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Trade Unions

Union density in Spain is now around 20% and the results of elections to works councils indicate that unions have much wider support. There are two dominant union confederations in Spain, CCOO and the UGT, although there are other important groupings at regional level and in the public sector.

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Workplace Representation

Employee representation at the workplace is through the unions, although legislation does provide for employee representatives to be elected if there are no union members. Workplace union structures potentially play a key role in collective bargaining but they also have significant consultation rights.

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Financial Participation

Despite the efforts of the EU to boost the incidence of workers’ financial participation employee share ownership schemes in Spain are at a lower level than in the 1990s. With regard to how widespread profit-sharing schemes are in Spain recent studies come to different conclusions.

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Health and Safety Representation

Romania has a system of specially elected health and safety representatives, who should be present in all organisations with at least 10 employees. In larger organisations (50 or more employees) a joint health and safety committee should be established. This has a wide range of duties, although the employer is not obliged to accept its decisions.

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Financial Participation

In the context of the privatization process which took place after 1990, 30% of the shares of Romanian commercial companies were transferred to the Romanian workforce. Many of those who received shares sold them in the following years, so that the proportion of shares in employees’ hands has fallen significantly.

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European-level Representation

Spanish members of bodies concerned with European Works Councils and European Companies are chosen by the unions which either together or separately have majority support in the companies concerned. On European Companies, the legislation makes clear that they should be selected in line with the support that the unions have received in the works council elections.

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Board-level Representation

There is no overall right to employee board-level representation. However, there are a small number of employees on the boards of some public companies.

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European-level Representation

Romanian members of European bodies linked with European Works Councils and the European Company are chosen by the existing employee representatives, who, in the vast majority of cases, will be the trade union representatives at company level.

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Spain  Spain

Collective Bargaining

Around 30% of employees are covered by collective bargaining in Bulgaria. Bargaining takes place at both industry and company level (municipal level for municipal employees) but company-level bargaining has become more important.

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