1. Brief Description of Employees and Employers Organizations
The Spanish Constitution grants Unions the authority to promote and defend the workers’ economic interests. It also empowers them to represent workers in collective bargaining and to participate in the preliminary mandatory conciliation steps before disputes can be presented to governmental conciliation agencies.
2. Rights and Importance of Trade Unions
Freedom of association and representation are fundamental rights in the Spanish Constitution. All employees (except senior executives, i.e., general managers) are represented by the elected representatives. There is no distinction between blue and white collar representatives.
It is for the employees to start the process of elections, and thus, the employer has no obligation to promote them.
Freedom of association and representation include the following rights: (i) Right to associate freely with any of the unions; (ii) Right to found unions without previous authorization; (iii) Right to choose employee representatives; (iv) Right to participate in union activities; and (v) Right to keep ones’ association preferences private and not communicate them to the employer.