Berated Bardems decide bar layoffs will be done differently

Acting family feels the heat after trying to use PP labor law

Pilar Bardem (l) and her daughter Mónica.
Pilar Bardem (l) and her daughter Mónica.EUROPA PRESS

The famous Bardem family of actors has come under fire this week after it was announced that they were taking advantage of the Popular Party (PP) government’s labor reform — which make its easier and cheaper for companies to fire workers — to lay off 11 employees at one of the bars run by the clan in Madrid.

La Bardemcilla in the Chueca district closed its doors on Saturday because of economic reasons, the family said in a statement. The manager, Mónica Bardem Encinas, had told employees of the decision earlier this month.

“They told the workers that they will accept the collective bargaining agreement and that the Fogasa [the government entity that pays salaries at bankrupt companies] will pay them compensation of 20 days per year worked,” said an employees’ representative.

However, after the Bardems were criticized for using the PP’s labor reform — a policy that both actors Javier Bardem and his mother Pilar have publicly attacked — to sack their employees, they said they would use their own means to pay severance to their employees without having to going through the Labor Ministry.

La Bardemcilla, which had been operating for eight years and was one of Chueca’s most popular night spots, was owned by the family and managed by Javier Bardem’s sister Mónica.

After the barrage of criticism — much of it generated by employees — the Bardems released a statement on Tuesday, explaining that the bar had been losing money for nearly three years.

“The sole director and manager of that company is Mónica Bardem, who, after analyzing the company’s economic situation, made the decision to close down operations and relayed this decision to the other partners, telling us how impossible it is economically to make this business project viable,” the statement said.

“All the partners agreed to end the company’s enterprise and cancel the establishment’s rental agreement.”

The statement went on to say that Mónica, without the rest of the family’s knowledge, took the advice of a lawyer and decided to present the formal layoff plan, known in Spanish as an ERE, to the Labor Ministry. After they found out, the rest of the partners got in contact with the administrator of the partnership to inform her that they did not agree they should take the ERE route.

“For this reason, we have given instructions to the administrator to withdraw the layoff plan and begin paying compensation, which is established by law, to each worker. This compensation far surpasses the amounts that the current law prescribes, taking into account the long relationship between La Bardemcilla and its employees,” said the statement signed by Javier, Pilar, Carlos and Mónica Bardem.

Meanwhile, Pilar Bardem was admitted to a Madrid hospital on Tuesday after she complained that she was having trouble breathing.

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