Something begins to change in the Spanish car factories. After a first quarter complicated by microchip shortageto which was added the truckers’ strike in March, the brands that assemble vehicles in Spain begin to enjoy a greater regularity of supplies that allows them to reduce the ERTE.
“In Martorell, line 2 has been full for weeks, working three shifts”, they explain from seats a Five days. “Since March we have begun to have a certain normality with the supply of parts. Our ERTE ends on June 17 and we are not studying extending it beyond that date”, they add. As an example of the recovery of activity, they highlight, Martorell will work one week in August, a month in which the factory has no activity in a normal year.
Another company that manufactures in our country, Renault (with a car plant in Valladolid and another in Palencia) does not plan to extend the files in the second part of the year either. “We have increased flexibility in production, with the consensus of the workers’ representation, to be able to stop one day if necessary without having to resort to ERTE,” they explain at Renault, where the files are agreed until 30 of June. The company claims to have noticed an improvement in semiconductor supplies, although they stress that “the situation is analyzed weekly.”
For its part, Stellantis, the group that produces the most vehicles in Spain with its plants in Vigo, Madrid and Figueruelas (Zaragoza), has agreed an ERTE with the workers’ representatives for the whole of 2022, although union sources tell this newspaper that the situation is also improving for them . “The chip crisis has affected us a lot, with several days of shutdowns, but from the company they assured us that for this month and the next The forecast is that the situation improves substantially”, assures Santiago García from CC OO at the Stellantis plant in Vigo. “You probably even have to work weekends to recover activity,” he adds.
On the other hand, at the plant Stellantis in Figueruelas (where the Opel Corsa is assembled) “The activity has been normal for a month”indicates the president of the works council of the factory, Rubén Alonso (UGT).
VW Navarra does extend them
In Navarra, where Volkswagen has a factory in Landaben, the situation is different. Just this Monday, the company will stop its activity charged to the last day of the industrial day that it had available to use in this 2022 (there are seven days a year in which the company can decide whether to work or not). For this reason, the company is negotiating with the union representatives an extension of the ERTE. “It is to have an umbrella that gives us security in case we need to stopbut hopefully we do not need to resort to this tool ”, they say from VW.
As for the plant mercedes victoria, where 5,000 people are employed, it has only had to stop its activity for two days so far this year. “We have already recovered one and we will probably recover the other in the second part of the year,” indicate union sources. From the ELA union they believe that the company has made fraudulent use of this tool that works with public money since, probably, the factory ends up working more than the 214 days per year that they have agreed in the agreement. “We can end up working more than stipulated and even so they are using the ERTE. We have a trial for this matter next June 14 ”, they affirm in the ELA union.
The climate in this factory is tense due to the negotiations for the new collective agreement that have already lasted 16 months, with thirty meetings in which a consensus could not be reached. Last week, the company explained to the union representation that its investment plan for the factory is €1.2 billion in the coming years, as long as an agreement is reached in the collective agreement. “They want more flexibility, but not even reaching an agreement with them can they assure us that they will invest that money in the factory”they warn in ELA.
Extension in July. The Ford management and the UGT union, the majority in the Almussafes (Valencia) factory, reported last week that they reached an agreement to extend the factory’s ERTE for one more month, until the end of July, due to the instability in the supply that the plant still suffers. The rest of the factory unions did not support the agreement. It should be noted that the labor reform allows the extension of the ERTE without the need to negotiate a new one when the circumstances are the same. The new provisional calendar of the ERTE in the manufacture of vehicles foresees stops on July 1, 4, 7, 8, 22 and 25, which are joined by June 13, 17, 20, and 27.
Tense wait. The factory is awaiting the decision that the carmaker will communicate this month on which European plant it will manufacture the last two electric models that still have to be assigned for this decade. Almussafes competes with the Ford factory in Saarlouis (Germany) for keeping these cars.