Since March 2018, the trade unions in the Spanish Post (Correos) have been engaging in an intense mobilisation which has led to work stoppages, protests, marches and strikes. The trade union mobilisation was imperative to protect the Universal Postal Service, the strategic project of the company and to defend the common interests of the workers.
The mobilisations reached its highest point on 30th November 2018 with the staging of a very successful general strike, which urged the company and the unions to step up the negotiations and reach an Agreement.
In mid-December, the trade unions achieved one of the best Labour Agreements in Correos’ history. The Spain Post Agreement 2018-2020 implements numerous and significant improvements for postal workers. The key points are the following:
- 12,000 new permanent job vacancies through public competition, 4,055 of these vacancies will be available in 2019.
- By the end of 2020, temporary employment in Correos will decrease from 30% to 8%.
- Wage increase above 11.74% which recovers some of the purchasing power that was reduced over the last few years under the pretext of financial crisis.
- Establishment of a voluntary early retirement scheme.
- 195 jobs are unblocked and open for internal promotion.
- Elimination of the compulsory nature of Saturday shifts. The ordinary working day will be from Monday to Friday, Saturday shift work will be voluntary from now on, and voluntary workers will get triple the normal hourly wage.
- Absences from work due to serious reasons (for instance surgical intervention, hospitalisation, radiotherapy, health treatment in pregnancy) will no longer be deducted from the wages.
The Agreement also includes a chapter that sets out if absenteeism is less than 4% throughout 2019, then there would not be any kind of absence penalties.
Regarding the future, trade unions will now engage in negotiations with the Government during the first three months of 2019 on the financing of the Universal Postal Service and the future Strategic Project of Correos.
These achievements have only been possible because the people have come together to work collectively, demonstrating the usefulness and benefits of a powerful labour movement.
José Sayagues, Federal Secretary for the Postal sector at FeSP-UGT said: “The hard work and trade union fights over the last few months have been worthwhile. We have managed to reverse the trend of losing employment and increasing precarious employment seen in recent years. We have slowed down the cuts and wage devaluation, and we have stabilised salaries for the next three years. We have recovered rights lost during the crisis. But above all, we have endowed the trade union with credibility in front of the workers. The agreement also provides a scenario of social and labour stability in the postal operator that should allow to address a strategy of expansion and diversification of postal activities to respond to new challenges in the business level, economic, commercial and technological levels too. This will enable the Spanish postal operator to achieve the necessary strength to maintain the provision of a universal quality postal service.”
Regino Martin General Secretary for the Postal sector at CCOO-FSP said: “The Agreement achieves the recovery of salary, employment and rights which were reduced throughout 8 years by a right-wing government under the pretext of financial crisis, using the devaluation of salaries and employment as ideological weapons, causing great suffering to the citizens and workers. The Agreement, apart from the salary recovery, also includes the commitment to improve the financing of the Universal Postal Service with the approval of a plan for its provision thereof, as well as its regulation, which will evidently contribute to the improvement of welfare state and the public services of our country.”