After the controversy, the first explanations arrive. The employers Association of Consulting Companies (AEC), which represents multinationals such as EY, Deloitte, KPMG or Accenture and technology giants such as IBM and NTT Data, has spoken this Thursday afternoon about its proposal to extend ordinary working hours until 12 noon in the collective agreement that negotiates with the unions, which has been published by elDiario.es. The business organization ensures that the intention is that “the working day can be extended in specific cases” and defends that “flexibility is essential”. In addition, the AEC has decided to leave the negotiating table of the agreement.
Very long hours are the most lethal labor factor for workers
His proposal to extend working hours, as well as the desire for Saturdays to become part of the ordinary working week, was contrasted by this means after the CCOO’s public denunciation of these approaches in a statement. When consulted by elDiario.es, the AEC did not want to comment on the matter.
But this Thursday the employer’s proposal had a great impact, with criticism even from the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, on her Twitter profile. “Working from dawn to dusk is incompatible with health, in the office and in any other place. The 8-hour work day was conquered in 1919. Innovation is looking to the future, not going back to the past”, she pointed out about the news.
Defense of “flexibility”
This Thursday afternoon, the employers’ association – chaired by Elena Salgado, former Vice President of Economic Affairs of the Executive of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and with Jordi Casals as director – has sent a statement to the media. “The AEC has a rule not to make statements on the issues that are being negotiated, but, in this case, in view of the note released by the CCOO, the AEC considers it necessary to make” several “points”, the note collects.
The employers of consulting firms and technology companies affirm that CCOO has spread “false information and misrepresenting the well-founded proposals that the AEC has put forward”, but it does not say which ones.
Although it does not expressly refer to the desire to extend the maximum daily working day to 12 noon, compared to the current nine hours of the collective agreementthe AEC maintains that the agreed annual working day would be maintained and that what is intended is “through an irregular distribution” of the working day so that it can be extended “in specific cases”.
“Among many other proposals, companies have proposed rearranging the working day in accordance with the needs of the sector, through flexible formulas, with full respect for current legislation,” they say.
“Flexibility” is the main argument used by companies to defend this extension of working hours. “The flexibility that is essential for the development of very complex projects such as those carried out by AEC companies, in areas such as the digitalization of companies and Public Administrations”.
Get up from the negotiating table
Finally, the employer announces that it is getting up from the negotiating table of the collective agreement. “The AEC has decided to postpone the scheduled sessions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement until the conditions that allow a negotiation to be carried out in accordance with the elementary principles that must govern relations between employers and workers are restored.”
The business organization criticizes the CCOO’s public complaints, which they consider “incompatible with the required good faith that must preside over the negotiations.”
Beyond the CCOO’s complaint, this medium contacted the UGT and the two majority unions denounced the proposals and the attitude of the employers at the negotiating table of the future working conditions of the sector.