The deal signed this monday The social agents and the Government to extend the ERTE until June have not convinced the business community. Much of the productive fabric considers that the pact reached by the CEOE is insufficient and within the bosses there has been a revolt against Antonio Garamendi for having given up on key issues such as the clause that requires maintaining employment six months after the activity resumed. The pyrrhic victory, in the eyes of many businessmen, that supposes having unlinked files of employment regulation due to force majeure of the state of alarm and the extension until June 30 has left a very bad taste in the mouth, especially in the tourism and hospitality sector, which considers that in July they will only have begun to walk after de-escalation.
For this reason they demand more and better. They demand that, in the successive reviews to be carried out under the agreement, ERTEs are extended until the end of the year, in order to save them from a guaranteed ruin that, they assure, the hoteliers will have to face at least. This has been denounced by the Barcelona Hotels Guild, through a statement in which it exposes the terrible economic and labor conditions to which the measure is leading them. In addition to an extension throughout 2020, they claim to eliminate “any condition, especially that which forces companies to maintain jobs half a year after resuming activity.”
In a country where tourism accounts for 13% of GDP – it employs 2.6 million workers – and hospitality for another 15%, of the almost four million workers who have benefited from an employment regulation file since March, more than a million belong to companies in these segments, according to data from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. For this reason, the Barcelona union remembers “the importance that the tourism industry has for the country’s socioeconomic complex and warns of the “Death blow” that this decision is for them. They claim that “the circumstances of the tourist and hotel activity” are understood to be “extremely affected”, at the very least until the end of the year.
Foment del Treball, the Catalan employers’ association, has also closed ranks with tourism companies and has proposed lengthen ERTEs, and bonuses of Social Security contributions exceptionally approved by the Government in mid-March. In Catalonia, tourism represents 12% of the wealth of this region and there are already more than 600,000 workers in a situation of employment regulation, much of it belonging to this industry.
In other regions such as the Balearic Islands, with high dependence on tourism and hotel activity, a total of 141,000 workers also benefit from the protection of an ERTE, according to data from the Balearic Government. The Executive of Francina Armengol has guaranteed that these conditions will be extended as necessary to “avoid the decapitalization of companies and reinforce the protection of thousands of workers.” In Andalusia, with nearly half a million workers in an ERTE situation, employers also demand a extension until the end of the year.
In this sense, the executive vice president of the Alliance for Tourism Excellence (Exceltur), José Luis Zoreda, has charged harshly against the “CEOE’s lack of sensitivity”. What’s more, during an interview on Onda Cero last weekend, he considered that tourism has been manifestly excluded from the agreement. The half-open door indicated in the text does not convince him, when he contemplates studying, at the time, another possible extension -of the ERTE- “in rather worse conditions than there has been now.”
The Government, the unions and the employers have signed the document that gives extra time to employers and the possibility of continuing to expand these prerogatives if activity restrictions persist for health reasons by that date. But this is almost the only concession that employers can boast about, according to sources consulted. The Government has imposed its criteria by not dropping the clause on layoffs and other conditions such as that companies cannot be domiciled in tax havens or pay dividends.
Being on the edge of a bankruptcy it is one of the conditions by which dismissals will be allowed before the mid-year stipulated in the draft Royal Decree-law. Likewise, flexibility is contemplated, since the six-month computation will start counting from the incorporation into effective work of people affected by the ERTE, even when it is partial or only affects part of the workforce. Finally, and as an addition ‘in extremis’, there is a third clause stating that “this commitment to maintaining employment will be valued based on the specific characteristics of the different sectors and the applicable labor regulations, taking into account, in particular, specificities of those companies that present a high variability or seasonality of employment “. A relief for the tourism industry.
On the other hand, the transition from ERTE from force majeure to ERTE for organizational reasons, technical, economic or production. ERTEs for organizational, economic, technical or production reasons that begin after the entry into force of this new decree and until June 30 will be explained the special characteristics established in the regulation of March 17. The latter will also be allowed to be processed while a force majeure ERTE is in force.
The decree creates a tripartite monitoring committee for the lack of confidence, which will be made up of the Government and the social partners and that will meet regularly on the second Wednesday of each month. The objective of this commission will be to monitor the measures adopted in the workplace “during the phase of attenuated exceptionality”, exchange data and make proposals.
It will be this tripartite commission, which will meet regularly on the second Wednesday of each month, which will decide which sectors will need to continue with (ERTEs beyond June 30.