Díaz in favor of a 4-day shift but prefers flexible formulas

The Minister of Labor and Second Vice President of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, has supported the four-day work week that is being debated in Valencia, although he has considered that it is a “rigid” formula and prefers “flexible approaches”. In a speech during the I International Congress of the Four-Day Week, Díaz pointed out that this initiative goes in the direction of “labour redistribution” that she supports, but there are “many other manifestations that we can and should explore”.

Among them, he has cited many of those that he intends to introduce in the new Labor Statute and the law of uses of work that his ministry is preparing: “Permissions for people with dependents, parentheses to train, travel, to motivate themselves again.” These two legislative initiatives will transform “the binomial time and work”, he defended.

From there, the head of Labor has pointed out that “it is not so much about the four-day shift”, but to contemplate aspects related to the reduction of working time, “of course in weekly computation and without salary reduction”. Usually, has remembered that “working fewer hours is working better”

It has thus advanced that the Government’s approach will go towards flexibility, studying “Nordic models” and formulas such as the establishment of bags of hours that workers may have after negotiating it with their companies. He has also opted for “changing working hours” in Spain because the 40-hour day has been in place “for a long time”, along with “a new approach to permits”. “Why can’t we have training leave for workers who want it?”has been asked.

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The unions support the reduction and the employers label it as “electoralist”

The CEOE has criticized the reduced week that is being debated between this Friday and Saturday in Valencia. It is a measure that is framed, according to its president Antonio Garamendi, in “debates to win elections”, and has stated that “at the moment five days are necessary”. Nevertheless, Garamendi has been predisposed to address it in the negotiation with the administration and trade union organizations, in order to analyze its possible viability in some sectors or in certain companies.

The leaders of the main unions do see this reduction in working hours with good eyes. The general secretary of the CCOO, Unai Sordo, and that of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, have shown the need to reduce working time. Sordo has pointed out that the reduction of working time is a demand “fully valid” and a way to “dispute the productivity of companies”, and in this context, the 4-day week “is a viable option in many sectors and many companies.”

For Sordo, it has advantages such as avoiding excessive commuting and may be more useful for reconciling work and personal life, but he stressed that it is a debate associated with the reduction of total working timeespecially at this time when digitization allows us to be available to companies “practically all day”.

The debate on the four-day workday: more productivity or an “electoralist” measure?

It has argued that the desirable reduction in working time It must serve to generate more jobs and not to make those that already exist more precarious, and he has confessed “perplexed” by the position of the president of the Spanish employers’ association, because he does not know where he sees “the electoralism” of these reflections, while Álvarez sees Garamendi’s statements “very retrograde”:

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The general secretary of the UGT has stated that not addressing the reduction of the working day is “denying progress”, because there is an “imperative need” in workers, trade unions, society and the economy to address the phenomenon of “hyperproductivity” that is taking place in the world.

For Álvarez, talking about 32 hours “is a very timely debate that is going to go a long way” and is going to be implemented “much faster” than can be imagined, and he stressed that there must be flexibility to implement it and new controls, so that what does not happen is that the working day is extended without declaring.

Errejón affirms that the Government’s pilot program will be ready very soon

The leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón, whose party has been the main promoter of the measure at the state level. It has progressed “soon” The Government is going to lay out the bases for companies to opt for the aid that the Ministry of Industry will have to reduce the working week to four days or 32 hours.

“It is a fundamental question in our present: free up life time, work less to work in lesser conditions, be more productive”has pointed out from Valencia, and has recalled that the Generalitat Valenciana will be the pioneer in presenting a pilot program to support companies that are committed to this reduction without cutting wages.

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In a conversation with RTVE.es, the person in charge of the Más País campaign, Héctor Tejero, has advanced that he hopes that the plan will be ready “after the summer”, while the Valencian project will foreseeably begin in June.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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