Spain, go again and again on the minimum wage
The Ministry of Labor and Social Economy, headed by the second vice-president, Yolanda Díaz, called the unions CC.OO. and UGT, and the employer associations CEOE and Cepyme to a meeting on September 1.
The government’s intention, supported by the UGT and the CC.OO., is to once again raise the minimum inter-professional wage (SMI), which last year stood at 950 euros.
Professional organizations are opposed to it, even if, as the President of the Spanish Confederation of Professional Organizations (CEOE), Antonio Garamendi, reminds us, raising the SMI is a power of the government after consultation with the social partners. It is in fact a decision of the executive.
The employers’ refusal is based on the current economic situation – according to the Bank of Spain, one in four Spanish companies is in insolvency – and on the fact that the SMI increased by 31.8% between 2018 and 2020, something new in the Spanish economy. According to the Bank of Spain itself, the sharp increase in the SMI in 2019 would have cost 180,000 jobs.
For months, Nadia Calviño, First Vice President and Minister of the Economy, had publicly aligned with the employers, but evidence that the PSOE needs the support of Yolanda Díaz and Unidas Podemos to stay in government has forced a position change.