Álvarez (UGT) wants to open the dismissal ‘melon’ this year: “I hope CEOE understands that it must have causes”


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The general secretary of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, wants to open this year the ‘melon’ of the dismissal in the social dialogue and, although he expects to find “resistance” in the CEOE, “he hopes it will be simple” to convince it that the dismissal has to have some clear causes.

“We place this in the Workers’ Statute of the 21st century and in this global context we will surely be able to talk to the CEOE as a whole (…) Situating the causes for which workers can be fired is so reasonable that we are going to have the capacity to convince the CEOE”, Álvarez assured in an interview with Europa Press.

The union leader has denounced that in Spain a company can lay off for whatever it wants, even because it plans to lose money, which “does not happen in any other country of the European Union”.

Along with the clarity of the causes to undertake objective dismissals, Álvarez points out the need to address in this debate how collective dismissals are processed and resolved. For him, the causes and the processing process are more important than the cost of dismissal, although he considers that the compensation for objective dismissals (20 days per year worked) is not very high.

It is, he explained, to establish “clear causes” so that companies can fire for objective reasons and to recover the balance in the processing of the ERE by reestablishing the administrative authorization or other balances.

In this sense, Álvarez has criticized that the companies do not go to negotiate in good faith and let the one month period given by the regulations pass to be able to execute the collective dismissal.

“We have recourse to the judicial process and the judges are fundamentally ruling in our favor, but not so much because of the substance, but because of the form, because we show that during the negotiation process they have not had good faith. In the vast majority of cases go with the file and they are lentils and you have a month to digest them and if not, you leave them”, he denounced.

For the union leader, employers “must be aware that this has to be changed”, that “serious companies do not use those formulas” and that a system must be established that prevents companies from “getting off scot-free”, well if anything evidenced the sentence that annulled the ERE of Alcoa, is that “the norm is not well done.”

“It is very difficult for Alcoa to be generalized and we need that in the process of resolving files it is not the party that decides in the first instance, but rather that there is a balance, which before was the prior authorization of the administration. It is a good balance although we can talk about others”, he indicated.

Thus, he insists that the causes and forms are more important than the cost of the dismissal, especially considering that, with the whole process of reconversion from temporary to indefinite associated with the labor reform, “the pressure on the dismissal is going to be minor”. “The dismissal situation is going to change substantially without touching the causes, the method and the amount due to the change in labor legislation”, he stated.


Regarding unfair dismissal, Álvarez considers that compensation of 33 days per year worked “is very cheap” and it would be “reasonable” to return to 45 days per year worked and prevent employers from firing workers without objective reasons.

In addition, he has denounced that the EU Social Committee has made it clear that all countries must have a “balanced” system, especially in the Spanish case with regard to workers dismissed with less seniority.

For them, the UGT leader has criticized, the system is “absolutely unfair and miserable”, because, for example, the cost to the employer for a worker with one year of seniority is “absolutely ridiculous”.


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