Spain

Implication des Syndicats dans le semestre européen
Trade Union Involvement in the EU Semester

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National Reports

Las medidas y actuaciones establecidas por el Gobierno español en el marco de los Planes Nacionales de Reforma y las políticas de austeridad de la UE son una apuesta decidida por la flexibilidad externa y no interna, una precarización de las condiciones de trabajo.
Una apuesta por un modelo productivo basado en actividades de bajo valor añadido y competitivas sólo vía precios, actuaciones políticas en las que destaca el predominio de la gobernanza unilateral en detrimento del papel del diálogo social en todo lo referente al mercado de trabajo y al empleo.
El Gobierno español aprobó en febrero de 2012 una reforma laboral sin ningún tipo de diálogo previo con las organizaciones sindicales y empresariales que chocaba de pleno con los contenidos del II Acuerdo para el Empleo y la Negociación Colectiva firmado sólo una semana antes por las confederaciones sindicales y empresariales.
Frente a la flexibilidad interna negociada que el Acuerdo preveía impuso una legislación que favorece, de múltiples maneras, la adopción unilateral por parte del empresario de medidas de flexibilidad interna y externa aunque no haya acuerdo entre las partes.
Ha posibilitado la pérdida de vigencia de los convenios colectivos tras un periodo de negociación tasado en un año por la ley, si no hay pacto en contrario, y con ello ha favorecido la devaluación y la individualización de las condiciones de trabajo.
Confederación Sindical de CCOO. Rita Moreno - rmoreno@ccoo.es - S. Acción Sindical

El impacto de la crisis está siendo muy desigual sobre los diferentes sectores productivos y sobre los territorios donde se asientan; con efectos particularmente perniciosos en las personas jóvenes y en las de edad avanzada y en los desempleados de larga duración; con un aumento de las diferencias de género en el empleo y los salarios y una mayor desigualdad social.
Se ha consumado una importante transferencia de rentas asalariadas a rentas del capital. La mayoría de la población trabajadora ha visto retroceder sus condiciones de vida y trabajo y sus derechos laborales y sociales de forma importante.
Amplias capas sociales que han caído por debajo del umbral de la pobreza, tras perder el empleo y no poder hacer frente a sus deudas económicas.
Los cambios introducidos por las reformas laborales, particularmente los que afectan a la negociación colectiva, no responden a una lógica coyuntural, sino estructural. Se aprovecha la crisis para justificar y adoptar medidas que alteran sensiblemente el funcionamiento de la negociación colectiva.
La negociación colectiva se ha visto substancialmente alterada en aspectos centrales como la estructura y articulación de los convenios, la vigencia y la eficacia general del convenio.
Favorecen una negociación regresiva de los derechos laborales y una severa devaluación salarial, y la inaplicación del convenio sectorial mediante acuerdos de empresa.
Confederación Sindical de CCOO. Rita Moreno - rmoreno@ccoo.es - S. Acción Sindical

LABOUR MARKET

Job creation has gathered pace, but unemployment remains very high. Youth joblessness is very high, and long-term unemployment risks becoming structural, and leading to labour and social exclusion. Labour market segmentation remains a challenge.

Employment growth was been stronger than expected during 2014, and the unemployment rate - although it remains very high – decreased in 2014 for the first time since 2007. As the Spanish economy gathered pace during the course of 2014, job creation responded positively, in part due to the increased flexibility introduced by labour market reforms enacted in recent years, and also to wage moderation.

High long-term unemployment and high segmentation continue to hamper productivity growth and working conditions. Without adequate targeting and implementation of active labour market and activation policies, including re-skilling towards sectors with job-creation perspectives, addressing the unemployment problem remains a challenge.
High structural unemployment rates have negative consequences on employability, skills development, social conditions and wage developments.

Labour market conditions are improving, supported by economic activity gaining steam
and moderate wage developments, but unemployment remains very high:
For Q4-2014 report an increase in employment (56.8 %).

