At UGT FICA we have been aware at all times of the complexity of the situation unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore we have understood the drastic measures that the Government has been forced to take to prevent its expansion, prioritizing its attention in the health emergency. The harshness of the decisions taken has had an immediate devastating effect on the economy of our country and, as a consequence, layoffs and ERTEs have increased, leaving thousands of workers in the industry on the street. Measures such as those contained in Royal Decree-Law 8/2020 were necessary to cover all victims of the pandemic, both health and economic.
The cards are already on the table. The Government, in an exercise of bravery and commitment unprecedented in the history of our democracy, has presented a forceful package of measures that guarantee the most urgent needs, both of the workers and of the most disadvantaged companies and citizens. A Royal Decree that supposes an effective firewall to prevent the health crisis from dragging our economy towards irreversible consequences for companies and employment.
UGT FICA applauds the Royal Decree-law without palliation, since its measures are in line with those we have been demanding. We especially appreciate that ERTEs are the basic tool to prevent layoffs, that affected workers have the right to receive unemployment benefits without fulfilling the necessary requirements, and that they are not computed for purposes of collecting benefits in the future. We also value the support measures for the most vulnerable families, companies, basic social benefits, employment enhancement, teleworking, job rotation and research to continue fighting against the Covid-19.
Consequently, we are going to act responsibly as far as we are concerned so that this crisis does not leave collateral damage in industrial employment. We will make every effort in our power to prevent the spread of the pandemic and safeguard the economy and business. We also want to convey our admiration and solidarity to the hundreds of thousands of workers who, quietly, make the supply chain (food, energy, pharmaceutical, etc.) not stop and can reach everyone to ensure the supply of both food. basic as products for the protection of our health.
Exercising our responsibility, at UGT FICA we offer our availability to the Government to successfully carry out the approved measures, and we demand that same responsibility from the rest of the interlocutors. Now is the time to face together among all, that we all take pictures and demonstrate that we are up to the circumstances demanded by the times.
The workers have demonstrated their awareness of the national alarm situation and are acting responsibly by adopting the prevention and safety protocols of each of their companies and sectors. The Government has put all the meat on the grill with the Royal Decree-law and the unions build bridges to facilitate the development of the measures. Now the ball is on the roof of the entrepreneurs. It is time to demonstrate your real commitment to our country and, instead of using traumatic measures such as layoffs, make good use of the instruments that the Government has provided to deal with this situation, which make mass dismissals unjustifiable. There is no longer an excuse to check out employment.
It is time to put aside private interests and put your shoulder to this national emergency. It is time to do a patriotic exercise and that we all collaborate, both socially and individually, so that this pandemic is only a parenthesis and serves to strengthen the foundations of our society and our economy to face the future challenges that we face. are waiting.
We all know that this situation has an expiration date, and that society and the economy that it leaves behind once overcome will depend on everyone's responsibility.
The virus must be defeated by all and for this we must all rise to the occasion. It is time to act responsibly and row in the same direction. For the good of the industry, of the jobs and for the good of the country.
Pedro Leaves he is secretary general of UGT FICA