Monday, June 27

The red lines of the employers before the labor reform: limits to temporality and unionization

With a month to go before the deadline that Brussels has given Spain to have the labor reform ready expires, the employers are preparing to focus their energies on the aspects they consider fundamental: that the fight against temporality is faced without sanctions or limitations, and retain power within the company maintaining – as far as possible – some of the advantages they obtained with the Rajoy labor reform in 2012. This is what CEOE sources say to The Newspaper of SpainThey add that the final result of the negotiation will depend on the progress of the talks with the unions and the Government, but also on the opposing pressures exerted by two groups: from Brussels, the Commission and the European employers, in favor of the pact; and from within CEOE, the sectors that are considered most affected by government policies (self-employed, SMEs and farmers), which are against the agreement.

According to these sources, one of the aspects of the drafts that have been put on the negotiating table so far that most worries the employer is the presence of unions in committees negotiators required by law when a process of collective modification of working conditions is to be undertaken. Until now, in companies where there are no worker representatives (especially small ones), in these cases an ad hoc committee can be formed: employees elect three of their colleagues to represent them in conversations with the address. A formula susceptible to pressure from employers – say the unions – that can thus guarantee commissions tailored to approve without problems changes in hours or wages.

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On the other hand, the texts that are being handled in the negotiation foresee that this possibility remains only as a last option, and that in such situations the representation of the workers is usually exercised by “a union commission made up of the most representative unions and the representative unions of the sector to which the company belongs “; Only if these centrals did not show interest could the ad hoc commission be constituted. In CEOE this possible change generates a lot of resistance, because they see in it a way that unions set foot within the companies that so far have been more resistant to them, the smaller ones; For this reason, the most belligerent against this formula are precisely the organizations of SMEs and the self-employed, who want their opposition to this measure to be expressed with more force at the dialogue table.


The other matter in which the bosses want to fight more is the temporality. Employers have fully assumed that the reform that is being agreed will adopt measures against this scourge, because it is what interests most in Europe; Therefore, what they are going to focus their efforts on at the negotiating table is to channel that inevitable regulation in their favor, these sources explain. Among other things, they want to soften the strict regulation included in the latest drafts of the reform establishing when does a temporary worker change to permanent: in addition to the usual assumptions so far (such as cases of fraud, or exceeding the maximum time of temporary hiring) in the texts under discussion a general clause is established by which non-compliance with any aspect of the regulations that regulates this form hiring already supposes the fixity of the affected worker; a “death sentence for the businessman”, according to the hyperbolic expression of one of those consulted.

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The regulation of temporary employment has a lot to do with other major changes that are being debated at the table: first, the greater role that we want to give to fixed-discontinuous contracts, called to largely replace the current seasonal hires , more precarious, and second, the new ERTE, designed to relocate workers from sectors in crisis to other activities. At CEOE they see these regulations as an opportunity for businesses such as Temporary Employment Agencies, which could play an important role in the intermediation of these hires and relocations, but they also want to eliminate some of the aspects referred to discontinuous fixed that now appear in the drafts, such as that the time that these workers spend between calls to the activity is computed as seniority.

These same sources confess that although CEOE’s position at the negotiating table is to question all matters, to try to achieve progress on some flanks in exchange for giving up pressure on others, there are some areas in which businessmen have already been involved. resigned to say goodbye to the regulation of the Rajoy era. For example, this is the case of exclusiveness, the validity of expired agreements until they are replaced by others, compared to the current one-year limit set by the 2012 regulation.

Little progress in the last meeting

Employers, unions and the Government returned to negotiate yesterday, in the traditional meeting on Wednesdays, but there were no great advances, according to one of the participants. The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to training contracts, and focused on the convenience of establishing an age limit for this type of formulas (unions defend 30 to put the barrier in the years) or allow older workers to reengage in the labor market through these contracts (as proposed by CEOE). There was also talk, although little, of temporality and discontinuous fixes, although without conclusive results. The social agents are also still waiting for the announced new government proposal on the matter of erte, because it did not arrive yesterday.

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