Unions say labor reforms are “unconstitutional”

Ignacio Fernández Toxo and Cándido Méndez
Reforms are "unconstitutional"

Following the announcement of new labor reforms last Friday unions have said they consider parts of the reforms to be “unconstitutional”.

Union leaders met with the Minister for Employment, Fátima Báñez, on Monday where both Ignacio Fernández Toxo (pictured right), Secretary General of the CCOO, and Cándido Méndez (pictured left), Secretary General of the UGT, heavily criticised the reforms, describing them as “unjust, inefficient, lacking solidarity and degrading”.

The changes to employers options for dismissal are not a way to help workers but to facilitate sacking them which, the unions say, could be unconstitutional. “This is a reform which is going to destroy a lot of employment in the short term,” Sr Toxo argued with agreement from Méndez.

Méndez went on to say that “From a working point of view, this is an erroneous route, an unjust and very dangerous way to overcome the crisis situation in our country. It’s useless for resolving the problem of unemployment”. He also alleged that the motive for the reforms was financial and not to create jobs.

Although the union stopped short of calling for a general strike a calendar of stoppages has been prepared and new action “will depend on the concerns of the workers.”

The first action will take place in Madrid on Sunday, at noon, between the Plaza de Neptuno and the Puerta del Sol.

Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, agreed that the labour reforms will not create jobs without credit becoming more widely available. However, the CEOE employers organisation are a little more optimistic saying “The workers and the businessmen have won, Spain has won”.

According to Arturo Fernández, CEOE Deputy Chairman, the new legislation puts Spain “close to the most advanced European countries”.

Responding to the unions comments Mariano Rajoy’s government has said that it is willing to take part in further discussion with the unions to “improve” the legislation.

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