LONDON (ICIS)--Spain’s main chemicals trade unions and the main trade group have agreed to increase wages in the sector by 2.5% annually in the triennium 2018-2020, trade group FEIQUE said on Wednesday.
The collective bargaining agreement will affect 285,000 workers employed by chemical companies in Spain, or associated sectors.
The two parties – FEIQUE representing employers and trade unions CCOO and UGT representing employees – also agreed to increment paid-for training courses outside working hours for employees in order to “face the challenges of the future” regarding digitisation.
Under that clause, workers will have eight hours of training in 2018, 16 hours next year and 32 hours from 2020 onwards.
A third point agreed by employers and employees would affect gender equality, outlining a plan to end gender-related salary discrimination.
“The increases in salaries were agreed based on positive economic forecasts for the chemical industry and in view of our commitment to create stable and high-quality employment,” said FEIQUE.
“While Spanish law mandates Equality Plans are mandatory in companies with over 250 employees, the new collective bargaining agreement [for chemicals] establishes those plans will be mandatory in companies with over 150 workers.”
The chemical industry in Spain has been one of the best performers in the last 10 years as the country recovered from the collapse of its 1998-2008 housing bubble.
Sales rose 7% in 2017 to €63.1bn on the back of a strong domestic economic recovery and increasing selling prices.
Moreover, 56% of sales were sent to foreign markets with exports rising 8.7% during 2017 year on year, totalling €35.3bn.