The special employment centers, which in the Basque Country employ more than 9,000 people with some functional diversity, and job placement companies, which host another 1,400, go through particularly difficult times. Much of these templates are dedicated to manufacturing components for other companies that, especially during the fortnight of economic hibernation, which only allowed them to maintain essential activities, lowered the blind and left them almost without orders.
So many were forced to resort to temporary employment regulation records. The ERTEs. And more than 4,000 employees have been affected, so many, whose salary barely exceeds the interprofessional minimum wage (950 euros per month), should only receive 70% paid by Lanbide. However, they will charge 100%, as announced by the Lehendakari, Íñigo Urkullu, during the visit he made in Sestao to the facilities of Lantegi Batuak, an entity that has ‘recycled’ 70 workers in four of its centers and has put them in make masks. They already produce 10,000 a week.
Urkullu acknowledged that the Basque Government must reinforce its commitment to maintain employment conditions “for people with disabilities”. Apply a “positive discrimination” that, in this case, will be achieved by maintaining the aid that is already given to these employees, even though during the ERTEs their contracts, in some way, decline.
“They will have difficulties”
“In the case of special employment centers they are 475 euros per month per person, and in the case of insertion companies, 12,300 per year,” explained the Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Policies, Marcos Muro, who accompanied the visit to the lehendakari and the head of her department, Beatriz Artolazabal. With this money, “we hope to cover the amounts that these people have stopped receiving and thus, in practice, consolidate their full salary until they can return to their jobs.”
The managing director of Lantegi Batuak, Txema Franco, highlighted his concern for the future of job centers and insertion companies, which bring together people with problems to enter the labor market, and who provide them with the self-esteem and necessary tools. “We know how much it has cost us to achieve the labor inclusion quotas that we have today, and we are very aware of the difficulties of access to the labor market that people with disabilities will have in the future,” he warned.
At least, he acknowledged, fifty hundred workers have seen their jobs reinforced, “since they work in the cleaning and laundry of residences and hospitals and even make home delivery for the elderly.” On the other hand, 807 employees have had to cause compulsory leave, mainly because they are people at risk of contagion.