Business confederations lay down conditions for return to negotiations table

Representatives of the four business confederations have explained their no-show earlier today to discuss (the government’s plans for) dishing out €24 billion in Portugal 2030 funding (click here).

In a statement published this afternoon they say they have decided they will be returning to the negotiating table, “namely to discuss the increase in the national minimum wage proposed for next year”.

PM António Costa announced the increase earlier today. 

Popping that balloon with a further razor-sharp sentence, the confederations warned it is “fundamental the government presents the economic foundations supporting” its proposal – referring to “calculations relative to inflation, productivity gains and the monitoring report on the evolution of Guaranteed Minimum Monthly Remuneration (RMMG)”.

“No less important, it is fundamental that the government complies with promises assumed relating to previous increases in the minimum salary”, the statement continues.

These promises include “updating prices for public contracts” – something pledged in 2020, then in 2021 and still today, at almost the end of the year, unfulfilled.

The real ‘humdinger’ in the statement however sees confederations saying they will most certainly be available to “discuss Portugal 2030”, but by that they do mean ‘discuss’. 

They “refuse” what they dub “a merely protocol-type consultation” process that would “only serve requirements of Brussels” without actually taking their views onboard.

“The scheduling of these issues should not be done unilaterally”, they explain, confirming their commitment to “solid and constructive social dialogue” of the kind they “have always demonstrated over the last few decades”.

If this was a chess game, the government is well and truly in check.

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