At the end of 2014, unemployment remained at 23.7 %, about 2 percentage points (or 477 900 unemployed people less) below the all-time peak of one year earlier. However, with 5 457 700 jobless, unemployment remains very high.
After a cumulative decline of about 18 % during the 2008-2013 period, by the end of 2014, overall employment had increased by 2.5 % over the previous 12 months, supported in part by ongoing wage moderation.

Notwithstanding the incipient labour market recovery, youth and long-term unemployment remain the most urgent challenges.
Youth unemployment is decreasing slightly, but remains the highest in the EU (51.8 % in Q4-2014), particularly for the age group 20-24 (48.9 %).
Long-term unemployment rate, which extends to 12.9 % of the active population; over half of the unemployed have been jobless for more than one year.
The very long-term unemployed (2 years or more) have reached about 2.4 million, and represent more than 35 % of the total number of unemployed

PRECARIOUSNESS
High levels of labour market segmentation –comprising permanent employees against temporary - continue to hold back Spain, in part due to the persistent macroeconomic uncertainty.
The share of temporary employment started to increase once again in 2014, reaching 24.6 %, despite the recent regulatory reform.

Labour market segmentation remains thus a feature of the Spanish labour market, with greater incidence on some groups of workers, namely the young and low-skilled,
Although new permanent employment has witnessed an encouraging increase of 19 % over the previous year in 2014, of the over 16.7 million new contracts signed during 2014, the majority (91.9 %) are fixed-term. About half of all new open-ended contracts were part-time. The high share of new temporary contracts may be influenced by the broad economic uncertainty and the productive structure of the country, as it is reflected by the fact that over half of temporary contracts are shorter than three months. Indeed 41.3% of new temporary contracts are for less than 30 days.
Part-time employment has broadened its presence in the Spanish labour market, but remains below the EU average. At the end of 2014, part-time reached 16.1 % of overall employment (EU average: 19.3 %).
66.23 % of part-time workers declared to be involuntary in 2013. OECD Statistics.

Female employment in Spain continues to be predominantly characterised by part-time work, although far from by choice, in particular due to difficulties to reconcile work with family life.

WAGE PRECARIOUSNESS
New hires, in particular young people, have borne a substantial part of the brunt of adjustment through the erosion of earnings from work.
Between 2008 and 2013, the first salary of fulltime new hires has dropped in real terms by 17 % for men and 13 % for women. For part-time workers, their decrease of first salaries in real terms is double: 23 % and 16 % for men and women, respectively. Among young people, the entry salary has dropped from EUR 1.210 in 2008 to EUR 890 in 2013 (-35 % in real terms).

IMPACT ON WAGES

The process of internal devaluation continues, resulting in further progress in price and cost competitiveness, but negative euro area inflation is hindering the adjustment.
Since 2009, the real effective exchange rates (REERs) and nominal unit labour costs have fallen by 13.2 % and 4.5 %, respectively.
Productivity gains, together with ongoing wage moderation explain most of progress in restoring price competitiveness between 2009 and 2013 (Graph 1.4).

Headline inflation was negative and core inflation fell to to around

zero in the second half of 2014. Negative headline inflation rates are expected to prevail over most of 2015 and to remain very low thereafter.

Performed remarkably well in the run-up to the crisis despite accumulating price competitiveness losses, rose from 25.7 % to 31.6 % of GDP over 2007- 2013. This was a result of both the contraction of GDP and the improvement in competitiveness indicators, in particular the drop in unit labour costs (Graph 2.1.1).

