Friday, March 24

The minimum wage will rise 8% to 1,080 euros in 2023

Vice President Yolanda Díaz, in the meeting she held with the unions. / CR

The Government finally opts for the high range recommended by the experts and reaches an agreement with the unions but without the support of the CEOE

Lucia Palacios

The Government will raise the Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMI) by 8% in 2023 until it stands at 1,080 euros per month, divided into 14 payments. This was agreed on Tuesday by the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, with the unions after a marathon day of negotiation, although it was the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who was in charge of making the announcement during his appearance in the Senate.

The CEOE, for the third consecutive year, backed out of a tripartite agreement and even refused to go to the negotiating table, maintaining the veto to sit down with the Ministry of Labor, which it accuses of being a “traitor” for failing to comply with the agreement. achieved with the labor reform. The tension between the Executive and the employers is increasing after the latest statements by members of United We Can charging against some businessmen, particularly against Juan Roig, president of Mercadona. And the words of Sánchez this Tuesday, who criticized companies that pay “millionaire bonuses” to their managers and “do not raise a penny” to their workers, will help little to alleviate this anger.

The increase of 80 euros per month will benefit some 2.3 million workers –according to estimates made by CC OO– and will have a retroactive effect from January 1. In this way, companies will have to update payrolls in February and also pay the increase corresponding to January. Due to this new increase, companies and the self-employed will assume an additional cost of more than 3,000 million euros this year, according to calculations made by this newspaper, since each worker will entail an extra expense of more than 1,500 euros between salary and contributions.

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The Government has finally opted for the high range of increases recommended by the committee of experts, which last December sent the ministry a report in which it estimated that the minimum wage should be between 1,046 and 1,082 euros per month to reach the 60% of the average salary, which is the legislature commitment that the Executive chaired by Pedro Sánchez had acquired in order to comply with what the European Social Charter mandates.

This is how Díaz remembered it as soon as Sánchez’s announcement was made known through Twitter. “Thanks to the agreement with unions, we make effective one of the great commitments of the legislature: reach at least 60% of the average salary,” he wrote on the social network.

The pact with the unions has not been easy. The first meeting led by the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, failed in its attempt to reach an agreement and, therefore, Díaz took the reins of the negotiation and immediately summoned the leaders of the two majority unions, Pepe Álvarez, on behalf of the UGT; and Unai Sordo, from CC OO.

Loss of purchasing power

The objective of the UGT and CC OO was to approach 1,100 euros per month so that the most disadvantaged group in the labor market could face the current escalation in prices, but they finally gave up and accepted Díaz’s proposal. It should be remembered that this increase is less than the revaluation of pensions and does not prevent this group of workers from losing purchasing power, since average inflation closed 2022 at 8.5%, five tenths more than what their salaries are now increasing .

“It has been a long meeting, a tough, complex, but satisfactory process,” Álvarez celebrated at a press conference, which stressed that 20% of working women will see their income increased.

Both the ministry and the unions charged against the “irresponsibility” of the employer for not going to negotiate. «I am deeply saddened that the Spanish employers are not sitting at the table, a measure that is going to affect millions of people cannot have an absent employer. It is irresponsible”, denounced the Secretary of State, who stressed that “it is not acceptable” that the CEOE “disregards” “one of the most important decisions that the Government is going to make in labor matters during the year 2023”. ..

“That the employers have not attended today’s meeting is neither an anecdote nor a tantrum, it is an attitude that must be reproached,” criticized Sordo, who, however, was willing to sit down “this very night” with the employers to address a new collective bargaining agreement that marks the rise of workers covered by an agreement.

Anger of the CEOE

The businessmen, however, blamed the Government for not having presented an approach throughout the month and for not having responded to their proposal, which they sent on December 21, in which they opened up to assume a rise of 4% up to 1,040 euros per month in exchange for public contracts being indexed to this increase, so that companies can pass it on, and prices in the agricultural sector are reduced by 20%.

«If I send someone to the table, because technical people go, they do not have the ability to say yes or no because we do not have a proposal. The minimum is to send a proposal“denounced the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, on Tuesday.

Garamendi reproached Díaz for “just looking for a photo” and recalled that the rise of the SMI is a power of the Government, after consulting the social agents, and this had already been carried out at a dialogue table on December 21, a meeting in the one that the bosses also planted at Work.

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