Spanish Labour Unions Warn of ‘Disastrous Job Losses’ as the Second Coronavirus Wave Bites In.
Spanish Labour Unions warn that distressed companies will not be able to retain workers returning from furlough, while the understaffed national employment services struggle to pay out jobless benefits causing months of delay in payments.
The government’s ERTE job retention scheme, which kept many distressed businesses afloat during the first lockdown in the spring, is now beginning to feel insufficient. The economic storm is not abating, with more layoffs and job losses expected when the program ends. In September, the government extended the furlough scheme until January 31.
Meanwhile, the country’s understaffed employment services (SEPE) are stretched to breaking point as they attempt to process thousands of aid applications. The labour union Comisiones Obreras (CC OO) estimates that there is now a four-month delay in processing ERTE claims, and it wants to see “immediate [staff] reinforcements” in order to deal with the “bottleneck.” With Christmas just around the corner, it could be a grim time for many families who have no income and virtually no government support.
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