A minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) of 1,100 euros per month, 10% more than today. It is the request to the Government with which the general secretary of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, has surprised this Monday. The union leader has pointed out that, due to high inflation, “the 1,049 euros per month are no longer useful” that the committee of experts on the SMI indicated as a possible goal for 2023. “This year we should go to a minimum wage in the terms in which inflation is, that is, at 10%. Place the SMI at those 1,100 euros”, Álvarez stated in a statement to the media.
The proposals of the expert committee on the minimum wage
The rise in the minimum wage will be addressed from the beginning of September, with a first meeting of the Ministry of Labor with the committee of experts on the matter on September 2, as reported by elDiario.es. The Ministry led by Yolanda Díaz intends that the group of specialists update its recommendation thanks to the latest official data on wages, so that the goal of the SMI is redefined in 2023. The Government has committed to placing the minimum wage at 60% of the average salary this year, the end of his legislature.
Asked about the meeting, the UGT leader stated that the union wants “the report made by the experts to be reviewed”, which projected 60% of the average salary between 1,011 and 10.49 euros per month. “The 1,049 euros are no longer useful to us,” warned Pepe Álvarez.
The union leader has affirmed that the UGT does not accept this goal for two reasons: high inflation and that the report was prepared three years ago and the situation has changed since then, he indicated.
Challenge to “a Government of progress”
Thus, Pepe Álvarez has launched his proposal for a large increase (10%) in the SMI, which he has linked to inflation. The figure in absolute terms, 1,100 euros per month from the current 1,000 gross euros.
The union leader has urged the Executive to “apply the law”, although businessmen resist a rise of this caliber of the SMI, “and what is reasonable in a Government that is considered progress”, Álvarez stressed.
“A government that says it wants wages to rise, that says it wants to help people who have less to get out of this crisis situation”, recalled the union leader: “It is evident that these people are the ones who receive the salary interprofessional minimum.
“From that point of view, I want to appeal to the Government, to that recognition of recognition that says every day it says with the interpressional minimum wage. It would not only help not only people in this situation but also the country’s economy to the extent that this is brought to consumption,” Pepe Álvarez reiterated.
Last week, the leader of the CCOO, Unai Sordo, called for closing the increase in the SMI “as soon as possible” to give certainty to the workers who earn the least at this time of great price increases. Then, the general secretary of the Workers’ Commissions did not mention a proposal for an increase and demanded that the Ministry of Labor promptly summon the social agents to address the matter.
salary and inflation
The Government has so far reiterated its commitment to comply with the increase in the SMI to reach 60% of the average salary, but has not linked the rise to inflation, which has been shot at record levels for almost four decades. Neither in the case of the lowest wages (SMI), nor in the rest of remuneration -in the private or public sector-, although the Executive has called for a “rent agreement” between unions and employers to agree on increases agreed.
This income pact is a call for companies and workers to share part of the cost of the current inflationary crisis, by which both employers contain their profits, and workers see their wages rise less than the increase in the cost of living. This pact, defends the Government, is necessary to contain prices from continuing to climb, with new inflationary loops.
Businessmen and unions broke off the salary negotiation in May, without being able to agree on a midpoint in the reference to increase salaries this 2022. Pepe Álvarez has warned this Monday that “salaries are the priority” of the return to the course of September for the union, with a warning of demonstrations to employers if they remain reluctant to wage increases.
From CCOO and UGT they have insisted for months that companies are increasing prices, thus compensating for the increase in costs (especially energy costs) that they bear. However, the increases are not being transferred to wages – with much smaller increases – which is leading to the impoverishment of workers.