United We Can, and the incorporation of three amendments.

The literality of what the lawyer writes is the following: “Likewise, in his opinion (of the PP and Vox), amendments 44, 45 and 46 do not meet the homogeneity and consistency requirements regarding the bill, in accordance with the doctrine of the Constitutional Court, in the terms expressed by the Commission’s Lawyer. “That is, by himself. Verbally.

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The proposals

Before the deadline expired, the PSOE and United We can groups registered three striking proposals because they had nothing to do with the project that the presentation of the Health Commission was analyzing.

Suddenly, in a project aimed at reinforcing the safety of vulnerable consumers against abusive commercial practices, the PSOE, indicates one of the consulted sources, shows a strange rush to approve two new provisions: a final provision that will change the law of temporary work companies of 1994 and to regulate the Port Employment Centers and an additional one for regularize the cadastral assets of Adif The Renfe. It is then when the lawyer expresses his doubts.

But the most controversial is the first, since it affects a specific labor framework in a strategic sector, that of the State Ports.

What socialists and morados are asking for is to define port employment centers as “jointly owned companies on a mutual basis” dedicated to “optimally satisfying the common need of the partners to have specialized dockworkers in sufficient numbers and training to efficiently provide the port goods handling service “. So that it is understood: they will be the temporary hiring companies in the sector. This supposes the modification of the regulatory norm of the ETT, in force for 27 years.

The coalition partners then outline, in the same amendment, the characteristics of these port employment centers, which they call by their acronym CPE. They will be subject to the service provision framework and what is stipulated by collective bargaining in terms of appointments, shifts or rotations.

The amendment has been approved and will be part of the bill, unless the Senate abolishes the precept. It doesn’t seem likely. In fact, the content of this final provision is shared by the PP and Cs, who have abstained. What has startled them is the apparent contradiction with the Constitutional Court. The magistrates have ruled on various occasions on the consistency of the amendments presented by the groups to a law. In short, there must be a thematic connection, although the high court calls it something else.

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The precedents

This is the name. His allusion is relatively frequent in several sentences.

You don’t have to go far to find one. In November 2020, the TC issued a ruling on the appeal presented by various parliamentary groups, including the PSOE, against the additional provision of the gag law that regulated hot returns. Among the arguments used to knock down the fragment, they stressed that of connection or congruence, which in their opinion was not fulfilled here. Using the citizen security law to change the immigration law is unrelated, the appellants argued. It was an injury to Article 23 of the Magna Carta, on the legislative procedure, they added.

To resolve the issue, the magistrates took note of the allegations of the court attorney and the State attorney, who ruled out said injury and appealed to judgment 59/2015. They therefore decided that there was a connection between immigration and citizen security, even if it was minimal, and that the Chambers should enjoy a wide margin to legislate. They were based on that sentence issued five years before that was named by the lawyer and the State lawyer and which was formalized as a result of an appeal from the Generalitat of Catalonia, as it denounced the use of an amendment to include taxes other than those regulated by the project for the consolidation of public finances.

The Constitutional Court set the outline within which to meet the requirement of connection of homogeneity and flexibility that should guide parliamentary procedure.

ETT and Consumption

What the lawyer from the Health Commission warned was that introducing a regulation from a 1994 law on temporary work agencies into a 2021 law on vulnerable consumers could go beyond that contour.

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The UGT stevedoring manager, Israel Ruiz, tells The newspaper of Spain that the union was aware of what was going to happen this Tuesday in Congress. At first, they counted on a decree law that would regulate the port employment centers, but the Government informed them that in the end they would do so through a bill. They chose that one, in which a greater protection of, for example, the elderly or people at risk of exclusion. Protection in areas as diverse as information on product packaging or in the event of evictions. The PP and Vox have also seen “a legalization” of the occupation in one of the added provisions.

The regulation added in the additional provision does not meet the expectations of the stowage section of UGT, indicates its person in charge. A 2020 decree set at six months the period to regulate temporary hiring in ports for the handling of goods. Between the conditions imposed by Competition and the resistance of the employer, it could not be done. That hole is the one covered by the regulation added to the vulnerable consumers law.

Just like another amendment made by PSOE and United We Can for the incorporation to the articles of the norm of an additional twenty-second provision for the registration and cadastral regularization of railway sector assets.

It doesn’t seem like it has much to do with consumer protection. The lawyer of the Health Commission already said it. Another thing is that it is unconstitutional.

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