SPANISH employers are demanding more and more from their workers as they attempt to get the country back on track following a historic agreement that opened the door for US companies to open up to the Spanish workforce.
The deal between the US and Spain is the first of its kind in the region, and has already been hailed by trade unions as a key step in a process of economic integration between the two countries.
However, workers are increasingly frustrated with what they see as the lack of transparency around the agreement.
In a report published in April, the Workers’ and Peasants’ Confederation of Spain (CSCS) said the deal had left Spanish workers without a clear understanding of how much they would receive in benefits, the amount of the tax breaks, or the impact of the deal on their living standards.
A report published on Wednesday found that the US tax breaks were largely being spent on infrastructure, such as airports, while the US companies have been given exemptions on certain sectors such as the oil and gas sector.
In an interview with the BBC, Luis Riera, CSCS’s general secretary, said that the agreement had created an “opportunity for US multinationals to exploit Spanish labour” and that the trade unions were calling for greater transparency from the US.
“This is a deal that allows US companies, multinationals, to exploit workers in Spain, in the same way that they exploit the rest of the world,” Riera said.
“We’re calling for more transparency.”
The CSCI said it was working with the union and the Spanish government to ensure that the deal would not be a template for other companies to exploit labour.
But workers said that it was important to ensure they understood how much of the money would go towards wages, benefits, and working conditions.
The CSEU said the US has not provided any figures for the tax break, and it called on Spanish authorities to provide more information on the tax credits given to US companies.
“I want to know if it’s possible to get a more detailed report about the amount that is being spent by the US to the companies,” the CSEW’s Luis Arregui said.
In response, a spokesman for the US State Department said the company that was paying for the jobs had been awarded the tax credit for the first time in its history.
“While we do not comment on individual tax credits, we do believe that this program is an important tool to help strengthen the competitiveness of the US economy and the US workforce,” he said.
But Spanish Trade Union Federation (CTFF) president Javier Pacheco said that “more transparency and transparency from Washington” was needed.
“It’s really important for Spanish companies to know how much money is being invested in their operations in the US, and we want to make sure that we get an accurate picture of what’s going on in our industry,” he told Al Jazeera.CSCD president Riera has said that he would like to see a report on the trade deal by the end of March.