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Employers believe that paying more is a “simplistic” and “demagogic” solution against the lack of labor | Economy

The president of Cepyme, Gerardo Cuerva, at an event in Logroño on May 18.
The president of Cepyme, Gerardo Cuerva, at an event in Logroño on May 18.RACHEL MANZANARES (EFE)

The statements last Monday by the number two of the Ministry of Labor, Joaquín Pérez Rey, in which he justified the lack of labor in some sectors “due to the poor working conditions” that they offer, have generated tremendous discomfort in the group of businessmen. If the first reaction on the part of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) after the meeting was to describe the words of the Secretary of State for Employment and those of the unions as “incoherent”, a day later, both the president of the highest body representative of businessmen, Antonio Garamendi, like that of the employers’ association of small and medium-sized companies (Cepyme), Gerardo Cuerva, have gone further calling them “simplistic” and “demagogic”.

While for Garamendi the argument put forward by one part of the Government is “very simplistic”, since, in his opinion, the problem of the lack of labor in sectors such as construction or the hotel industry “is more complex” and must be addressed from the training side; Cuerva pointed out during his speech at the General Assembly of Cepyme – which was held this Tuesday in Madrid – that “liquidating a problem of this magnitude, with the demagogic and false message that we pay little makes me conclude that, in this, As in other matters, the Government does not plan to do anything.”

In his speech, Cuerva detailed that sectors such as the hotel industry “cannot cover around 100,000 jobs today; construction speaks that in the coming years they fear they will not be able to cover nearly 700,000 jobs; the rest of the sectors, the highly qualified and with high salaries, and the less qualified and with lower salaries, all point in the same direction”; and that, from its organization, “where the problem is” has been detected, and a series of recommendations have been transferred to the Executive with which to address it.

At the same time, the president of Cepyme also wanted to reduce the Government’s euphoria about the good registration and unemployment figures that have been produced during the first four months of the year, assuring that “the vast majority of small and medium-sized companies Spanish companies continue to be in an extremely complicated situation”. “If the unemployment figures for last month and predictably the ones that we are going to know in a few days are good, it is not because the situation of the companies is idyllic, but because even though it is bad, or very bad, it is the courage of Spanish companies are allowing private employment to be created, despite their situation”, he added.

Structural weaknesses

In a speech that has maintained a harsh tone from beginning to end, and that has caused the audience to applaud, Cuerva has considered that “the lethal mix of obvious structural weaknesses in the economy and unwise government decisions has led to that our companies suffer more than those around us from all these chained crises”.

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The last words of the president of Cepyme have been for small businessmen who “every morning, despite the high taxes, the price of energy, the increase in costs derived from the labor reform or the increase in the minimum wage, when raising their blinds, turn on the light of hope for Spain”.

The closing of the assembly of the organization integrated in the CEOE has been carried out by Garamendi, who has claimed the “sense of State” of Spanish businessmen. “We may be wrong in our approaches, but no one can say that we do it in bad faith. We like the country and the institutions we have”, he concluded.

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