This is how the negotiation goes to raise salaries to inflation

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The first weeks of September will decide if Spain will have a convulsive or calm autumn. At that time, unions, employers and the Government are going to resume negotiations to try to reach an income pact in which a wage increase for workers is agreed in line with inflation. Talks to this end already they failed last spring and the trade union centrals warn: if the employers do not yield, there will be strikes and mobilizations.

point of disagreement. The three parties to the negotiation had close positions in the spring of 2022, when they all agreed to address an 8% salary increase spread over three years (3.5% in 2022, 2.5% in 2023 and 2 % in 2024). However, the unions wanted to include in the pact, in addition, a salary revision clause linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the collective agreements, that is, that the agreed increase in salaries be variable based on inflation. . Something that the employers flatly refused and that, in the end, was the cause of the breakdown of the talks.

After the spring disagreement, and in the face of the incessant rise in inflation, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, tried to resume negotiations in early July, and met with unions and employers, but failed to make any progress. At the beginning of August, sources from the aforementioned ministry they explained to the daily Information that in September they would resume talks again to try to reach a definitive agreement, but they recognized that they did not see it as easy at all.

Salary or conflict. The general secretary of the General Union of Workers (UGT), Pepe Álvarez, has said recently that this week they are going to resume talks with the employers, waiting for the Government to reconvene the parties, and has warned that, “if there is no change of position on the part of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations ( CEOE), there will be demonstrations in the fall.”

The UGT leader has also indicated that the deadline for reaching a pact is set for the month of October, from which the mobilizations would begin in case of disagreement. And he has stressed that they are already preparing for it in coordination with the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and all the sectors that are currently negotiating agreements.

“The unions are determined that wages grow above inflation. We are waiting for the employer to agree to sit down. They got up from the table and have to go back. We want to avoid a wave of strikes in this country, something totally unnecessary to reach a fair agreement for the people”, Álvarez said.

The position of the CEOE. The employers, for their part, have not yet made a public statement on the matter after these statements by the unions. However, in July published an assessment of the CPI for June, which shot up to 10.2%, in which they asked not to increase prices or wages to avoid an inflationary spiral.

According to employers and various economic experts, raising workers’ salaries would mean that, sooner or later, employers would have to raise prices again to meet the higher cost of compensation, which would once again lead to claims for new salary increases, and start again, as we explained in Engadget.

Spanish workers earn less and less.  Asking for more salary is not in the plans of the majority

To avoid this and for the workers to be the only ones to bear the consequences of inflation, the parties in contention thought of the rents pact to share the costs of the price escalation: with this agreement, the workers accept more moderate wage increases of those that could be demanded due to inflation and take into account business margins, while employers commit to slightly raise wages, maintain jobs and follow a moderate path of price increases that do not fully offset the higher cost of work and production.

Loss of purchasing power. The threat of union mobilization comes just a few weeks after we learned that during the month of July Spain experienced the largest wage devaluation in its history since inflation data and general wage growth are recorded.

In July, inflation reached 10.8%, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE)while salaries barely rose 2.56%, according to July Collective Agreement Statistics of the Ministry of Labor, which shows a difference of more than eight points, the largest in the recent history of our country and which means that the salaries of the Spanish are worth less than ever.

The first weeks of September will decide if Spain will have a convulsive or calm autumn. At that time, unions,…

The first weeks of September will decide if Spain will have a convulsive or calm autumn. At that time, unions,…

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