The meeting took place yesterday at the offices of League F’s lawyers at 4:00 p.m. The five unions that represent Spanish professional soccer players (FUTPRO, AFE, Futbolistas ON, CCOO and UGT) sat at the table in front of the president of the competition, Beatriz Álvarez, also the vice president Rubén Alcaine, in addition to the lawyers of the League F and personalities from Atlético and Athletic representing the clubs – it was strange that Levante was not there as the visible head of the independent clubs (which do not have a men’s and women’s team in First Division), a regular feature. An hour and a half later, everyone got up without any agreement. They are scheduled today at the offices of the SIMA (Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service FSP) in Madrid, to try to resolve the situation, since the Spanish soccer players have already warned that they will strike for at least the first two days of the F League. upset because the collective agreement is not improved. Not economically or anything.
For the soccer players it is not only an economic battle, but it is a war for the professionalization of the sport framed under the agreement, stalled since the meetings began on January 25. That is why the unions sent an email last Friday – with a copy to the Ministry of Labor – warning that the strike is coming. A communication that, according to League F, had greatly surprised, even though it has been 18 months without white smoke; even if they understand that the agreement must be repaired. But that, for now, is not happening.
The unions are requesting a gradual improvement in the minimum wage in three years, going to 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 gross euros per year (now it is set at 16,000). Although in May the employers verbally offered to increase to 16,500, 17,500 and 19,000, they backed out in June, alleging that their budgets had been undermined after the latest resolutions issued by the Higher Sports Council (CSD), which called for allocating a 20% of commercial income to the RFEF, or justice, which approved the increase in arbitration receipt fees and sanctions. And there the employers continue, stuck in not touching salaries, although they do agree to suppress the partiality (currently it is at 75%), because they understand – although they propose that it be retroactive – that the players did not only work five hours a day.
It remains to be seen what happens with aid in the form of a conciliation agreement – such as the one the federation reached with the soccer players during the World Cup, when they all received 15,000 euros to be close to their loved ones – and with the demands of playing on soccer fields. grass (it is documented that changes in terrain affect an uptick in cruciate ligament tears). But this was not discussed in the meeting in the offices of the League F lawyers, since they stayed on the economic side because everyone understood that the appointment with the SIMA would be more clarifying.
The employer’s response, in any case, was not an absolute denial, although it did warn that the requested salary is excessive. “We have to talk to the clubs because we haven’t had time,” they said. So in less than 24 hours they hope to be able to give another version. Especially because League F is not interested in delay or criticism, now that the Spanish players are in the spotlight for being world champions and for the scandal unleashed by Luis Rubiales and his non-consensual kiss with Jenni Hermoso. Nor are the clubs interested, as they will not be able to make money from the matches, among other things, and they will have to pay the salaries of the footballers except for the two days they go on strike, the matchdays.
The ball was thrown by the unions and now it is in the court of the employers. But it will be SIMA, it is assumed, that will bring positions together and avoid an immediate strike. The start of the championship is scheduled this weekend.
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