Part of the problem in the discussions appeared to be that the main unions, the General Workers Union (UGT) and the Workers Commission (CCOO) were at odds with the smaller unions - of which the USO was one - who were more interested in securing a salary rise.
Salvador Servera, the Managing Director of the FEBT, said that dialogue will nevertheless continue and another meeting has been arranged for tomorrowmorning. He said that discussions will continue until a full agreement has been reached.
Commenting on the demands for a salary rise, Servera said that throughout 2010 and 2011, all sectors of industry, whether public or private, had been forced to act in moderation. Servera claimed that that the Federation had never spoken at any time of a 3 percent salary increase but that in order to allow staff to keep pace with the cost of living, a 2 percent increase had been mooted.
Pep Ginard, the collective bargaining representative for the Workers Commission said that the proposals being put forward by his members were based on an already-existing agreement between management and staff which covered the years 2007 to 2010. He said that this agreement had established the right to equality of working conditions and the right to have a salary which matched the cost of living index. Ginard said that although he agreed with the USO union demand for a 3 percent salary rise, he felt sure that if this were secured, then management would start to make further demands on staff, thus eroding rights already established under the 2007-2010 agreement.
However, Ginard felt confident that an accord would be reached. Negotiating formulas were in place but they needed time, he said.