The Comisiones Obreras union presented a labor guide for cross-border workers in Gibraltar yesterday, with a detailed explanation of various points of interest that this group of professionals may have regarding their rights in both Spain and the British colony.
The document, promoted by CCOO and directed by José Luis Alcántara, an advisor to Spanish workers in Gibraltar, covers various aspects such as the registration of professionals in the cross-border register, unemployment benefits, sick leave or work-related accidents and their respective benefits, the pension system, and healthcare.
In a concise yet educational manner, anyone in need can learn in detail about the benefits they can access as cross-border workers.
Manuel Triano, the secretary of CCOO in the Campo de Gibraltar, highlighted the importance of this guide, a long-standing aspiration of the union that they had been aiming to publish for quite some time. He anticipates future editions that will incorporate all the feedback received from the workers themselves, as well as additional points.
José Luis Alcántara, the coordinator of the document, is intimately familiar with the needs of Spanish workers in Gibraltar, as he advises many of them from his office in La Línea, in addition to other cases within his family. "The origin of the guide is to meet a need that we detected, both CCOO and us as professionals in our offices, among cross-border workers who are unaware of the benefits they are entitled to in both Spain and Gibraltar," Alcántara explains on the La Comarca de Cerca program on 7TV Campo de Gibraltar.
Inmaculada Ortega, the general secretary of CCOO in the province of Cádiz, highlighted the "uncertainty" experienced by cross-border workers as they await the resolution of negotiations regarding Gibraltar's status in the EU after Brexit. These negotiations are currently on hold since the call for general elections in Spain, and the timing of an investiture remains unknown.
Similarly, Gibraltar is just a few days away from going to the polls to elect its leaders for the next term, with the current Chief Minister, Fabián Picardo, seeking reelection for the next four years. "For a long time, workers have been demanding to know their situation, both when working in Gibraltar and when they leave, and their demands are ongoing," says Ortega. "The uncertainty comes from, on the one hand, how the border situation will be after mobility issues this summer, and the use of these workers for purposes between countries. We also perceive that they want to address their own employment situation," adds Ortega, who points out that "until now, there was a European framework that was not to our liking because it did not cover certain benefits, leaving them in a void.