“Society continues to think that computer scientists are very well-paid personnel due to their high qualifications. Nothing is further from reality”. With this starting framework, the CCOO and UGT unions have announced the call for a partial strike, with two-hour stoppages for next Thursday, June 23, in the consulting and technology companies (ICT) sector, which employs half a million people. “We have at least ten professional categories below the minimum wage, which is unaffordable in a highly qualified sector and with companies that make great profits,” the trade union centrals have warned.
Protest at the doors of the management of the consultants: “Neither 12-hour days, nor remove the three-year periods”
The two-hour strike call is one more step in the mobilization of the unions against the AEC employers in the negotiation of the collective agreement, which expired in 2019 and is extended. In recent months, there have already been public complaints from both organizations for previous proposals from the companies, such as the intention to extend the maximum legal hours to 12 hours a day and the desire to eliminate the three-year periods.
CCOO and UGT have also called several protests against the employers’ association and in front of large companies in the sector, such as the so-called Big Four (Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG), with the intention of pressuring the AEC to improve the conditions of the collective agreement. Above all, they demand a boost in wages in the agreement, in many categories so low that they no longer even reach the new SMI of a thousand euros gross per month, but they also demand more rights and improvements for professionals in an emerging and growing sector in the face of the digitization.
The unions denounce that, compared to past times when wages were higher, in recent years conditions are becoming more precarious and workers are being subjected to great demands and strenuous rhythms, they explained. The desire for a greater availability of hours on the part of the companies is also a fundamental part of the mobilizations.
“They want full dedication, that your schedule be the schedule set by the client for the service, and that your life revolves around increasingly suffocating project delivery deadlines,” they denounce from UGT to explain the stoppages to the sector staff . “In exchange, they promise you variables and compensation, but then they don’t come. And what determines whether your work is valued, or not, in improvements and compensation, is the subjective and sometimes ‘arbitrary’ assessment of your boss”, continues the union.
Against a minimum agreement that allows ‘dumping’
The representatives of the workers denounce that the employers’ association AEC continues to be anchored in minimum working conditions in the collective agreement, without offering hardly any improvements with respect to the floor established by the Workers’ Statute despite being activities that demand highly qualified professionals and who have prospects growth for the coming years. “We are talking about companies with great benefits and that receive Next Generation funds”, they have warned in the CCOO regarding the companies represented in the employers’ association, which has Elena Salgado, the former vice president of Economic Affairs of the Executive of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, as executive president. , and Jordi Casals as director and general secretary.
This “minimum” framework of the agreement, the unions denounce, is allowing professionals to become increasingly precarious, both consultants and computer scientists and professionals in the area of new technologies (ICT). CCOO and UGT have criticized that there are companies that cling to the agreement to “do dumping business”, that is, to compete downward, thanks to the devaluation of salaries and conditions of the templates.
“By having such low conditions in the agreement, the client companies have learned and demand low prices”, warned José Luis Mazón, from UGT, computer scientist and head of ICT and Consulting at UGT. “Client companies began to enter a price spiral dynamic,” he criticized, with auctions weighing down project costs and employee salaries. “The public administrations have a lot to do with this”, criticized Mazón.
The unions have called for the mobilization of workers for next Thursday, in which they have called two-hour strikes per shift. “After having carried out numerous concentrations and various institutional actions, the time has come to go on strike,” they highlight in UGT.