Employers and trade unions have three paths: the agreement to the legislature, appointment, annual, or leave the decision to the government
The government will not go back in the goal to raise the minimum wage to 600 euros until 2019. But, instead of fixing a value to 2017, the minister Vieira da Silva yesterday at the meeting with the social partners a different proposition – employers and trade unions have to choose one of three paths: to draw an agreement of medium-term that has as a limit the end of the legislature; to sign an agreement of short-term that generates a commitment of an annual review of the minimum wage or, if not possible, leave the decision in the hands of the government.
“Even though the value is exactly the same, is not the same thing raising the minimum wage to derive from a government decision or a government decision, supported by a decision of the social partners”, explained the minister of Labour and Social Security at the end of the meeting, underlining the importance of achieving the goal of 600 euros minimum wage in 2019 and not the goal to merge that defined in the program of the government of 557 euros in January.
Of all the partners who walked away the most satisfied of the meeting was the UGT, which, even before the meeting, underlined the need of an agreement on medium-term which has a limit of 600 euros minimum wage in 2019, which give stability to government, and which serve to silence criticism of the IMF and help to pacify the markets. “I’m going to propose in the name of the UGT openness to discuss the rise of the minimum wage until the end of the legislature. Dir-me-ão: yes or no. We don’t have anything on top of the table. It is a proposal, and the proposals are to be discussed”, said Carlos Silva, the two-hour meeting with the minister of Solidarity. The output, after three hours of debate, which reinforced what he had already said: “we will Give margin for each year is established, a value for the minimum wage. It is important to realize what is the margin of manoeuvre for companies”, said the secretary-general of the UGT to the DN/Cash.
Carlos Silva left the meeting, which is back to be resumed in mid-October, with “the idea that there is availability for an agreement in the medium term” at around the national minimum wage, considering that it is natural that “the confederations, employers seek predictability for the investment, guarantees of stability of production and fiscal support to the recruitment and political stability.”
Antonio Saraiva, the Business Confederation of Portugal (CIP), has argued, precisely, that an understanding can facilitate the recapitalization of companies, and facilitate the reversal of some measures was the troika that are still to penalize the companies. The CIP did not increase proposals to the negotiating table, but one thing António Saraiva has as right: “The economy does not support an increase to 600 euros” already in January of 2017. To accept a value that “does not have economic rationality”, the CIP requires compensation – the widening of discounts in the TSU, which will end in January, is one of the hypotheses.
The boss of the industry rejects, therefore, the proposal made by the CGTP, which asks for an increase to 600 euros already in January. “Contrary to what people may have you believe, the rise in wages is not the enemy of business”, said the secretary-general Arménio Carlos, remembering that the ” update “is an investment that people make with the return, because one of the big problems of the overwhelming majority of companies is that you do not program their production or create more jobs because they are afraid that people do not have the capacity of income to be able to consume”.
João Vieira Lopes, of the Confederation of Services (CCP), also took values closed, but left in the air the idea that to compensate for increases in the minimum wage and 5.1% in the next year, the government should move forward with economic and fiscal measures that can compensate the effort of the companies. The DN/Money Live, Vieira Lopes recalled that “with productivity growing at 1% a year, the economy moving forward in the house of 1% and inflation below 1% seems disproportionate to an increase to 557 eur”.
And as far as the preferences for an agreement? “The CCP does not open, or closes the door. The government wants us to decide on an agreement, and we will analyze it,” he explains, but assumes at the outset that the discussion of raising the minimum wage “is lagged growth of the economy and can have a negative impact on the progress of the companies.