Monday, January 24

The other ‘bump’ of the labor reform: ERC asks to recover the severance pay

Gabriel Rufián and Félix Bolaños, in the corridors of the Congress.

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya threatens to complicate the legislature beyond the negotiation of the General State Budgets. The one that until now has established itself as one of the main partners of the Government will not put the easy way to the Executive between now and the end of the year, when should the new labour reform to fulfill the commitment with Brussels and have access to the next batch of European funds.

The new regulation of the labor market is presented as one of the axes of the legislature and its special size has led in recent days to an open war within the coalition, where the two souls of the Government struggle to put their flag, one of a social democratic court and another more union one.

Nadia Calviño and Yolanda Díaz have been the protagonists of the confrontation, which exploded in the air last week and in which the Prime Minister himself had to intervene, Pedro Sanchez, to establish the common bases of this reform, which was already being negotiated since March by the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor.

If the agreement on the scope of the reform is presented as one of the main battle scenarios within the Executive between now and December, it will not be less in the field of parliamentary negotiation, where they will have to convince the Government partners of validate the Royal Decree to be approved in December. And at this point, ERC can become a problem, given the demands you plan to put on the table.

Two months from the horizon given to Europe to carry out the reform, and in a difficult negotiation where unions, employers, the socialist wing and the government’s dwelling wing are present, the Republicans ask recover aspects prior to the 2012 labor reform promoted by the PP. The most difficult to achieve – due to the frontal opposition of the employers and the request to make the Brussels market more flexible – is to recover the 45-day indemnities of salary per year worked – up to a maximum of 42 months – once the unfair dismissal has been declared, instead of the current 33.

This aspect had already been parked by the Minister of Labor and by the unions. In the meetings that ERC held with Yolanda Díaz in the summer, the Catalans already put this aspect on the table, but the leader tiptoed past. Until now, social dialogue has focused on limiting temporary employment in companies, but the costs of dismissal have remained outside “the perimeter of the negotiation,” explain sources of the conversations.

Although the UGT and CCOO have raised the issue of compensation on different occasions, no serious attempt has ever been made to discuss it. However, from ERC they present this point as one of the keys to support what will be the star measure of a minority government.

Regain control of the Government to the ERE

Another aspect in which they are focused is on recovering the call processing salary, a figure that was in the previous labor regulation and was abolished in the 2012 reform. This salary would imply the obligation of the employer to pay the wages not received by the employee from his dismissal until his judicial resolution of inadmissibility. At present, they are only paid in the cases in which the contracting party opts for reinstatement or in those cases where null-not unfair- dismissal is declared.

ERC also claims to recover another key aspect that was eliminated in the first legislature of Mariano Rajoy and to return to the administrative intervention in the EREs or ERTEs, which places the Government as the authority empowered to authorize collective dismissals or measures such as suspension or reduction of working hours.

Last May, the Minister of Labor opened up to recover this aspect, although no progress has been made in this regard. In a plenary session in Congress, Díaz criticized the PP labor reform and, at the request of the deputy of EH Bildu Oskar Matute to reestablish this mechanism in the face of the “cascade of EREs” that were taking place, the leader agreed with him and defended that the government “will look for a formula that allows us to act“. The minister’s determination to introduce this modification is clear, but after seven months of negotiation, it is presented as a stranded issue.

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