EL CORTE INGLES and the unions agree to let go of 3,292 employees as the retail giant struggles with the effects of Covid-19.
El Corte Inglés and the union representation have signed an agreement for the voluntary adjustment of staff. The decision will affect 3,292 employees and includes 33 days of compensation with a limit of 24 monthly payments and exit premiums of up to 20% of their salary, according to the informed unions CCOO, Fetico, UGT and Fasga.
These protections will be based on the 2019 incentives for the sales group and on the salary expiration date. According to union sources, the final number of those affected exceeds the 3,000 initially expected by the group by 292.
Exit premiums have been agreed upon for those who voluntarily accept the termination of their contract. Those who have been a part of the company for over 15 years will receive a payment of 20% of their annual gross salary, and those between 10 and 15 years will receive 10%. Those between 5 and 10 will receive 5%.
Employees have until April 23 to join voluntarily.
Experts and union leaders say the rise of online sales accelerated by the pandemic, with customers being inundated with special online offers, has been one of the reasons to let employees go. The company is also having difficulty connecting to the under 30s market and has not been able to expand beyond Portugal, leaving it more exposed to the ups and downs of the national economy.
While sales for online giants such as Amazon soar, the concept of the “retail apocalypse” sees the decline of many brick-and-mortar stores.
El Corte Inglés’ highly successful business model first hit a plateau with the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that followed. The coronavirus pandemic only made this worse.
“With expansion plans underway, the construction crisis hit and eliminated millions of jobs. It had a great impact on citizens’ purchasing power, and its effect was felt,” says Miguel Venegas, secretary-general of Fasga, the majority union at the company.
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