Saturday, August 13

Thousands of people affected by erte in Catalonia will not receive their benefit at Christmas

  • The SEPE claims a “technical incidence” and the unions estimate up to 7,000 victims who could be left without income this December and must wait until January

Thousands of workers affected by for him in Catalonia these will stay Christmas without collecting their benefit. A “technical incident”, as argued from the SEPE will leave thousands of people without income these parties. According to union calculations, the victims could amount to 7,000 workers throughout Catalonia. They are employees of companies seriously burdened by covid restrictions, such as hotels or airport facilities, and which have been affected by a suspension file for almost two years. Which implies that many of them accumulate more than 20 months with a loss of income of 30%, since the benefit is always lower than the salary received. According to union sources consulted from different provincial delegations, said “technical incidence” would be concentrated in the province of Barcelona.

Hotels like Sofia, the Juan Carlos I, the Hesperia or the Exo They are on the list of damaged companies and only among these four do they have more than a thousand workers on the payroll. Signatures like Areas, which specializes in restaurant services at airports and highways, also has a part of its workforce affected by delays in payments, according to different union sources consulted.

The last extension of the terms agreed between the Government, the employers and the unions forced the companies that intended to continue to be covered by public aid to re-register their files. And collective requests for benefits for their workers. In this process, the public employment services have not correctly processed part of these renewals and thousands of workers, some for 22 months on erte and with no savings margin, will remain this month without receiving their benefit.

The Social Security It still does not have definitive data on how many workers are still affected by an erte in Catalonia today. Carrying out an estimated cross between the files registered in the Department of Labor and its weight in the affiliation to Social Security, the figure could be around 48,000 people. Concentrated in those sectors that have not yet managed to get caught up in the train of economic recovery in which others are already riding.

Sources of Ministry of Labor they explain, to questions from EL PERIÓDICO, that the delays are due to “a specific technical incidence in the system in the processing of benefits corresponding to some companies when processing periods of activity.” And they assure that “in the next payroll the amount due will be paid.” Those same sources do not quantify how many people have been affected by these delays and insist that it is a “specific” issue. SEPE union sources in the province of Barcelona, ​​however, do not rule out that the delay could extend to January.

No savings after 22 months on erte

Dew works at the Hotel Juan Carlos I, is a member of its works council and has been in erte since March 2020. Which in your case means that from charging 1,500 euros a month you go to 960 euros: a 36% cut in your income. “But the bills haven’t gone down,” he recalls. And it is that the light -fired-, the rent or the shopping basket do not loosen. “After almost two years savings are gone and we are up to date,” he says. “Last year – also coinciding with another extension – we already charged late and this December people started worried. And finally we will not charge ”, she adds resigned. Those who have it worse are single-parent families, who will have to spend this Christmas without that sole source of income or those couples who work in the same company and who cannot rely on the other that month to overcome the delay of the SEPE.

Rachib, employed in another of the great Barcelona hotels, tells a testimony very similar to that of Rocío. He had to leave the apartment he had rented because with the cut in income he could not afford it. Now he shares a room and spends hours in a restaurant to supplement his income and avoid reaching the end of the month in a hurry. “We all thought that the SEPE traffic jam was over and that there would be no more problems, but it seems that no,” he complains. “Things that seemed outdated are not. It cannot be that when there is an administrative error the citizen ends up paying for it. The SEPE must give a solution to those affected already this month,” says the secretary for union policy of the UGT de Catalunya. Núria Gilgado.

Communication “impossible” with the SEPE

Related news

Delays in the collection of benefits were frequent among the millions of workers who at the beginning of the pandemic became erte. Then the peak of those affected reached 3.4 million workers, a figure that is now substantially lower and, according to November data, affects just over 120,000 employees throughout Spain. Hence, the interviewees for this report do not understand that the incidents persist and that communication with the employment offices is “impossible”, according to the complaint. Conchi, a worker for the industrial Merit Automotive and with a staff of about 300 employees.

In this factory in Sant Vicenç dels Horts they have a “master’s degree” in ertes, according to this delegate from CCOO, since the component manufacturer has been reducing working hours for years to cushion an economic situation that was no longer fully buoyant before the semiconductor crisis. Conchi reports problems with the SEPE since the beginning of the pandemic, with some workers charging more than their share, other employees with delays and constant communication difficulties. “We demand a coherent response from the Administration. The worst thing is not the two months that we have been without payment, which also, but not knowing if we will collect in January ”, he complains.

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