Before they put him behind bars, accused of almost all crimes attributable to an employer, Gerardo Diaz Ferran, then president of the employers association CEOE, proclaimed without blushing that the only way out of this crisis was working more and earning less. Later, his prophecy was fulfilled, but only in part: the lucky ones who have managed to keep their jobs usually work more and earn less, but we’re still in the crisis up to our necks. Especially since, in addition to the fact that those who still have jobs earn less, the number of people who are working has decreased and there’s no economy in the world that can sustain that.
The governor of the Bank of Spain, Luis Maria Linde, said this week, however, new salary sacrifices were necessary and to get them, you have to squeeze, to its full potential, prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s labour reform. A labour reform that has emerged as a weapon of mass destruction of employment and is allowing entrepreneurs not only to fire more freely than ever, but also to substantially worsen working conditions.
This labour reform was recently the subject of a new apology by the ineffable Minister for Employment, who said it had had the supposed beneficial effect of reducing the rate of job destruction. Besides being small consolation in a country with nearly six million unemployed, Fatima Banez’s argument is simply wrong: the destruction of jobs, unfortunately, has not slowed down (in 2012 as many jobs were lost as in 2010 and 2011 put together) and if it had achieved this, it would not be thanks to the reform, but in spite of it.
The numbers speak for themselves: since its entry into force until December, there’s been a 56% rise in redundancy plans and the number of workers being laid off has increased 31.5%. Nor is it true, as the Government has been trying to claim about the reforms, that the number of collective redundancy plans leading to actual job losses – as opposed to temporary lay offs or a reduction in hours – has fallen. Rather, they increased by 21% over the period. Behold the (predictable) results of measures that have inflicted so much grief on labour relations in recent years.
El Publico 29 Mar 2013
Translation/edit by Revolting Europe