#1May2024 | On May 1, the province of Alicante calls for more industry, better salaries and at work

#1May2024 | On May 1, the province of Alicante calls for more industry, better salaries and at work
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ALICANTE. This Wednesday, in various parts of the province of Alicante thousands of people join the demonstrations of the May 1 to commemorate in the streets the International work day and demand improvements for workers. There are many demands on this day and since CCOO-PV and UGT PV have presented their requests regarding labor and social rights for this date and have called on “fill the streets” to demand measures aimed at “advancing the achievement of full employment”.

The unions have called for demonstrations on May 1 in several cities of the Valencian Community: at 11 a.m. in Alameda de Alcoy; at 11 a.m. in Alicante, leaving the IES Jorge Juan; at the same time in Plaza Barcelona in Elche; at 11 a.m. on Felipe V Avenue in Elda-Petrer; at 11 a.m. from Plaza San Agustín in València and at 12 p.m. in Castelló, in Plaza Las Aulas.

“Worker raises” in Crevillent

In addition to the demonstrations, there is no shortage of the traditional reveille in the streets of Crevillent where workers and union representatives get up early at 5 in the morning and first meet at the CCOO headquarters on Rei Jaume I street with chocolate with toña and “herbetes”, and then They “wake up” the population by singing “Worker rises”. This year they do it accompanied by the Dolçainers i Tabaleters L’Estoreta group. The origin of this holiday dates back to the end of the 19th century when the labor movement emerged, which achieved among its achievements the implementation of the eight-hour work day and which was consolidated and spread throughout Europe in the following century. The tradition of singing “Worker lifts” began in 1906, resisted underground during the Franco dictatorship and it continues to be sung every May 1 in Crevillent.

“Full employment, shorter hours and better salaries”

The motto with which both class unions take to the streets this year is “Full employment, shorter hours and better salaries”. According to Yolanda Diazsecretary of UGT L’Alacantí-La Marina, “the labor reform, which is now in its second year, is putting an end to the abuses of temporary employment.” And he assures that, if In 2021, one in every ten contracts was permanent in the province, now one in every two is. “Now it benefits women, men and the younger group. This figure represents an end to temporary employment in services as well.”

Of course, Díaz highlights that women “structurally always have more gaps” and in the province they translate, every month, into between 27,000 and 29,000 jobs difference between men and women. “It represents a gap of 34% in unemployment. It is necessary invest in employment policies for women and specific groups“. It also calls for training and re-qualifying people in the industrial sector “which has lost strength. For example, Bimbo recently closed. “The administration must empower and requalify people who are now unemployed.”

For reindustrialization and energy transition

For its part, Paco Garcia, general secretary of CC.OO. in L’Alacantí-Les Marines, also focuses on “an economic horizon of prosperity in which a tailwind is blowing and we are in an advantageous position in the energy transition, for the first time“. For this reason, he advocates that there be “determined policies of reindustrialization and relocation from energy competitiveness“to reduce energy costs.”For the first time, industrial competitiveness in the country would come, not from low salaries but from a situation of advantage with respect to other times and processes of industrialization.. “We have always been very dependent on other fuels, but now we have the opportunity for that energy transition thanks to the Next Generation funds.”

Likewise, he has pointed out the need to improve to continue creating jobs and “study the redistribution of wealth when there has been 311,000 million in corporate profits” -from banking entities to the food chain-. García also focuses, as does UGT, on reducing the working day to 37.5 hours, without prejudice to salary. “It has already been more than tested in administrations and is possible and necessary.” And he is committed to more salaries due to “this redistribution of wealth. The most basic salaries already have enormous difficulties in accessing housing.” García advocates for social policies that help rent and increase public housing policies.

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“We cannot be distracted even by Prime Ministers plucking daisies or with invented language problems. Valencian is not a problem and these are issues that only muddy up public debate instead of focusing on practical issues.” Furthermore, he has claimed “peace versus war. Wars are always suffered by the working classes”.

Lower unemployment to one digit and pact for care

The general secretary of the CCOO general secretariat Vinalopó-Vega Baja, Carmen Palomar, demands that higher salary, full employment and shorter working hours. “On the one hand, we understand that as a country we must move forward. There are 21 million Spaniards registered with Social Security, affiliation is positive, but unemployment is still in double digits and must be lowered.” For this reason, he urges governments to commit to “public policies to talk about full employment. A key measure is the reduction of working hours, that everyone works less and more people are employed”.

Another necessary measure for Palomar is to “resort to investments from European funds for industrial policies, renewable energy and digitalization. We must bet heavily on obtaining these funds, which are important to create quality employment“. Likewise, it points to the need for “a pact for care. The population is aging and more and more people require more services. “The little ones, from 0 to 3 years old, also need special care and there are not enough nursery schools.”

For this reason, Palomar points to the need for “large-scale social and care, for the government to make a State pact that guarantees them as a public service and that generates employment with decent salaries and good conditions. It is a feminized and punished employment “If this work is given value, it will be paid more. If not, it will continue to be done, in large part, clandestinely.”

Delve into rights to consolidate improvements

For its part, Ismael Senen, secretary of UGT in Vinalopó, Vega Baja and Montaña, believes that 2024 is “an important year and we must recognize the work so far, to deepen a reform years ago that brings positive results after the pandemic and crises.” In this way, he highlighted that temporary employment has been reduced and that today permanent contracts are 14%. “The SMI has had a virtuous recovery, with a rise of 54% since 2018″He points out that there must be “a substantial change applied to young people and women, who suffer more from precariousness. It is very important to increase salaries for recovery and demand that these changes be consolidated.”

For this and for full employment, Senén proposes “reducing working hours and improving salaries with new active employment policies. Spain needs to promote an industrial hub and firm sectoral development at the state level. Let industrialization return to the Alicante regionswhich in crises better endure the ups and downs of the economic market” without forgetting agriculture or services.

It demands, therefore, “stable and forceful social policies so that these reforms that are agreed upon allow unemployment protection for those who cannot find work and that the policies allow vital youth projects to be launched, such as access to housing“. Social dialogue, explains Senén, is crucial “to find solutions applicable to sectors with particular demands” and defends “unionism as a transformative pillar in democracies. Our work is a transversal and universalist struggle. Where there are strong unions, the lives of working people improve.”

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