MADRID, 6 Abr. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The general secretary of UGT, Pepe Álvarez, spoke out this Thursday against the pension reform in France, where he stressed that in Spain the contributions "of those who earn the most" have been raised through "social dialogue".
The trade unionist supported French unions on Thursday in a march in Toulouse (south of France) against the pension reform promoted by French President Emmanuel Macron, which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64 and extends the minimum listing period.
"Today I am in Toulouse in the demonstration against the pension reform in France. In France they want to cut pensions; in Spain we have raised the contributions of those who earn the most with social dialogue. All our support for the French unions", he pointed out the union leader in a tweet posted on Twitter.
Álvarez, who in addition to being general secretary of the UGT is vice-secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (CES), has attended this eleventh day of protests that the French Inter-union has been calling since January throughout the country. The Intersindical is made up of eight unions, of which five are members of the CES (CFDT, CGT, FO, CFTC and UNSA).
UGT has supported the demonstrations in France from the start and has branded Macron's reform as "aggressive". The union maintains that "nothing justifies" such a reform and supports the vision of its French counterparts, who during the negotiation asked to find new formulas for financing pensions, such as improving employment for older workers.
On the contrary, the pension reform in Spain was agreed with the signature of the unions, but not the employers' association, after months of negotiations and some delay with the commitments with Brussels.
The general secretary of the UGT published an opinion article in 'El País' on Tuesday, collected by Europa Press, in which he highlighted the "strong differences between the plans of France and Spain to guarantee the future of their public pensions".
Álvarez contrasted the situation of protests in France with the "support of the citizenry" that the reform of the second leg of the pension system has found in Spain, where the focus has been "on the increase in what is collected and not on cut benefits."
On the contrary, he reproached Macron "for having forgotten that the adjustments that focus exclusively on spending are unfair, impoverish and cause much more harm than good in the long term." Likewise, he justifies union discontent in France before the policies of his government.