Government minister Félix Bolaños, defended the reforms. / EFE

Left-wing allies of government are unhappy with new labour laws

Moncloa is not prepared to change even a comma of the agreement, stated the government minister, Félix Bolaños


MADRID. The national government is defending criticism from its left-wing allies over the recent agreement to reform a 2012 labour law they were unhappy with. The republican Basque and Catalan nationalist parties - ERC and EH Bildu - say the reforms don't go far enough to meet the government's manifesto commitment. These two parties' votes are needed to get the reform through parliament. Ministers say the reform is the result of a negotiated pact between unions and the business sector which cannot now be reopened.

The main changes to the law aim to overturn elements set in 2012 by the conservative PP party that left-wing parties had always said were too favourable to employers and focus on collective bargaining. Collective deals made by unions for individual sectors now have priority over companies' individual deals.

Business leaders and conservative politicians had feared a more radical reform would threaten Spain's entitlement to EU Covid-19 development funds.