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The reduction of the working day to 38.5 hours in 2024 will have "practically" no effect, according to CCOO

The union indicates that the second section of the reduction, up to 37.

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The reduction of the working day to 38.5 hours in 2024 will have "practically" no effect, according to CCOO

The union indicates that the second section of the reduction, up to 37.5 hours, will affect 10.3 million workers

The first section of the reduction in the working day, up to 38.5 hours by 2024 contemplated by the Government, would have "practically no effect" on the working hours of the workers affected by the agreement, since it would place it at 1,758.16 hours compared to at 1,751.56 hours, which is the average of the sectoral working day agreed in 2023.

This has been pointed out by CCOO in a study on the 'Evolution of salaries and coverage rate' presented by the general secretary of the CCOO, Unai Sordo, and the confederal secretary of CCOO Union Action, Mari Cruz Vicente Peralta, who have indicated that the second scheme of reducing the working day, up to 37.5 hours by 2025, will affect 10.3 million workers, 94% of those who have a reference collective agreement.

The average working day included in the collective agreements represents a total of 1,748.5 hours: 1,699.2 hours at the company level and 1,751.6 hours at the sector level. In this way, the reduction of the working day to 38.5 hours, taking into account the current Government's proposal, would place the working day at 1,758.16 hours for this year and the reduction to 37.5 hours would place it at 1,712.50 hours. .

Thus, for those companies that have working hours that are around the average of the agreed sectoral working day (1,751.56), the reduction to 38.5 hours "would have no effect", but the reduction in 2025 with the application of 37.5 hours per week, with an annual reduction of 39.06 hours.

However, for those companies that continue to maintain a 40-hour work day, the reduction would mean about 68.11 hours less per year by 2024 and about 45.66 by 2025. In total, their annual work day would be reduced by 113.77 hours a year.

By sectors, the countryside, commerce and hospitality would be the most affected sectors, since their hours are "higher" than the rest of the sectors, as Vicente has pointed out.

Along these lines, Peralta has indicated that workers affected by the interprofessional minimum wage (SMI) would be the most benefited by this reduction in working hours, since it is a group that "generally" has a working day of 40 hours per week.

SORDO DOES NOT TAKE AS "DISCOUNTED" AN AGREEMENT TO REDUCE THE DAY

Asked about the negotiation table for the reduction of working hours, Sordo assured that "they are fully willing to negotiate and reach an agreement" and stated that they "want" an agreement with the employers, because it would "facilitate" the application. of the reduction of the working day in each collective agreement.

"Our will is to negotiate, but we are not going to negotiate with the cards drawn and we hope that CEOE is not preparing the 'no for no' scenario. We do not take it for granted that there cannot be an agreement," he added.

THE SALARY INCREASE WAS 4.5%, ABOVE THE CPI

On the other hand, the union points out that the average salary increase agreed in the agreements signed in 2023 stood at 4.59% until December 2023, compared to an inflation that closed the month of December at 3.1%, according to provisional data from the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy, compiled by Workers' Commissions in their study.

"Not only has there been a maintenance of purchasing power, but an improvement in salaries, which was also the objective of the fifth agreement for employment and collective bargaining," said Vicente.

In this way, the number of agreements signed in 2023 has reached 1,351, 24% more compared to those signed throughout the previous year and 30% more compared to those in 2021, while total coverage reached 3 .7 million workers at the end of 2023.

Regarding agreements with economic effects in 2023, there were a total of 3,512 collective agreements, which affected 10.9 million workers and had an average salary increase of 3.47%, above inflation.

However, Peralta has pointed out that if the rise in average inflation (3.53%) is taken as a reference, the purchasing power in the agreements with economic effects for 2023 is not maintained (-0.07%). but in the case of agreements signed in 2023 they also improve purchasing power by 1.06%.

"NOT POSITIVE" DATA FOR THE SALARY GUARANTEE CLAUSE

Regarding the inclusion of the salary guarantee clause, CCOO has pointed out that the results "are not so positive", since companies continue to prefer to increase salaries further in exchange for waiving the review clause.

Thus, for all the agreements with economic effects for 2023, only 518 agreements include some type of salary guarantee clause, 14.74% of the total, which affect 23.41% of employees. "This figure has increased, but it is still not very significant," lamented Peralta.

From CCOO, they have claimed that the salary guarantee clause continues to be an "inalienable" demand to be able to maintain salaries, especially in times of uncertainty.

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