Collective Bargaining Agreements Spain

This collective agreement is the document that defines the rights and obligations in the field of industrial relations. Collective agreements operate at the same level as ordinary laws. From 1986 to 1997, a period of crisis in “social dialogue” had a negative impact on collective bargaining. The main problems encountered at the time were the lack of coordination and the poor renewal of collective bargaining. In Spain, collective agreements are extended to all workers after they have been signed, whether or not they are affiliated to the unions that have signed the collective agreement. The same goes for businesses. That has not changed in recent years. Labour relations in Spain in the 1980s were affected by the political transition from dictatorship to democracy and by a process of industrial and economic modernisation in order to prepare the country for integration into the European Community. In the early years of the transition period (1978-1982), trade unions accepted wage moderation in exchange for institutional recognition and the development of social and labour rights.

It also supported some coordination and centralisation of collective bargaining. The structure of collective bargaining, which has been consolidated over these years, is still present today and is characterized by its multi-level character, with negotiations taking place at the sectoral, provincial and company levels. The status of “most representative union” depends on support for works council elections. At the national level, a confederation must win 10% of the vote, while in the autonomous regions the barrier is 15%. At the national level, only the CCOO and UGT are the “most representative unions”. ELA/STV and LAB in the Basque Country and CIG in Galicia also have this status. Figures from the Ministry of Labour show to what extent the negotiations are dominated by the CCOO and the UGT. In 2010, the CCOO signed agreements for 97.9% of all employees involved in collective bargaining, 97.6% for the UGT and 24.5% for all other unions5 In 2010, the Socialist government authorized the modification of wages set in collective agreements with several employers through negotiations in the company. Under Law 10/2010, companies must consult employee representatives and negotiate changes within a non-renewable period of 15 days.

If they do not reach an agreement, they will have to request mediation procedures defined in collective agreements with several employers. Spain has a high rate of tariff coverage. According to the European Business Survey, it is almost 90%, which corresponds to SES data (92%). Most workers are subject to collective agreements with several employers at the national, regional and provincial levels. According to Spanish collective bargaining statistics, company contracts signed in 2015 covered about 5% of all workers covered by collective agreements. . . .

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