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Yolanda Díaz repeats as Minister of Labor and vice president in the new Sánchez Government

Reduction of the working day to 37.

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Yolanda Díaz repeats as Minister of Labor and vice president in the new Sánchez Government

Reduction of the working day to 37.5 hours per week, dismissal reform and increase in the SMI by law, among Díaz's challenges for this legislature


The Galician Yolanda Díaz (Fene, 1971), leader of Sumar, will repeat as Minister of Labor and Social Economy and vice president in the new coalition government led by Pedro Sánchez.

Graduated in Law from the University of Santiago de Compostela and a labor lawyer, Díaz comes from a family of historic union members and held various institutional positions since 2003, when she achieved the position of councilor in the Ferrol City Council.

In 2005, after assuming the position of national coordinator of Esquerda Unida - the federation of IU in Galicia -, which she held until 2017, she was a candidate for the Xunta and repeated in 2009, being left out of Parliament on both occasions.

Díaz managed to enter the regional chamber in 2012, although this time he did so with the Alternativa Galega de Esquerdas (AGE) coalition that he formed together with Anova and led by the historic nationalist Xosé Manuel Beiras.

Precisely for that campaign, Díaz signed the still unknown Pablo Iglesias as an advisor, then his friend and today faced with the 'marginalization' of Podemos within Sumar, the political space that the Galician created for the last general elections.

Díaz made her leap into national politics in 2015, when she ran as a candidate for Congress for A Coruña in the general elections of that year with the En Marea coalition, which was formed by Esquerda Unida, Podemos and Anova when the state-level agreement with IU it had been impossible.

After winning a seat, she became one of the key members of the parliamentary group due to the relationship of maximum trust that she had with Iglesias at the time and for being one of the deputies with the most experience in some important issues, such as Employment and Industry.

Thus, Díaz was one of the most visible faces of the left-wing coalition on pensions, both in parliamentary debates in Congress and in demonstrations and mobilizations outside of it.

In January 2020, the Galician politician was appointed Minister of Labor and Social Economy by Pedro Sánchez as part of the quota of Ministries assigned to Unidos Podemos within the coalition Government.

In March 2021, after the departure of Pablo Iglesias from the Executive, Sánchez appointed Díaz third vice president of the Government and just a few months later, in July of the same year, she rose to the Second Vice Presidency, always retaining the Labor portfolio.

A "tireless" negotiator, as her counterparts have come to describe her, Yolanda Díaz managed to carry out several reforms in the last legislature with the help of social agents, such as the 'Rider Law' and the famous labor reform of 2021, one of the commitments included in the Spanish Recovery Plan for the receipt of European funds.

Looking ahead to the new legislature, which Sánchez will lead from a Government supported by an amalgam of parties, there are several challenges that Díaz will face from his Labor portfolio, many committed to the pact between PSOE and Sumar for the constitution of the new Government.

Among them are the reduction, in two phases, of the working day from 40 to 37.5 hours per week; a new regulation of dismissal that complies with European legislation, reinforcing the causes of dismissal; and the continuity of the upward path of the interprofessional minimum wage (SMI), so that the Workers' Statute reflects that it must be adjusted to 60% of the average wage.

In fact, Díaz announced a few days ago that, among his most urgent plans, is to convene unions and employers "immediately" to negotiate a new increase in the SMI, currently located at 1,080 euros per month for fourteen payments.

According to the text of the PSOE-Sumar agreement, the economic policy of the next Government will be aimed at achieving full employment and ensuring that the unemployment rate converges with the European average throughout the legislature and, in any case, and in line with the rest of the EU economies, placing the employment rate "above 70%".

After the labor reform carried out in the previous legislature, PSOE and Sumar intend to achieve "a second wave of labor rights" in the next four years, culminating in a 21st century Labor Statute, whose objective will be to establish "a basic network of rights for all those who provide professional activities.

This Statute, states the document signed between PSOE and Sumar, will reinforce the guarantees of workers in substantial modifications to working conditions and layoffs and the causes for benefiting from these procedures will be reviewed only in situations that affect the viability of the company.

Likewise, Díaz wants to establish guarantees for workers against dismissal, complying with the European Social Charter and reinforcing causality in cases of termination of the employment relationship. "The time has come to call for dismissal and we are going to regulate it in accordance with European legislation," the then acting second vice president emphasized a few weeks ago.

Regarding the reduction of working hours, the coalition's approach is to reduce the maximum legal working day to 37.5 hours per week, without salary reduction, progressively: it will drop to 38.5 hours per week in 2024 and until 37.5 in 2025.

From then on, a table will be established with social agents to evaluate the results of this measure and continue to advance in the reduction of the legal working day "taking into account the characteristics of the different sectors of activity, the evolution of productivity and the circumstances economic". For Díaz, this will be the legislature "to gain time for life."

Regarding the SMI, the objective of the new Government is for it to continue growing throughout the legislature to ensure its purchasing power, establishing in the Workers' Statute that it will increase "in step with 60% of the average salary."

Díaz will also have to face the reform of the level of unemployment assistance, committed to in his pact with the PSOE, with the idea of ​​facilitating access and compatibility of subsidies with work, providing it with "sufficient" benefits and reinforcing incentives to work. employment.

The parties have also signed their commitment to approve a Time Use Law, another to promote the Social Economy, and the Scholarship Statute, which were pending in the previous legislature.

PSOE and Sumar have also agreed for this legislature to promote more effective participation of workers within their respective companies; develop business representativeness rules, especially those related to the greater representativeness of SMEs in social dialogue, collective bargaining and institutional participation.

Likewise, they commit to updating the representativeness of the self-employed group "through a system based on democratic principles" and to promote a law of institutional participation that regulates the presence of social agents in the various bodies of public administrations.

But in addition to the commitments included in the PSOE-Sumar agreement, Yolanda Díaz must manage from her Ministry Sánchez's commitment in his agreement with the PNV to establish the prevalence of regional agreements over national ones, an issue that was already on the table the last legislature and that was not incorporated into the labor reform due to lack of agreement between the parties.