The management of the automobile firm Seat has reached an agreement with the unions this Thursday to implement a temporary employment regulation file (ERTE) that will affect 550 employees, who will be suspended from employment between January 18 and June 30 . The file is due to the fact that the company is having less activity due to the lack of electronic components that has caused the coronavirus pandemic. The ERTE will be voluntary and the company will supplement the unemployment benefit up to 80% of the salary.
Before the Christmas holidays, Seat already raised the need to approve an ERTE to address the shortage of semiconductors. This electronic component is key for the chips integrated in the electronic circuits of certain vehicles, and not having these parts available affects the manufacture of the Seat Cupra León and Cupra Formentor models, which are manufactured on assembly line 2 of the Martorell plant. The file will affect 400 people in this factory and 150 in the Barcelona facilities.
The lack of these components has its origin in the pandemic: with the arrival of the coronavirus, car manufacturers around the world had to make a stop in their production, which had a direct impact on the industry that manufactures components for vehicles. Some sectors of this ancillary industry chose to redirect their products to other sectors, as was the case of semiconductor manufacturers, which during the stoppage were reassigned to the consumer electronics sector. However, the rapid recovery of the automotive industry has led to a revitalization of demand, with the consequent bottleneck for vehicle manufacturers.
It is in this context that the Seat plant is forced to reduce production. The ERTE agreement provides for the company to supplement the unemployment benefit up to 80% of salary, and to offer the possibility of taking training courses while maintaining 100% of the salary. Another point of the agreement is that during the ERTE period there will be no production for a maximum of 20 days in each of the lines of the plant. Those over 55 years of age and professionals with less than one year of seniority who do not have the right to unemployment benefit will be excluded from the ERTE.
The company expects to recover throughout this year the production lost due to this circumstance, as soon as the supply of these components improves.