Crónica Aragón.

Crónica Aragón.

UGT y CCOO convocan a manifestarse el 1 de mayo por el reparto justo de beneficios empresariales.

UGT y CCOO convocan a manifestarse el 1 de mayo por el reparto justo de beneficios empresariales.

UGT and Comisiones Obreras secretaries general in Aragon, José Juan Arceiz and Manuel Pina, respectively, called for a strike on the coming 1st of May, International Workers' Day, to demand the distribution of business benefits through increased wages and to reject an "artificial" rise in prices that causes salary increases to go directly to the companies' accounts.

A press conference was held to report on the joint demonstrations that have been organized by Aragon for the day, one in the province of Zaragoza, two in Teruel, and one in Huesca.

Two demonstrations are planned in Zaragoza, one starting with a rally in Plaza San Miguel and then a march at 11:30 a.m. Another rally is planned for Tarazona's Plaza San Francisco at 11:00 a.m. followed by one at the same time for Teruel's Cathedral Square. In Andorra, there will be a rally in the Plaza del Regallo at 12:30 p.m., while in Huesca, a march will start at noon from Plaza de Navarra.

The slogan for this day is "Raise wages, lower prices, and distribute profits," said Jose Juan Arceiz, the Secretary General of UGT Aragon. The effort made with crisis measures or by negotiating wage increases "sector by sector, company by company" cannot be allowed to go directly to the accounts of large companies, Arceiz added.

According to Arceiz, the war in Ukraine has caused an increase in CPI (Consumer Price Index), which some "unscrupulous" businessmen are using to artificially increase prices. This cannot be allowed to happen, he said. He also stated that the drought was being exploited in the same way, by selling fruits and fresh meats at higher prices even though their wholesale prices have not yet been affected by the lack of water. This artificial increase in prices benefits only the usual intermediaries and big distributors, but not the producers.

Arceiz claimed that in the case of energy and fuels, it makes no sense for prices to go up due to the current cost of oil or for renewable energies to be "stopped" in order to "introduce more expensive ones and thus artificially increase benefits."

Arceiz argued that all of this causes wage increases that are achieved through a "wear and tear" negotiating process to "go directly to the accounts of these large companies," resulting in business profits being taken directly out of the workers' pockets. He said that the government is also implementing crisis measures, such as lowering the VAT or negotiating with unions to raise pensions, but that this is 'insufficient' and that this too ends up in the accounts of the results.

Arceiz called for a collective bargaining agreement with business leaders that sends the message "powerful to society and investors that we all want to work together and not just the working class so that companies can enjoy profits." If the bosses did not want to reach an agreement, he added, they had a "Plan B," and the working class "will not be satisfied" and will take to the streets.

Manuel Pina, Secretary General of CCOO Aragon, said that they would activate the campaign 'Salary-Conflict'. He noted that at the moment, the main problem "has to do with the CEOE's refusal to have an umbrella for collective bargaining," and warned that if positions do not converge and an agreement is not reached this year, this negotiation instrument "may end permanently."

Pina regretted that the bosses had rejected their latest proposal to use as objective indices for negotiating wage increases the company margins that exist in each sector, based on whether they were 'better or worse.' He stated that this year's First of May, which coincides with municipal and regional elections, would be crucial to prevent a return to past situations with "suffering" and "cuts." Now we have the opportunity to face it with "protection" for citizens and workers, he said.

Pina mentioned both the Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) that took place during the pandemic and the latest agreements reached to "complete the roadmap" for raising the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) to 60% of the average salary in Spain and a labor reform that reduces temporary contracts but does not destroy jobs. He also referred to the pension agreement, which on the one hand has allowed an 8.5% increase this year and on the other will guarantee the sustainability of the public system.

Arceiz also emphasized the importance of the role played by trade unions in ensuring public policies, defending public services and pensions. "We must continue to advance in these great agreements," he said, adding that "it is not the same thing if one political party or another is governing."