Spain: Trade unions feel excluded from the corporate social responsibility strategy 2014-2020

In October 2014, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Spanish Strategy of Corporate Social Responsibility 2014–2020 (in Spanish).

The new strategy incorporates the recommendations of the European Commission’s Communication on a renewed EU strategy 2011–2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility (133 KB PDF).

However, the signing of the document was not without controversy, with unions saying their views had not been taken into account in the preparation of the strategy.

The Cabinet’s approval constitutes a step forward with regard to the agreement signed on 29 July 2014 by the Spanish government with social partners. The proposals and key issues to be discussed at tripartite level – by public authorities, trade unions and employers’ representatives – seek to improve the situation of the Spanish economy and the labour market.

The aim of the Strategy of Corporate Social Responsibility is ‘to progress towards a more competitive, productive, sustainable and participative economy and society’. The document includes 60 different measures to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR). At the same time, it was agreed that an Observatory of Companies’ Social Responsibility would be launched.

Some trade union representatives, however, complained that the strategy document did not include trade union recommendations (in Spanish).

The unions highlighted two issues:

  • trade unions and workers’ representatives should be explicitly included as stakeholders in the strategy;
  • CSR reports should require verification by workers’ representatives.

However, neither of these issues is mentioned in the document approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

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