Much of the positive export performance has been due to price and cost competitiveness developments in the largest firms. Moreover, over the last decade, largest firms have witnessed more favourable unit labour costs behaviour due to higher productivity growth. However, 70 % of them export only occasionally and more than 85 % of total exports are undertaken by the largest 5 000 companies

Spain is also specialized in exports of medium-low quality products. Cost competition is stronger in low and medium-low quality segments, which is consistent with the relatively high price/cost elasticity estimated for Spanish exports. Hence, in order to safeguard the resilience of exports with this pattern of specialisation, Spain is forced to rely heavily on cost and wage moderation, which underscores the need to move upwards along the export-quality. Spain needs to preserve price competitiveness gains and enhance production of quality goods. Spain is mainly active in in market segments of mature demand and low quality, where competition is stronger than for high-quality products and products embedding a high technological content. Therefore, is of the utmost importance for Spain to keep production costs, including labour costs, under control.

Labour market conditions are improving, supported by economic activity gaining steam and moderate wage developments, but unemployment remains very high. Nominal wages have responded to the protracted slack in the labour market and contributed to supporting job creation.
In 2014, wage in nominal terms remained subdued, declining in the first three quarters of the year at an average of 0.1 % with respect to the same period of one year earlier. The downward adjustment of unit labour costs also continued in 2014 as a result of the weak dynamics of wages and improvements in productivity, thereby contributing to the absorption of external imbalances (Graph 2.3.5). The 2012 reform and the inter-confederal social partners' agreement of 2012-14 contributed to these moderate wage developments. The agreed wage increase for 2014, calculated provisionally with the information available on the collective agreements registered up to November 2014, now stands at 0.57 % (0.43 % for firm-level agreements covering 319 186 workers- and 0.58 % for higher level agreements – covering 4 098 945 workers). Derogations from collective agreements, mostly on wages and working hours, have increasingly been used as a way of adapting to the conditions of the company and avoiding redundancies.

Reforms of the wage bargaining system have contributed to the responsiveness of wages to unemployment conditions. Graphs 2.3.6 and 2.3.7 depict Phillips curves, relating the unemployment rate to the growth of negotiated and actual wages, respectively. Before the crisis negotiated wages were quite insensitive to changes in the degree of economic slack.

The wage response was driven mainly by a negative wage-drift (i.e. a compression of the variable components of wages). The same adjustment was achieved during the crisis years, but the Phillips curve flattened in the more recent years at low levels of inflation. Such flattening suggests that wage growth falls at a declining rate as unemployment increases. This could reflect an increase in structural unemployment, so that high unemployment does not correspond to a more intense competition for vacancies among suitable workers and to more moderate wage claims. However, some fraction of the unemployment is likely to be cyclical, even with higher structural unemployment. This is corroborated by the stronger response of negotiated wages to unemployment in the period 2009-2014, which was spurred not only by a market-driven adjustment related to the sheer size of the unemployment shock, but also by wage bargaining policy as a result of the 2010 and 2012 labour market reforms.

While wage agreements have been supportive of job creation, the persistence of inter-firm productivity differentials in the context of low inflation may be a challenge for further positive developments in 2015. The social partners are discussing a new 'Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining' for 2015-2017, which is expected to replace the one in force, which expired in 2014. The increase of salaries is on the discussion table as evidence of productivity gains by companies could give rise to differentiated wage increases to promote employment. The difficulty of achieving market wage-driven adjustments in a low inflation environment

highlights the importance of wage developments consistent with the objective of promoting employment. In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court has challenged the one-year validity limit of expired collective agreements (so called ultra-activity) by ruling that agreed wage conditions remain valid for incumbents. It remains to be seen how the social partners will follow up on this decision.

