The time for an “immediate” rise in the minimum wage is running out and the negotiation remains entrenched. The debate is not only external, with unions and employers, but also internal. This was made public this Monday by the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, who has reiterated that businessmen are still installed in the ‘no’ to any increase in the SMI this year, so they are willing to agree to an increase with the unions. The decision, however, belongs to Pedro Sánchez and the socialist part of the Government, Díaz pointed out.
The committee of experts proposes an increase in the minimum wage of between 1.3% and 2% in 2021 in full debate in the Government
As she did on Friday, the second vice president explained that employers have not moved from their claim for “zero euros” for a rise in the minimum wage this year, despite numerous attempts to agree on the increase within the social dialogue by part of the government. “That is not negotiating,” Yolanda Díaz has reproached the employers. The Government and the unions have shown themselves open to moving into their initial positions in these weeks of dialogue.
The head of Labor and leader of United We Can within the Government has finally opted for agreeing to increase the minimum interprofessional wage (SMI) only with the majority unions, CCOO and UGT. “The position of the Ministry of Labor is clear. I would like to obtain an agreement with the greatest number of social partners. I have worked informally this weekend with the unions. I know well where the agreement can be and in this sense I tell you that the decision He is not in this part of the coalition. He is right now in the majority part of the Government, “revealed Yolanda Díaz.
Obstacles point to 2022
To have their support, the CCOO and UGT unions have demanded an increase in the SMI of between 25 and 30 euros this year, to compensate for the rise in prices, or a more limited increase this year, but with the commitment to reach a minimum wage of 1,000 euros in 2022.
The first option seems unlikely, since the Government has insisted to date on its willingness to raise the minimum wage by an amount within the recommendation of the committee of experts that advised it on the matter. This implies a monthly increase of between 12 and 19 euros per month. Although it is not ruled out either, since the Executive came to propose an increase below this range to try to bring businessmen closer to an agreement.
The second option is delicate for the Executive, because it involves agreeing on the increase for next year without counting on the employers, something against which the employers are stirring. The CEOE does not want to lose power of influence in the rise in the SMI for next year, but it remains anchored in the frontal rejection of an increase in lower wages at the end of the year.
Given the position of the businessmen, Vice President Yolanda Díaz has made a move and announced her willingness to agree only with the unions. “You have to raise the SMI. You don’t have to tell them how the CPI is and how badly people are going. The priority for the Ministry of Labor is the most vulnerable people. Those workers who are out of the agreement, They are having a very bad time. Although sometimes we are talking about symbolic amounts, they are very important for families, “he said.
“I am clear, my willingness to reach an agreement with the unions and the other part of the Government has to be the one to speak out,” reiterated Yolanda Díaz.
The Ministry of Labor has negotiated directly with Moncloa on this issue, on which Vice President Nadia Calviño has been very reticent in recent months. The ball of the “immediate” rise in the minimum wage announced by the President of the Government seems therefore to be in Pedro Sánchez’s roof. The negotiation in principle lasts another week, since the increase will not go to the Council of Ministers this Tuesday, according to government sources.