The “Yolanda effect”: Labour inspectors call three days of strike action for the first time in history

YolandaDiazYolanda Díaz, Ministry of Labour

For the first time in history, the Labour Inspectorate has called three days of strike action to protest against the “serious shortcomings” of a body that has still not been strengthened despite the commitments made by the government. A year and a half ago, the Ministries of Labour – on which it depends – and Finance and Public Function – responsible for the management of public employees – signed an agreement in which they undertook to strengthen both in staff and resources what is a key service in the fight against labour malpractice. However, the CC OO, CIG, SITSS, SISLASS and USESS unions claim that nothing of what was agreed then has been carried out, and point out that the shortcomings of the Inspectorate “are more severe and more palpable every day”. For this reason, they have called three full days of strike action for 21 December 2022, and 25 January and 22 February 2023.

“Neither the Ministry of Labour, nor the Ministry of Finance and Public Function want to take responsibility for the lack of solutions in a service such as the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate, which has suffered serious deficiencies for years,” says the statement jointly prepared by the five unions. It was released on Thursday, along with the proof of the notice of the strike call. “They have been analysing the set of solutions agreed with the social partners on 7 July 2021 for a year and a half. It is not credible that a modest group of basic measures, although capable of establishing a first group of solutions to the numerous deficiencies that are manifested in the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate can require, in their analysis, such a period unless it is an excuse to breach the agreement adopted”, they denounce in the note reported in the government newspaper El País.

In the July agreement, the General State Administration undertook to reinforce the staff of the Inspectorate with the immediate hiring of 200 temporary workers and to provide 6 million euros in productivity for the workers. “More staff is needed; technical and material resources must be improved; the inspectorate must be equipped with its own instruments to respond to the complexity of today’s world of work,” the unions have been demanding ever since. The Vice-President and Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, has stated on several occasions that “a strong inspectorate is needed, capable of dealing with the complexity of the world of work and the impact of new technologies with the same solvency as before”. However, trade unions criticise these messages as they believe that they have not been put into practice.

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