Labour Day calls for the formation of a government and the repeal of the labour reform
The leading trade unions charge against the wave of redundancies in banking, commerce and industry
Urge to form a government and repeal the labour reform. The two fundamental demands of the first of May 2021. It is impossible to understand today, Workers' Day, without bearing in mind the devastating effects that the pandemic has had on the labour fabric. This is the immediate and easy conclusion that can be drawn by visiting the usual trade union rally and listening to the demands and claims of the actors summoned. Camil Ros, secretary general of the UGT, calls for the immediate formation of a government in Catalonia, an essential step for the approval of the budgets. "We ask the governments not to lose time, the state government with the elections in Madrid and the Generalitat with the investiture. We must reactivate the dialogue table and not give in to the pressure of the lobbies to face a partial repeal of the labour reform that has been postponed for a year". Ros is clear and forceful in the portrait of the situation of the financial sector: "The banks fulfilled a fundamental social function, now they close offices massively and stop serving the elderly as they deserve".
Javier Pacheco, secretary general of CCOO, expresses himself in the same way, and calls to be vigilant with "indecent" employment regulation files that are being implemented without opposition by the administrations, a clear allusion to the redundancies the most important financial institutions in the country are preparing: "After having rescued them with the taxes of all citizens of the country now they get back to us with massive layoffs. We must strengthen the control over the financial system".
The acting Labour Minister, Chakir el Homrani, also attends the static concentration in front of the central building of Correos in Barcelona. He highlights a hopeful small change in the economic trend of the country but not enough to be completely calm: "We must reverse the precariousness, address the necessary labour reforms, respond to the redundancies and demand equal conditions in collective bargaining". The recipe, according to Eva Granados, of the PSC, is to "make room for the party that won the 14 February elections, which would allow us to address the decline of the country". Also attending the rally are other political leaders such as Jaume Asens, Joan Mena, Jaume Collboni, and Marta Vilalta.
A "very damaged" industrial fabric
The speeches from the main stage by union delegates reverberate criticism of Caixa Bank and BBVA for the forecast of layoffs and office closures. And they also point out the labour conflicts that are open right now in companies like H&M, Bosch, Nissan and Correos. There is a common diagnosis: the pandemic has wreaked havoc in companies and the failure to repeal the labour reform of the PP sets the red carpet for abusive adjustment plans. From CCOO of Nissan they emphasize that the multinational is leaving Catalonia because the Spanish legislation allows it to do so without problems. According to the UGT of the same company, a terrible cycle of job destruction has begun in the Catalan territory: "The Catalan industrial fabric is very damaged".
From the works council of H&M they denounced that the company moves from a furlough scheme to a redundancy in an unjustified manner, and that 1066 jobs are in danger in a total of ninety-four stores, thirty-two of which can close: "The company clearly bets for a low cost occupation”. In a context which is heavily marked by the effects of the global pandemic, the demands of the health sector could not be absent. From the UGT they denounce that the covid has bared the shortcomings of the sector: "We need more investment, more recruitment and contractual stability, and an end to the collapse in primary care and the unjustified outsourcing".