Division of opinions among Catalan employers on one of the objectives of the labor counter-reform that the Government intends: to recover the prevalence of the sectoral agreement over that of the company.
“A company agreement cannot serve to cannibalize the market”, declared the president of Pimec, Antoni Cañete , in a debate organized this Friday by the Col·legi d’Advocats de Barcelona ( ICAB ). A position that closes ranks alongside the unions and against the advice of the other large Catalan business organization, Foment del Treball , which has reiterated its refusal to negotiate any change in this regard.
One of the many aspects that the PP labor reform modified in 2012 was to give priority to company agreements over those of the reference sector. A modification for the sake, as justified then by the Executive of Mariano Rajoy , of the flexibility of the companies to adapt their working conditions to the concrete reality of their centers.
And that later led to sources of precariousness such as multi-service companies , which fell down from the conditions of the sector and made the minimum wage the most common (if not the only one).
Not all firms that have a company agreement are multiservices – Seat , for example, is also governed by its own agreement, which improves the sector – but they are one of the clear examples of when this formula serves to compete with the drop in salary conditions.
2020 closed with 545,008 workers throughout Spain governed by a company agreement; 51,218 of them located in Catalonia; according to data from the Ministry of Labor.
Multiservice companies specialized in cleaning, surveillance, housekeeping or telephone service profiles, among others, are in many cases large companies that win large tenders for public services, driving down wages. Well, they can present a lower cost for performing the service, given their lower salaries.
In this sense, the SME leader has charged against these ” false doors ” to gain competitiveness at the expense of workers’ salary conditions. A position shared with CCOO and UGT and in disagreement with Foment.
Foment asks to negotiate the counter-reform as a whole
The government’s labor counter-reform is currently at social dialogue tables. There are four meetings, focused on subcontracting and on making the sector agreement prevail in these companies. No agreement yet and with indications that the talks are going for a long time, as the bosses start in castling positions.
The director of labor relations of Foment, Javier Ibars , has criticized the “strategy of dividing matters” of the Ministry of Labor, since he understands that “it really prevents visualizing this reform as a whole” and “the necessary balance” that the employers seek ; at a table where they have more to lose than to win.
The unions, however, are happy to go by parts, because “it is impossible to find a consensus on a comprehensive reform, the negotiation would be endless”, as stated this Friday by the Secretary General of the CCOO de Catalunya, Javier Pacheco , in the debate organized by ICAB.
Foment has also advocated for the implementation of the laws that give shape to this counter-reform through the preliminary bill. A path that, unlike the royal decree, does not come into force immediately and allows a parliamentary procedure with the capacity of the political parties to introduce modifications. “We need immediate reforms, not roads that take half a year,” replied the general secretary of the UGT, Camil Ros .