Sunday, December 3

The CEOE’s ultimatum: if the labor reform is modified, it will be removed from future negotiations

Antonio Garamendi has managed this Wednesday to put out another of the fires that threatened to get out of control in the final stretch of his first term at the head of the employers’ association: the one that burned within his organization. The president of CEOE has obtained the no objection to your position on the parliamentary processing of the labor reform in the first meeting of the year of the employers’ leadership, the Executive Committee. What’s more, the leader of the businessmen redoubles his bet: he no longer only says that “not one comma” of the labor reform will not be touched; Now he has obtained the support of his people so that, if changes are made to the agreement by the social agents and the Government with the participation of the groups that support the Executive, CEOE will refuse to participate in any table of negotiation more in what remains of the legislature, as published by El Periódico de España.

This tougher stance of the employers comes when the negotiating calendar already has important meetings scheduled for the coming weeks, such as the Interprofessional Minimum Wage of 2022 and a new phase of the pension reform.

According to sources present at that meeting, the intervention of the president hardening the line maintained until now by CEOE has not registered any intervention against. These sources, which describe the conclave as “very quiet”, underline that not only was there no opposition, but -as El Periódico de España reported- there were gestures of support in favor of the president: specifically, two interventions, one by the leader of the Andalusian employers’ association (CEA) and another by the maximum leader of the agrarian Asaja, Pedro Barato.

The latter is especially significant, because his organization was one of the four that abstained in the internal vote of the employers’ association in which it was agreed to support the agreement with the unions and the Government.

The intervention of the agrarian leader remarked the CEOE unit when a decision is made, regardless of the differences in criteria that may exist in specific matters, for which solutions must be found in the future, say those consulted. Asaja is especially reluctant to the new regulation of temporality, which he considers inadequate to deal with agricultural campaigns.

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On the other hand, the Catalan employers’ association, Foment – another of the abstentionists and also considered the most critical organization in recent times with the Garamendi leadership – has also supported the president’s position without objection in the Executive Committee on Wednesday. Its leader, Josep Sánchez Llibre, had already lowered the tension with the management by publicly expressing himself last Monday in favor of the official line, after an internal Foment circular requesting that changes in the reform be promoted in parliament felt very badly in the CEOE leadership.

With the conclave in peace this Wednesday and the public recomposition of relations between the president of CEOE and the leader of the PP last Monday, the management of the employers solves -at least for the moment- two of the focuses that have called into question the Garamendi’s leadership in recent months.