Álvarez (UGT) asks to address in this legislature the 35-hour week, the automatic rise of the SMI and the dismissal

He asks politicians to "land" and address "human issues": "People talk little about independence and do talk about their problems at the end of the month".

Álvarez (UGT) asks to address in this legislature the 35-hour week, the automatic rise of the SMI and the dismissal

He asks politicians to "land" and address "human issues": "People talk little about independence and do talk about their problems at the end of the month"

The general secretary of UGT, Pepe Álvarez, has shelled this Wednesday the priorities of his union for the current legislature, including the implementation, by law, of the 35-hour work week; the increase in the cost of unfair dismissal and the establishment, in the Workers' Statute, of an automatic system, similar to that of pensions, so that the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) always equals 60% of the average salary.

At a press conference, the UGT leader has stated that the current amount of the SMI does not "really" represent 60% of the average salary and has defended, using data from the Tax Agency on personal income tax returns, that in order to comply with this premise, Right now it would have to be located at 1,200 euros per month, compared to the current 1,080 euros.

In addition to the automatic rise of the SMI using data from the Tax Agency as a source for its automatic revaluation, Álvarez has elaborated on the need for the 35-hour work week to be implemented in this legislature, without loss of salary for workers, for later walk around 32 hours a week.

"In Spain, the maximum working day in the Workers' Statute has not been touched for almost 40 years. It is evident that in 40 years the levels of productivity in our country have increased visibly in all sectors, in some in a spectacular way Today to build a car, 30 fewer workers are needed than forty years ago, and that must also be reflected in the maximum legal working day", he defended.

Thus, the UGT leader wants this legislature to reform the Workers' Statute so that the maximum legal working day changes from 40 to 35 hours per week, but without loss of salary for workers.

"If we have a maximum workday of 35 hours for all the productive sectors of our country, without a doubt that will allow us to be able to advance in relation to the 32-hour week through collective bargaining. In fact, the working day in our country today it is just over 37 hours on average", he explained.

Along with this, Álvarez believes that in this legislature other issues of the labor framework would have to be addressed immediately, what concerns the price of unfair dismissal because, as he has denounced, firing in Spain is "cheap."

For Álvarez, the current price of unfair dismissal is "more symbolic than restorative" for the person who is dismissed and understands that, if the Government does not voluntarily address this issue, it will be forced by Brussels when it rules on the lawsuit filed by the union before the Court of Social Rights.

The union defends that in the cost of unfair dismissal other elements must be introduced to take into account when setting the compensation, such as the personal situation of the worker, his level of seniority or his training.

Álvarez has also affirmed that, contrary to what the employers defend as a "broken record", raising the price of dismissal will not negatively affect employment.

Likewise, the union leader has advocated introducing improvements in labor intermediation so that the 2.7 million Spanish unemployed have opportunities to return to the labor market. "Public employment services, in some cases do not work (...) We need unemployed people not to be a number, but to be men, women, with a face and eyes, that they be cared for, that they have a resume, that they can be trained and that a path of insertion is made," he stressed.

For the UGT leader, the ratios currently awarded to public employment service counselors (2,200 unemployed per counselor) are "absolutely incompatible" with this personalized attention. In his opinion, companies, which complain that there are unfilled vacancies, "have to get used to the fact that the way to hire workers is through the public employment services."

At this point, Álvarez believes that the Employment Law approved by the Government "does not address the structural problem of unemployment", so this is something that must be discussed, also with the commitment of the autonomous communities, "which have transferred powers, which often turn into incompetence".

"Honestly, there is no will to work so that the employment services can really work (...) That is why it seems to us that there has to be a commitment that goes well beyond what we have today in the Employment Law," he opined.


Álvarez has stressed that this legislature must start "from the achievements and conquests of social and labor rights" achieved in the previous four years, respecting, therefore, the reforms achieved in the labor market and in the pension system, something of which he has said that any candidate for the investiture should be "aware", in reference to the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

For this reason, the leader of UGT has considered "the least risky" that the proposals that Feijóo offered to the current President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, for his possible investiture would include a large pension agreement. "The pension agreement is done. The pension agreement was voted on in Congress (...) It is a closed chapter from our point of view, there is no reason to reopen it," Álvarez emphasized.

The union leader has urged politicians to "land down" and "put on overalls" to talk about "human and not divine issues", that is, what really matters to citizens, whose concerns go through reaching end of the month and not for issues such as the independence of Catalonia.

"It seems very good to me to talk about the things that each person wants, but I am above all concerned about the things that the vast majority of people, the workers, want. And if you go out into the streets, I think you talk little about independence "They talk a lot about their problems making ends meet, the rise in prices, low salaries and the impossibility of having a home," he noted.

Thus, the UGT leader has indicated that the conditions that the Catalan parties are talking about to invest Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government are not conditions that mobilize millions of citizens.

"Imagine what a surprise that they proposed that 35 hours a week were a necessary condition to be able to invest the future president of the Government. Having said that, things must be said by their name. Today I have listened to someone who, very emphatically, defended that a Amnesty is that the State asks for forgiveness. I have gone to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language to find out what amnesty means. And amnesty means that the State forgives, that it is the State that forgives. Therefore, what it implies is that whoever asks for amnesty is asking for forgiveness", he added.

Álvarez believes that it is necessary for the investiture process to be carried out in the shortest possible time, but within the framework of the Constitution, because the Magna Carta "is not chewing gum." "In any case, when it was done, the constituents were aware that there was a broad framework to be able to interpret it," he specified.