Díaz reveals that CEOE requested a meeting on the SMI to try to convince its Executive of the agreement

MADRID, 15 Ene.

Díaz reveals that CEOE requested a meeting on the SMI to try to convince its Executive of the agreement


The second vice president and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, revealed this Monday that the CEOE asked her to convene the social dialogue table on the interprofessional minimum wage (SMI) last week "to try to give her the possibility of resolving its Executive the agreement".

"The Spanish employers' association asked me for one more meeting to try to reach this agreement (...) I called it when the debate at the table was already exhausted. I had no reason to convene the table again and I called it again for the sake of the attempt to reach the agreement (...)", said the vice president in statements to Antena 3 collected by Europa Press.

According to Díaz, with this meeting, CEOE wanted to "reopen" the debate in its Executive in order to reach an agreement on the increase in the SMI, an agreement that, in the end, "was not possible" with the employers, but it was with the unions, and which, in any case, has been achieved "with social dialogue", the minister has defended.

Faced with criticism from businessmen that the increase in the SMI by 5% has been based on political and not technical criteria, the vice president has assured that, to decide the increase, the Ministry has based itself on the criteria established in the article 27 of the Workers' Statute.

"This article clearly tells us what the parameters are to raise the minimum wage. One, the country's economic situation. Two, productivity. Three, the CPI and other factors. And the quarterly survey is telling us that salaries in Spain are rising to 5%. Therefore, the coherent thing is, since there is no agreement, that salaries rise to that 5%," Díaz stressed.

Furthermore, the second vice president has indicated that the search for agreements "has to have incentives." "When I closed the first minimum wage agreement at 950 euros, Mr. Cuerva (president of Cepyme) himself said that they were reaching an agreement because if not, it would be raised more. Well, this is the logic of social dialogue and the search of agreements. There must be incentives between the parties," stated the minister.


Regarding the business warnings that the increase in the SMI harms job creation, Díaz has pointed out that "the employers know" that Spain currently has a "historic" level of employment, with 21.3 million people working after having created the last year 540,000 jobs.

"Therefore, this speech is fallacious, it is not real (...) This is not discussed at the social dialogue table nor is it discussed by the employers because they know that it is not true. Beyond the public speeches that are made, the employers knows perfectly well what the situation is and also knows perfectly well that salaries are rising by 5% in Spain," he stressed.

The minister also recalled that CEOE agreed with CCOO and UGT in the inter-confederal collective bargaining agreement (AENC) for a salary increase of 3% plus an additional 1% depending on inflation. "In a country where the CPI for food prices is brutal, this also has to be taken into account," added the vice president.

Asked about the criticism that the increase in the SMI has been a blow of "electoralism" as it coincides with the presentation of Sumar's candidacy for the Galician elections, Díaz recalled that the social dialogue table on the SMI was opened before ended in 2023 and that had to have closed on December 31.

"If they want to say electoralism, I'm afraid that's going to be it, because in Spain this year there are going to be multiple elections, but this social dialogue table has been meeting for some time now and the coincidence has to do with the fact that the CEOE asked me for a meeting to try to reopen the debate in its Executive. And it is also true that CCOO had an agenda problem and also asked for a specific day and a specific time. This is what happens at the social dialogue table; the rest are decorations that do not have nothing to do with people's lives," he stressed.

Regarding the complaints of social agents about the unemployment benefit reform that the Government "does not dialogue" and "only calls them for consultations and at the last minute", the second vice president has assured that the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy has social dialogue tables "open everywhere."

"It is true that the unemployment benefit reform, as it was a European milestone, had to be approved on December 31 and that is why it was via royal decree law. The social agents whom I summoned know this, but it is true that it is not "was able to open a dialogue table as I always do," said the minister, who took the opportunity to denounce the "supine anger" that people have on the streets due to Podemos's rejection of the unemployment benefit reform.