Recomendation: “Promoute the alignmet of wages and productivity, in consultation…, taking into account differences in skills and local labour market conditions as well as divergence in economic performance across regions, sector and companies”
CE analysis: “Given very high unemployment rate, wage for some sectors and companies may need to grow below productivity in order to créate Jobs and achive futher gains in competitiveness. It is expected that this may emphasise the importance of establishing, through sectorial and company negotiations, the príncipe that wages should move in line with nter-firm productivity differencials”
La CE es mucho más ambigua en las SRC para España que en el AGS 2015, ya que aquí hacía referencia expresamente a los salarios reales: “a high level of emploiment requieres real wages to move in line of productivity development”, pero la idea de anclar la evolución de los salarios a las diversas ganancias de productividad sectoriales o de las empresas en lugar de a los incrementos de productividad nacionales ya estaba formulada: “a certain degree of flexibility for differenciated wage increases across sector and within sector”. Pues para la CE, el ajuste salarial en la economía española no se ha completado todavía, o como dicen los Boletines de ECFIN, “el ajuste salarial en España es lento e incompleto”
Estas recomendaciones parecen basarse en la creencia de que los salarios reales en España han crecen a un ritmo mayor que las ganancias de productividad, pero la realidad desmiente radicalmente esa creencia. Desde 2009 los salarios reales en España están decreciendo: “In Spain, real hourly wages since 2009 fell at the rate of 1.8% per year, much bigger tan one recorded for the euro área as a whole” (); mientras las ganancias de productividad se han incrementado significativamente (bien es cierto ha sido a costa del excesivo ajuste del empleo). Según los datos de la misma CE, entre 2011 y 2014, la contracción acumulada del salario real promedio fue un -4.1%, mientras el crecimiento acumulado de las ganancias de productividad fue un +6,7%. El reciente Informe de ILO Global Wage Report 2014/2015, muestra que nivel del salario real promedio en España en 2013 (índice 96.8) era inferior al nivel de 2007 (índice 100)
En sentido contrario a las recomendaciones de la CE, la OECD Employment Outlook 2014 señala que las reducciones salariales registradas en España durante la crisis, en torno al 2% anual, originan considerables penurias a los trabajadores y a sus familias, además de afectar negativamente a la demanda de consumo interno. Muestra que las reducciones salariales en España han sido de las mayores de los países desarrollados, solo superadas por los recortes salariales de Grecia (5% anual). También destaca que: si bien esas reducciones han mejorado la competitividad exterior, ya se han vuelto contraproducentes.
Concretamente, Stefano Scarpetta (director de Empleo de la OCDE) afirma, siempre refiriéndose a España: esas congelaciones o disminuciones salariales pueden tienen repercusiones importantes en los ingresos de los hogares, acentuando así las dificultades económicas” …” nuevos ajustes salariales en los países más afectados por la crisis pueden acabar siendo contraproducentes y, sobre todo en un contexto de inflación próxima a cero, podrían tener una eficacia limitada en la creación de empleo. Tales ajustes acentúan el riesgo de pobreza y pesarían sobre la demanda global”. “Cualquier nuevo descenso, provocaría un círculo vicioso de deflación, descenso del consumo y menos inversión”.
Respecto a la recomendación de flexibilizar los salarios, queremos puntualizar que la reforma laboral y del sistema de negociación colectiva ya ha flexibilizado radicalmente los salarios. En efecto, ILO Spain Growt with Job 2014 muestra que: “In terms of real wages, it appears that, since 2011, almost all sectors have experienced negative real wage growth. Indeed, positive wage growth has been registered only in the extractive and electricity industries and (though only marginally) in the arts and entertainment sector. Workers in all other industries have instead experienced a contraction of real wages. This fall has been particularly marked in public-related sectors – between 2011 and 2013 real wages decreased by 4.2 per cent in health care, 2.7 per cent in education and 2.3 per cent in public administration, while a number of key economic sectors – namely, wholesale and retail trade, professional and scientific activities, transport and storage – have registered average real wage reductions of around 1.5 per cent”
Finalmente, el preacuerdo para el Empleo y la Negociación Colectiva 2015-2017, firmado el 14/5/2015 por CCOO, UGT y las organizaciones patronales CEOE y Cepyme, especifica que partiendo de los límites de subidas salariales del 1% en 2015 y del 1.5% en 2016, los incrementos se negociarán teniendo en cuenta las circunstancias específicas de cada sector o empresa.

