Spain’s UGT union expects labour deal next week

MADRID, May 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Agreement between Spanish unions
and employers on labour market reforms is expected at the end of
next week, the leader of the UGT union said on Thursday.

“We are working towards an agreement with business leaders.
At the end of next week, the main points should be agreed on,”
Candido Mendez said in an interview with La Ser radio.

Reform of the labour market is aimed at reducing the number
of temporary contracts, easing the costs of hiring and firing,
encouraging the use of part-time contracts and bringing the
long-term unemployed and the young back into the jobs market.

Mendez said tough new government austerity measures to
reduce a big budget deficit, including wage cuts for state
workers, had not helped the labour reform talks.

UGT is Spain’s second biggest union and represents a wide
range of public sector workers and pensioners.

The country’s largest union, the CCOO, and the UGT have
already called a public sector workers’ strike against the cuts
for June 8 and have not ruled out further action including a
general strike.

The cabinet is due to approve on Thursday cuts worth 15
billion euros, including an average 5 percent pay reduction for
public sector workers this year.

The spending cuts are aimed at slashing the budget deficit
from 11.2 percent of GDP in 2009 to 3 percent in 2013.

With an unemployment rate of 20 percent, the euro zone’s
highest, a labour market reform agreement is considered crucial
to economic recovery.

(Reporting by Manuel Ruiz; writing by Judy MacInnes; editing by
Andrew Roche)

Spain’s UGT union expects labour deal next week