Tsunami warning for employment in the automotive sector

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The unions of the automobile industry in Spain fear the effects of a tsunami on employment if corrective measures are not considered in the face of the continued decline in vehicle registrations and production cuts, as announced for this summer by Ford (Almussafes) and Nissan (Avila). The changes in mobility, the restriction of emissions and the new taxation that is proposed for diesel threaten to remove the foundations of a sector that generates 2 million jobs in Spain (direct and indirect) and that represents 10% of GDP.

The commercialization of vehicles transits downhill from September of 2018. The consumer does not know what car to buy, if one diesel, to gasoline or wait to see what happens with the electric. Only in May, the last month counted, vehicle sales fell by 7.3%. The employer's associations of manufacturers (Anfac), dealers (Faconauto) and sellers (Ganvam) believe that the decline will continue, at least, until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the park ages. The average age stood at 12.5 years per unit last year. 31.7% of the vehicles that circulate on the roads are over 15 years old and the age will continue to grow until reaching 13.7 years by 2025, according to Faconauto.

The mid-term forecasts keep vigilant the state managers of UGT-Fica and CC OO Industria consulted by Efe. In the long term, they agree that "the perfect storm" is being prepared. The fall in demand is already reflected in some of the 17 plants installed in Spain, the second country in manufacturing volume in Europe and the eighth in the world.

Ford announced this week a cut in production for its plant in Almussafes (Valencia). The company estimates that the decrease in the demand for vehicles in the European market will have an impact of between 100 and 150 daily units in production from September 1, which will result in the suppression of the night shift or a temporary regulation file. employment (Erte) for the second semester.

Also the Nissan plant in Ávila will stop producing as of August 9. On the template plans an ERE that can affect about 100 workers, who threaten strikes for June 13 and 14.

UGT-Fica automotive responsible, Jordi Carmona, believes that you should not be "just expectant" before the situation and adds that you have to "work or the tsunami will come with a very large impact on employment."

CC OO has already reacted and makes a map of the sector before the changes that affect the consumer, manufacturing and sales. The report will be finalized by the end of the year, with conclusions and requests. In a non-alarmist tone, the head of the state sector of C COO, Joaquín Ferreira, stresses that the fact that production goes down "does not mean that it can affect employment". In fact, from CCOO see "stability in the medium term" in employment thanks to measures of social buffering in the agreements, with flexible hours according to the peaks of demand and, where appropriate, Erte that do not involve dismissals.

CC OO and UGT emphasize that the decline in demand does not affect all companies in the sector equally. "Martorell (Seat) goes on top with the León, Arona and Ibiza models, although worse with the Audi A1, and in Vigo (PSA) they manufacture 500,000 cars a year, with the commercial K-9 as a shot that will cause more turns after of summer, "says Ferreira.

In Volkswagen, the chairman of the works committee, Alfredo Morales (UGT), points out that orders and sales continue to increase at the Landaben plant (Navarra). Volatility in the sector does not affect them, he says, because 90% of the plant is export oriented.

Carmona (UGT-Fica) believes that the main thing to "consolidate" the sector is to "bet" to attract plants that will manufacture the batteries of electric cars in Spain. In this sense, the acting Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, offered this week in China to local companies JAC Motors and Guaoxuan High Tech to develop in Spain investment projects in the field of batteries for electric vehicles. In parallel, the acting minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, insists on reviewing the different taxation that applies to diesel and gasoline, with a possible goal of equaling them.

The unions react and while CC OO rejects the messages that "create uncertainty" and strike the diesel as "bad fuel", UGT requests a specific strategic agreement for the automobile sector and a greater political commitment.

. (tagsToTranslate) larazon.es

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