CGTP-IN Secretary-General Arménio Carlos argues that the national minimum wage (NMS) should benefit from a “nominal increase of 90 euros for all workers, regardless of profession, whether in the private or public sector in January”. 2020, according to an interview with Público and Renaissance radio this Thursday, September 12.
“This will be our claim for all collective bargaining. We will negotiate with employers and the Government, ”says Arménio Carlos. The 90 euros increase is CGTP-IN's first step towards raising the SMN to 850 euros, something that the union leader points to as a goal with no “time limit”. "But we have one goal: that the 850 euros be realized in the shortest time," he adds.
For Arénio Carlos, it is essential to break with the “low wage policy”. “At this moment we have 2,240,000 workers with monthly net salaries not exceeding 900 euros; 23% of workers receive the national minimum wage (NMS), ”he says.
The CGTP leader also criticizes the Government for defining different NMS for the private and the public: “Above all, it is a wrong strategy. […]. There are two NMS in Portugal and our 850 euro proposal solves the problem on its own: in the short term everyone will benefit. ”
In addition to the SMN, pensions must also be updated, argues the CGTP leader. “We do not define a value, but it is necessary to change the law. We want a global pension upgrade that improves the purchasing power of all pensioners. Today we have a problem: if the economy grows below 2% in the last four quarters of the year, there is no updating of pensions for a significant number of retirees, ”he says.
Armenio Carlos will leave the CGTP-IN leadership in February 2020, about eight years after taking over the head of the trade union central. The departure of Arménio Carlos is a result of the circumstances, as there is an internal rule in the CTGP that prevents managers who retire during the next term to apply for executive functions. In the same interview, the unionist says that he will return to work at his company, Carris, maintaining "total availability to support the workers' struggle".
Asked about the possibility of succeeding Jerónimo de Sousa in the leadership of the PCP, party where he is a member of the central committee, Arménio Carlos explains that he will not “play any political role as responsibilities after leaving the general secretary of CGTP” .