Recommendation: “Promote the alignment of wages and productivity, in consultation…, taking into account differences in skills and local labour market conditions as well as divergence in economic performance across regions, sectors and companies”.
CE analysis: “Given very high unemployment rate, wage for some sectors and companies may need to grow below productivity in order to create Jobs and achieve further gains in competitiveness. It is expected that this may emphasise the importance of establishing, through sectorial and company negotiations, the principle that wages should move in line with inter-firm productivity differentials”.
EC is much more ambiguous in the CSR for Spain than it was in the 2015 AGS, because here it specifically makes reference to real wages: "a high level of employment requires actual wages to move in line of productivity development", but the idea to link the evolution of wages to the various sectoral productivity gains or businesses rather than to increases in national productivity was already made: "a certain degree of flexibility for differentiated wage increases within across industry and sector." To the EC, the salary adjustment in the Spanish economy has not yet been completed, or as they say in Bulletins ECFIN, "wage adjustment in Spain is slow and incomplete".
These recommendations appear to be based on the assumption that real wages in Spain are growing at a higher rate than productivity gains pace, but the reality radically contradicts this assumption. Since 2009 real wages in Spain are decreasing, "In Spain, Real hourly wages fell since 2009 at the rate of 1.8% per year, much bigger than any other Recorded in the euro area as a whole"; while productivity gains have been significantly increased (even though it has been at the expense of excessive employment adjustment). According to data from the EC itself, between 2011 and 2014, the cumulative average real wage contraction was -4.1%, while the cumulative growth of productivity gains was 6.7%. The recent ILO Global Wage Report 2014/2015 shows that average real wage level in Spain in 2013 (index 96.8) was below the level of 2007 (index 100).
Contrary to the recommendations of the EC, the OECD Employment Outlook 2014 notes that wage reductions recorded in Spain during the crisis, at around 2% annually, cause considerable hardship for workers and their families, and adversely affect domestic consumer demand. It shows that wage reductions in Spain are among the highest within the developed countries, only overcame by wage cuts of Greece (5% annually). It also notes that: “Although these reductions have improved external competitiveness and have become counterproductive”.
In particular, Stefano Scarpetta (director of OECD Employment) says, always referring to Spain: these wage freezes or reductions can have a significant impact on household income, thus accentuating the economic difficulties"..."new wage adjustments in most countries affected by the crisis can end up being counterproductive and, especially in a context of near zero inflation, they may have a limited effect on job creation. Such adjustments accentuate the risk of poverty and would be a burden on global demand. Any further decline would cause a vicious cycle of deflation, falling consumption and less investment".
Regarding the recommendation of flexible wages, we want to point out that the reforms of both labor market and collective bargaining system have already radically made wages more flexible.
Indeed, ILO Spain’s Growth with Job 2014 explains that: "In terms of actual wages, it appears that, since 2011, almost all the industries have experienced negative real-wage growth. Indeed, positive wage growth has been registered only in the extractive industries and electricity and (though only marginally) in the arts and entertainment sector. Workers in all other industries have instead experienced a contraction of actual wages. This has been particularly marked by the fall in public-related sectors. Between 2011 and 2013 real wages decreased by 4.2 per cent in health care, in education 2.7 per cent and 2.3 per cent in public administration, while a number of key economic sectors. Namely, wholesale and retail trade, professional and scientific activities, transport and storage have registered actual average wage reductions of around 1.5 per cent "
Finally, the draft agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining 2015-2017 - signed on 14.05.2015 by CCOO, UGT and employers' organizations CEOE and CEPYME - specifies that taking as a starting point the limit in wage increases of 1% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2016, wage increase will be negotiated taking into account the specific circumstances of each sector or company.
Therefore, the question is the following one: to what extent does the EC think that Spanish wages should be reduced? In other words, in EC opinion, what volume of wage income should be transferred to capital income?