ECONOMY

Spanish labor unions and employer groups agree to 1% wage rise in 2015

Deal comes after a six-month negotiation and departs from salary freezes of 2010 and 2012

UGT leader Cándido Méndez (left) and CCOO chief Ignacio Fernández Toxo have reached a deal with employers’ associations to raise wages by 1%.
UGT leader Cándido Méndez (left) and CCOO chief Ignacio Fernández Toxo have reached a deal with employers’ associations to raise wages by 1%.EFE

Spanish labor unions and employer associations have agreed to raise wages by 1% in 2015 and by 1.5% next year.

This “preliminary agreement,” in the words of one union leader, was reached on Monday and was due to be set down on paper on Tuesday.

The agreed figures should increase workers’ spending power this year, as unions had demanded

The deal ends nearly half a year of negotiations between the UGT and CC OO labor unions on the one hand and the CEOE and Cepyme employer associations on the other.

According to price level predictions, the agreed figures will increase workers’ spending power this year, as unions had demanded.

The deal marks a turning point after the two previous agreements of 2010 and 2012 effectively ended in a wage freeze.

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The 1% increase is above both the 0.7% inflation rate that the Instituto Flores de Lemus economic analysis center predicts for 2015 and the 0.6% rate forecast by Funcas, another major research group.

Even though the agreement is simply a recommendation, the sectors that typically engage in large collective bargaining agreements, such as the banking and chemical industries, had been anxiously anticipating the move.

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