Worker representation in Spain is basically twofold, namely unitary representatives (workforce representatives and works councils) and union representatives. Unitary representatives are representative bodies through which workers exercise their right to participate. Union representatives are trade union representative bodies in a business.
As for their identities, although they are formally independent bodies, an important connection exists between them due to an extensive unionisation of unitary representations. From this standpoint, there is in short an identity of persons deriving from the twofold function carried out by the so-called union elections.
With reference to the Union recognition, one of the fundamental legal principles underpinning the current employment relations system in Spain is to be found in the contents of article 28.1 of the Spanish Constitution, which recognises the right to trade union freedom as a fundamental right that everybody has to freely join a Union. In addition, article 7 of the Spanish Constitution defines trade unions as organisations that contribute to upholding and promoting the economic and social interests relevant to them and that they may be freely set up and carry on their activity subject to observance of the Constitution and the law.
Specialist advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking, action based on the contents of this site which is only intended as a brief note. If you require specific advice on any aspect of this section or on any other Spanish employment related matters, please contact any member of Bufete Gimenez Torres Employment Team.