Trade union density is around 16% while collective bargaining coverage is just over 70%.
Collective bargaining system
The current system of political and labour rights only developed after the end of the Franco dictatorship at the end of the 1970s. Collective bargaining is regulated by the chapter on fundamental rights in the Spanish constitution of 1978, which states that the law guarantees the right to collective bargaining between workers’ representatives and employers and protects the binding power of the agreements. The 1994 reform of the workers’ statute included new regulations extending the remit of collective bargaining over employment conditions and reducing the role of the state in this area.
Collective bargaining coverage is high but complicated with a system of regional, provincial and company-level agreements. Since 2002 there has also been an inter-sectoral framework agreement negotiated at national level.
There is a system of information and consultation in all but the smallest employers based on employee representatives or works councils. Works councils can sign collective agreements and are often the main actors at company level.
Legal regulation of pay and working conditions
There is a statutory minimum wage set by the government each year after consultation with the social partners.
There are three national trade union confederations that organise across most sectors – the CCOO workers’ commissions (formerly linked to the communist party), the UGT (with links to the socialist party), general confederation of labour and the USO workers’ union federation that has catholic origins. There is also a national federation of civil servants CSIF and regional confederations in the Basque region (LAB and ELA/STV) and Galicia (ITG).
Trade union density is relatively low at 16% but as in France the strength of support for trade unions is also reflected in participation of voting in elections for worker representatives.
Overall collective bargaining coverage is high at 81% of employees across all sectors, with a system of national, regional and local agreements. Sectoral and provincial agreements cover 55% of workers while national agreements cover 27% and around 10% of workers are covered by company-level agreements.
There has been a single collective agreement covering the whole public sector since 1998, however, there are also many sectoral, regional, provincial and occupational agreements that supplement this.