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Number of poor workers in Catalonia up to 400,000, says union

With part-time work and job losses on the rise, CCOO warns that insecurity has become "the established model"

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28 March 2019 07:34 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

A major trade union warned on Thursday that the number of poor workers has risen in Catalonia in the past five years, reaching 391,400 people in 2017.

A report by the Comissions Obreres (CCOO) trade union in Catalonia said that the number of workers at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013 stood at 335,800.

The study also says that between 2008 and 2018, some 292,000 jobs were lost, leaving 432,000 people without work, a rise of 140,000 unemployed people in those 10 years.

At 73%, the rise in the number of unemployed people was especially noted among women, with the unemployment growth rate among men reaching 29%.

  • "We continue in a precarious labor market without the capacity to generate quality jobs, while the unemployment benefit system does not provide the cover it should"

    Romina Garcia · Trade union CCOO's official

The union says the study shows that the economic recovery has not only failed to benefit everyday workers, but that "job insecurity has become the established model."

"A job not enough to escape poverty"

"Right now, having a job is not always enough to lift you out of poverty," said CCOO work and economy secretary, Ricard Bellera.

Between 2008 and 2018, part-time work went up 10% in Catalonia, with full-time work falling 10.5%, particularly among women in both cases.

Additionally, the study reveals that in Catalonia more than 518,000 people are overqualified for the jobs they do, while almost 29,000 jobless people have given up looking for work.

Meanwhile, the study also says that almost 65% of Catalonia's unemployed workforce do not receive any form of unemployment benefit or subsidy.

"Labor market incapable of generating quality jobs"

"We continue in a precarious labor market without the capacity to generate quality jobs, while the unemployment benefit system does not provide the cover it should," said the union's job market and employment policy head, Romina Garcia.

On the back of the study, the CCOO union called for "solid measures" to provide more financial assistance to help the families of unemployed people.

The union also demanded that employment policy address the most vulnerable groups, such as young people and the over-45s, and for efforts to be made to reduce the gender pay gap.

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  • Two officials for CCOO trade union in a press conference on March 28, 2019 (by Aina Martí)

  • Two officials for CCOO trade union in a press conference on March 28, 2019 (by Aina Martí)

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