By Tony Winterburn • 09 January 2021 • 10:13
Spanish Government in Talks with Unions Over ERTE Extension. image: Moncloa Press
The Spanish Government is in talks with the labour unions over an extension to the ERTE.
The Union of Associations of Autonomous Workers and Entrepreneurs (Uatae) has asked the Spanish Government to improve the conditions of the workers as a whole after the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy resumed negotiations with union representatives on Friday, Jan. 8, for the expansion of the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE).
Although they acknowledged that Minister Yolanda Díaz maintained a positive attitude to negotiate the extension of the ERTE, they affirmed that “no more time can pass without Uatae asking the Government for direct aid for the self-employed and the expansion of ERTE.”
The association demanded immediate and direct aid to strengthen the productive fabric in the face of a possible third wave of the pandemic. The secretary-general of Uatae, María José Landaburu, requested “a new social shield that promotes an effective action plan through direct aid to recover the economic activity of the most affected sectors”, in addition to “reviewing the performance of our neighbouring countries that had received aid packages to help the labour market recover.”
The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, advocated on Friday, the extension of the ERTE at least until June and for companies to be able to adjust the workforce by returning to Social Security the payments of the ERTE, not of all personnel, but only for the workers that were laid off.
Garamendi said, “Whether we like it or not, there will have to be staff adjustments. This is no longer March 2020 and companies have solvency problems.” He carried to say that what he does not want is people being forced to return all the payments for having accepted an ERTE, when it would be more logical to return the money to workers that cannot find jobs, “because if not, instead of consolidating jobs, we are going to destroy many more.” he said.
Talks are ongoing, but so far a June date has been mentioned for the extension of the ERTE.
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