Labor reform: Desolation in the Government and in the PSOE by Pedro Snchez’s strategy with Bildu



The pact with the ‘abertzale’ training on labor reform dynamites the social dialogue and makes PSOE ministers uncomfortable. Calvio sees it as “absurd” and “counterproductive”. In the Executive admits that it has been an “unnecessary error”

Calvio rejects the repeal of the labor reform as “absurd and counterproductive”

Desolation in thegovernmentand in the PSOE. At all levels. In the hard core ofMoncloaand in the last advisor of the Ministries before what is considered an unnecessary error: the signing of an agreement with United Podemos and EH Bildu for the repeal of the labor reform of the PP entirely. A slip, a slip, the consequences of which, admit sources from the Executive, were not well calibrated. The result is that Pedro Snchez, dumped since the beginning of March in the health, economic and social crisis that has causedSpainthe coronavirus, was cleared yesterday by a very long ramp, colliding with everything it found in its path.

The Prime Minister has pledged his credit by authorizing negotiations with EH Bildu to secure his abstention and ensure in theCongressThe authorization to the fifth extension of the state of alarm but has also created fissures in the Executive, by acting on the margin of its own ministers (including the entire economic area), has generated enormous distrust in Citizens and the PNV, has disoriented his party has given arguments to Pablo Iglesias to accentuate his own discourse and, above all, he has dynamited the social dialogue with employers and unions.

An asset so difficult for any government to treasure that it was squandered in a matter of hours. Only 10 days after managing to gather in La Moncloa UGT, CEOE, CEPYME and CCOO to sign a social agreement in defense of employment, which expands theERTEeven after the state of alarm, the confusion generated by the pact with Bildu and his announcement of the complete repeal of the labor reform put to rest with growing confidence, locked after many hours of conversation, with the primary participation of the vice president of economics, Nadia Calvio, and the full collaboration of the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Daz, of Unidas Podemos.

The extent of the crisis forced Snchez to roll up his sleeves yesterday morning and explain himself to employers and unions. The Chief Executive calls the UGT and CCOO general secretaries,Jos lvarezandUnai Deaf, and the president of the CEOE,Antonio Garamendi. That was not enough. The employers considered broken the social dialogue with the Government.

Snchez’s clarifications, which in reality has not changed its position despite the literality of the Bildu statement, were completed yesterday by Nadia Calvio. The vice president, along with other ministers, urged the president for a rectification, immediately after that agreement was released on Wednesday. Not even the Minister of Transport and Secretary of Organization of the PSOE, Jos Luis Balos, knew the details.

Shortly after the PSOE made public a clarification in which it detailed the concrete aspects of the reform that it was going to tackle and that are well known.

In a speech yesterday afternoon Calvio assured thatSpainIt faces the greatest recession in its history as a consequence of this pandemic and that with this reality on the table, it would be absurd and counterproductive to open a debate on labor reform and generate the slightest legal uncertainty at this time. Taxpayers, he added, pay us to solve problems, not to generate them, in clear reference to the PSOE -Calvio does not have a party card and is in the government as an independent-.

The vice president did not hesitate to thank the businessmen for their commitment and effort at this time, to highlight the role of the companies in the recovery and to declare that they have the support of the Government. Of course, changes can be made in the workplace, he said, but always with a clear objective, to boost employment and activity while protecting workers. Any modification will be made in dialogue with the social partners.

The scope of his words gives the dimension of how far the government has shattered the social dialogue. Although in Moncloa they trust that they will prepare for a period of criticism in which one must fit in and endure.

But along with this front many others have been opened. For many people in the PSOE, the approach to Bildu has been incomprehensible, when their votes were also not fundamental. Not only the President of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano Garca-Page, is hurt and perplexed. This feeling runs through the PSOE and is shared by members of the Government.

And it is even less understood that it is done behind the back of the PNV, one of the strongest members of the Executive, with elections in the Basque Country on July 12, with Bildu loading the reins against thelehendakariIigo Urkullu and the leftabertzalerefusing to condemn a paint attack on the socialist leader’s home,Idoia Mendia. And just when the understanding with Ciudadanos allows Snchez to offer an image of moderation.

Of all these consequences, the least relevant was Pablo Iglesias’ attempt to distance himself. The second vice president remarked yesterday that the agreement that is signed is the agreement, but government sources pointed out that although he knew of the negotiations with Bildu, he agreed that the result was negative for the Executive. Iglesias opted for a support instead of amending it, they explain, but the coalition suffers no wear. Where is United Nations going to be better than in the government ?, a minister pointed out yesterday. In addition to Calvio, the other major victim of the breakdown of the social dialogue is the Minister of Labor.

In Moncloa they know that it is time to repair the damage of this mess but while some parties take note. ERC sets out to follow in Bildu’s footsteps and re-explore profitable alliances with Socialists. We cannot give up negotiating Catalua’s self-determination after having managed to force Snchez to sit at the table, Republican sources point out to this newspaper.


The talks between the PSOE and Bildu culminated on Wednesday but started earlier. In parallel, Moncloa closed the pact with Cs and Carmen Calvo kept the PNV informed about the content of the decree of the fifth extension of the state of alarm. Work was done to get ERC to abstain but it was not possible. The attempt to secure the vote prompted the agreement with Bildu, assuming that it only meant fulfilling an electoral commitment. It is now assumed that a major failure has resulted.

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