UGT and CC OO accuse the Government of breaking the consensus on labor migration due to its plan to attract foreign workers
The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, presents this Friday in Madrid a balance of the reform of the Immigration Regulations approved in October.
The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, presents this Friday in Madrid a balance of the reform of the Immigration Regulations approved in October.Luis Millan (EFE)

The UGT and CC OO unions have reacted negatively to the plan of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration to reform the Immigration Regulations to facilitate the entry of thousands of workers into the labor market. The proposal for a Royal Decree on Migration, advanced by EL PAÍS, aims to facilitate the hiring of workers from their countries of origin and facilitates access to work authorizations for immigrants who already live here. According to a joint statement, the initiative, which they describe as “classist”, breaks the consensus that has existed until now regarding labor migration, which It must be the result of an agreement between the Government, unions and employers.

The Government’s draft text, which is being discussed between ministries and has already been released for public consultation, includes three substantial changes: it expands hiring at origin (to include other workers beyond temporary workers); allows foreign students to work; and creates a new figure that will allow immigrants in an irregular situation to obtain papers who are trained in work areas for which personnel are needed.

The report justifying the reform exposes the difficulties of labor in certain economic sectors such as hospitality, transport, construction or all those areas that face a digital transformation. He also argues that Spain’s competitiveness is linked to attracting talent and the availability of people “capable of contributing to economic recovery with their work.” And he adds that the irregularity of immigrants, who even without papers work clandestinely, brings with it “high social, economic and management costs.”

The unions, however, see in the proposal “a tailor-made suit, not for migrant workers, but for the supposed needs of certain sectors, without further consideration or demands.” “We also regret that, on the one hand, the conclusion is reached that there are jobs that are not covered because their precarious conditions must be improved and, on the other, it is assumed that these conditions are acceptable for migrant workers,” he adds. the notice.

Cristina Faciaben, Secretary of Migration of the CC OO, criticizes that her offers of dialogue over these months have not been taken into account and expresses concern about the impact of the measure. “The labor market ends up selecting, above and below. Select the qualified, but also those who can offer less. It is logical that, faced with a labor shortage, the market will look for it, but care must be taken not to discriminate and only regularize the most qualified immigrants for the interests of the economy”, she explains. Ana María Corral, head of the UGT Migration Department, explains the discomfort after the publication of Escrivá’s plan:It’s not the way to do things. Since 2004, all these decisions have been made in consensus with the social partners, but in the context of labor migration, trade union organizations have disappeared from the map for months. This must be negotiated.” Corral also points out “a certain contradiction” in the initiative: “It does not make much sense to recognize, on the one hand, that it is necessary to improve working conditions and, on the other, it seems that they want those same jobs , which must improve conditions, if they are good for migrant workers to occupy them”.

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The Minister of Migration, José Luis Escrivá, has been since he took office with the intention of reforming the application of the Immigration Law. Escrivá considers that the current framework carries “enormous bureaucratic rigidity” and he has always been in favor of creating simpler mechanisms to incorporate foreigners into the labor market. The moment chosen to launch his proposal is not accidental. Spain, the country in the euro zone with the highest unemployment rate (13.65%), maintains 109,056 unfilled jobs, according to official data. In its statement of reasons, the Escrivá department maintains: “The Spanish economy is facing a problem that is unprecedented in recent history in our labor market. Thus, even with unemployment levels above 10%, there are episodes of market stress with the existence of vacancies in a large number of sectors and profiles”.

UGT and CC OO recognize that the regulation of the Immigration Law and some of its elements need a reform and have claimed so, but they insist that they could not expect the way in which the ministry has acted. “The announcement of the reform of the regulation is the last of a series of decisions that, in our opinion, have the objective of attending exclusively to economic interests and avoiding, not only the participation, but even the opinion of the most representative union organizations of this sector. country, something that not even the previous governments considered”, they lament.

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