Yolanda Díaz took office this Tuesday at the head of the second vice presidency of the Government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy. The Galician lawyer has taken advantage of her first intervention as minister by announcing that her first measure will be to reinforce the unemployment protection and the increase in the interprofessional minimum wage (SMI) by 2024, for which he will “immediately” call unions and employers. “We are going to start by protecting those who need it most,” said Díaz.
“Our first measure will be to improve unemployment protection. We eliminate the PP cuts in the contributory public unemployment benefit and now is the time to advance at the level of care,” the minister emphasized.
During the inauguration ceremony, Díaz was accompanied by dozens of people from Sumar’s political space, such as Rita Maestre, Mónica García, Ada Colau, Íñigo Errejón and Sira Rego, as well as the leaders of CCOO (Unai Sordo), UGT (Pepe Álvarez), the self-employed associations UPTA, Uatae and ATA (Eduardo Abad, María José Landaburu and Celia Ferrero, respectively), CEOE (Antonio Garamendi) and Cepyme (Gerardo Cuerva), among others.
“Thank you for showing our country that understanding is possible. It is an honor to continue being a minister of this country, to continue defending and, above all, working for the workers“said the vice president, visibly moved and thanking her family for having instilled in her “to be a good person and defend with astonishing serenity who you represent.”
Díaz has announced his intention to maintain the SMI Expert Commission during this legislature, with a renewed and more comprehensive approach. Additionally, he plans to ask this commission to analyze the possible implications in terms of equality and inequality that could arise from increasing the SMI.
New rise in the SMI
For Díaz, the increase in the SMI “has made it possible to improve salaries and employment because it is the fundamental instrument to combat the gender pay gap and inequality.” “There is no better tool to combat working poverty”the minister highlighted.
The minister did not want to forget the business and union associations, with whom it will continue working “in common” to be the engine of “the fight against inequality”. Díaz has recalled all the hours they have spent negotiating on the fourth floor of the ministerial headquarters and the “many hours” that remain to do so, knowing that “sometimes we will not agree and other times we will”, but anticipating that This Government “is not going to conform”.
“Dear Antonio, I know that you would have liked our relationship to be a little more precarious and that the people who would occupy this position were probably others. Despite this joke, you know very well that we are going to continue working for the good of our country. We will always continue to dialogue. Sometimes we will not agree and other times we will, but the important thing, as I always say, is that dialogue is a method and when there is social dialogue, the opposing parties always leave their mark.” Diaz stated addressing the leader of the Spanish employers’ association.
Díaz addressed the president of the social economy employers’ association (Cepes), Juan Antonio Pedreño, who has been promised the creation of a new Secretary of State for Social Economy to strengthen this area that brings resilience, justice, solidarity and a feminist perspective to the economy. She also reaffirmed her electoral commitment to reform the Workers’ Statute, embodied in the agreement between the PSOE and Sumar.
He pointed out the need to adapt labor rights to the 21st century through the consolidation of an updated Labor Statute, recognizing that time and work realities have changed profoundly.
In addition, he stressed the intention of this legislature to gain “time of life”, referring to the reduction of the working day agreed between the formations of the coalition Executive. He highlighted the importance of recovering time to spend with loved ones, care, read poetry or simply grow as individuals.
“I never wanted to be anything other than someone who defends the workers of our country. Being able to continue doing so is the gift that the people in our country have given us.. And believe me, we are going to be up to par again,” he emphasized.