Pension scheme, insurance against inflation and 10% increase in wages: ‘Brick’, lost to tourism in search of laborers


With 700,000 workers needed, the construction industry does not want to tolerate labor lockouts. Its agreement goes beyond the recommendations of owners and unions and competes to attract tourism and hospitality workers.

a group of workers work in construction
A group of workers work on building a wall in PamplonaJess DiegesEFE

Salary hike of 10% in three years, salary guarantee clause and pension plan. If uncontrolled inflation made collective bargaining impossible for a national agreement between whom? CEOE, Cepyme, CCOO and UGT, construction industry, with 136,000 companies and 1.3 million employees It has done so in circumstances that have put forward a blockade on the rest of the social dialogue on the right.

Until the real estate bubble burst in 2008, construction was the main pillar of employment in Spain, employing 2.7 million workers, 13% of the working population, who forgo large infrastructure ranging from shopping centers to residential buildings.

Since then and with drastic adjustments in between, the industry has reduced in size and activity to the extent that the 2015 economic recovery was led by Tourism and hospitality, which in 2018 topped the peak of the great bubble, were among the employment figures driven by construction,

Famous farmworkers of exorbitant salaries sought their place in the hotel business. This topic says while the construction sector estimates its personnel needs 700,000 new employees over the next few years, not just formwork; Nor do you find construction managers, masons, crane operators, forklift operators…

Now Brick wants to recover the workforce with a new settlement that is carefully watched by the rest of the sector. “We want a construction worker to be able to have a beer at a bar at the end of the day and, looking at the bartender, think: ‘Okay, I’m fine,'” says a source who participated in the conversation.

Perhaps it is this intention to attract personnel that has led the interlocutors to distance themselves from the general guidelines. On 6 May, the national leadership of employers and unions broke off talks to increase wages over the next three years. The impossibility of transferring 100% inflation to labor costs argues the former, refusing to charge loss of purchasing power on wages, the latter.

Officially, unions demand pay hike 3.5% to do it and 2.5% for the next two, with a wage guarantee clause that compensates for deviations (the average inflation forecast this year would be 7.5%). For its part, the CEOE’s board of directors projected that 3.5% as a ceiling and it could reach 9% over the next three years. But the union’s demand for a wage guarantee clause put an end to the possibilities of a settlement.

economist, bank of spain And, at the same time, the government hailed it as bad news to end the prospects of an income settlement, which serves as a hedge against the effects of an inflationary spiral and its second round in the years to come. But the present scenario leads to price rise and social conflict.

The surprising thing is that All limits imposed by employers and unions at the national level have been exceeded In just one week and its VII general agreement by the same agents in the construction sector.

Although the tentative scope of the agreement is until 2027, the current pre-agreement includes a 10% increase in wages for the next three years, including a wage guarantee clause and an innovative pension scheme for workers.

Notably, the wage hike agreed by the National Construction Confederation (CNC) with CCOO and UGT is 4% for 2022, 3% for 2023 and 3% for 2024, i.e., 10% of the total,

The wage guarantee clause also goes beyond the CEOE’s red lines, but falls short of what unions demand because it is too limited Assuming a maximum deviation of three digits, i.e. 13% in three years as against 10% of the agreed growth, And, finally, it opens the door to the general implementation of pension schemes in the form of remuneration and savings formulas for companies and workers.

This last point is the most recent, although it is pending the development of the parliamentary process of the framework that governs it. Neither the companies nor the unions wanted to wait for what Congress voted for and approved a formula by which In 2022 and 2023, 1% of the salary will go to the pension scheme and in 2023 this amount will increase to 1.25%. In the event that inflation exceeds the forecast, the part of compensation required for wage guarantee will also be included in the pension plan.

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