Martín Artiles, Antonio
20 Mai 2003
In its annual review of collective bargaining, published in spring 2003, the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organisations (CEOE) highlights the increasing tendency for agreements to introduce more flexible working time. This includes measures such as annualisation, daily flexibility and irregular distribution of working time over the year.
05 Mai 2003
Figures published in early 2003 indicate that the purchasing power of Spanish households is declining, while they are saving less and falling increasingly into debt. A sharp rise in the price of housing is the main reason for the rising debt. These factors are contributing to the slowdown in the Spanish economy.
22 April 2003
Spanish trade unions are increasingly interested in the issue of immigration, against the backdrop of a more restrictive government policy on the issue. Two trade union studies published in early 2003 focus on the changing nature of immigration to Spain and the contribution of immigrants to the Spanish economy. Immigrants are net contributors to social security funds and generate between 2.5% and 4% of GDP, according to the studies, while women coming to Spain to work in domestic service make up a rising proportion of immigrants. Furthermore, an increasing number of immigrants are using trade union services.
07 April 2003
Spain's UGT trade union confederation has called a two-hour general strike in protest at the war in Iraq on 10 April 2003. Trade unions are opposed to the Spanish government's support for the war and had earlier held a 15-minute stoppage on 26 March.
12 März 2003
The French-based automotive components multinational, Valeo, has announced the closure of its plant in San Esteves de Sesrovira, Spain, with the loss of 256 jobs. In February 2003, an agreement was reached on a package of compensation payments, pre-retirement and redeployment for the workers concerned. Trade unions see the closure as another example of a transfer of production from Spain to the low labour cost countries of central and eastern Europe.
09 März 2003
In January 2003, Spain's central trade union confederations and employers' organisations concluded an intersectoral agreement laying down guidelines and criteria for lower-level collective bargaining in 2003, following a similar deal for 2002 (which received a positive assessment). The agreement puts pay at the centre of bargaining, reinforcing the coordination of wage bargaining in the framework of EMU. The deal also promotes increased employment stability in exchange for more flexible working time.
10 Februar 2003
In January 2003, the Spanish government agreed to repeal a recent reform of the special agricultural unemployment benefit scheme, following trade union protests and the threat of a general strike in the sector. It has now proposed a new type of provision for the casual agricultural workers who were left without benefit after the reform. The unions called off the strike, but still have major objections that may be resolved in the procedures before the relevant legislation is adopted.
18 Dezember 2002
In late 2002, the Spanish social partners are seeking to negotiate a central agreement to provide a framework for lower-level collective bargaining in 2003, as they did for 2002. The two main trade union confederations, CC.OO and UGT, presented their proposals for a new agreement in December. It appears that a major issue in 2003's collective bargaining will be wage revision clauses, which link pay increases to inflation. The government (supported by the Bank of Spain and the IMF) wants to abolish these clauses, on the grounds that they cause inflation, but the unions see them as essential for maintaining workers' purchasing power and domestic consumption.
04 November 2002
A number of studies published in 2002 have highlighted the problems faced by Spanish women in reconciling work and family life, with many faced with a choice between having children or working. One consequence is a change in the pattern of childbirth, with people having fewer children and later. This change in the pattern of maternity also depends on other factors, such as the rising price of housing.
03 November 2002
During autumn 2002, the process of industrial restructuring and workforce reductions has been accentuated in Spain, with major job losses and transfers of production announced in sectors such as telecommunications and motor manufacturing. Trade unions and public authorities are concerned about a number of transfers of production to central and eastern Europe, though other factors such as a fall in internal demand are also contributing to restructuring.