The Spanish employers association Fice and the trade unions CCOO and UGT met on June 16 to analyze the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the footwear industry and have called on the authorities to help by extending the temporary lay-off mechanism ERTES at least until the end of the year.

They also urged for more funds to be made available for international promotion and to incentivize innovation in production, marketing and sales.

Employers and trade unionists say that they are willing to unite to tackle the economic, labor and social problems facing footwear companies and the sector’s workers, with the common objective of relaunching the industry will the minimum loss of firms and jobs. They intend to meet again to evaluate the situation and the measures that need to be implemented.

The industry has been severely hit by the pandemic and the subsequent closure of stores worldwide and the cancellation of trade fairs, directly affecting the 2020 collections and the spring/summer collection for 2021. The country’s main export markets are Europe, led by France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and the U.K., and North America, with the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The Spanish footwear industry comprises 3,559 companies and employs 29,034 people.

Fice also announced that after five years at the helm, its president, José Monzonís, will leave at the beginning of July, but it will take some time to organize the election of his successor. Meanwhile, the vice president, Marián Cano, will head a commission that will manage the association.