The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, appeared in Congress this Monday for the first time since it was known last week that she will be vice president of the Government in replacement of Pablo Iglesias.
And, although she wanted to be cautious and did not offer too many details about the recently resumed table with employers and unions for the dismantling of the labor reform, she did ensure that Spain has committed to the EU to approve these “structural reforms” this year .
This was stated by Díaz in the Labor Commission of Congress, where he appeared at his own request and where the fundamental issue of the questions asked by the parliamentary groups was the same: what will happen to the labor reform, which the Government has committed to repeal in its most harmful aspects.
Negotiations with employers and unions resumed last week after a year halted by the pandemic, and Díaz, as usual, did not want to offer too specific an estimate of a date for its completion.
The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, in Congress. Díaz admits that “he was stunned” at being proposed to relieve Iglesias and warns that he will not “discuss positions”.
However, the Minister of Labor did point out that Spain has sent a series of long-term economic plans to the European Commission, including some that affect the labor market. And he assured that “the Kingdom of Spain has committed to these structural reforms” and they will have to be carried out “this year” , although at no time did he expressly refer to the repeal of the labor reform, but to “modernization” of labor relations.
These reforms include the recovery of “balanced collective bargaining.” This means that Trabajo wants sectorial agreements to be given priority over company agreements, to avoid the prevalence of documents signed under business pressure and to “rebalance” the balance. Díaz was harsh with the current regulations on this matter, which the PP approved in 2012, and assured that it has been a “failure”, and maintained that his ministry seeks that collective bargaining is “between equals” so that there are “no distorting effects. “in labor relations.
Ultraactivity and types of contracts
Among these reforms is the recovery of the ultra-activity of the agreements, by which these agreements are automatically extended if at the expiration date there is no agreement between the company and the workers to replace them. Recovering this characteristic is one of the keys to what Trabajo and Díaz herself qualify as the “Statute of Workers of the XXI century”, the update of the labor legislation to which the minister aspires during the legislature.
Likewise, the minister pointed to the reduction of the types of contracts as an objective of the negotiation that has been launched, although she warned that she is not at all in favor of the implementation of a single contract.
Díaz said that the default contract must be “stable”, which includes the “discontinuous fixed” ones, and affirmed that the number 1 objective in this sense is to end the “precariousness” that causes the abuse of temporary contracts. “We have to have a temporary contract, but it has to be with just cause,” he settled.