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Definition of concepts

Strike
Suspension of partial or complete work by the participant workers. Can be called by one or several organisations, or by one or several people, due to a conflict of interests between the workers and the production units. This can be at a company or throughout a sector if of a wide enough nature to imply whole fields of labour such as branches of activity.

Methodological aspects

Striking is a worker's right recognised by the law in the form of Royal Decree 17/1977, of March 4, on labour relations.

Workers can agree to declare a strike through their representatives by majority decision by the same, provided at least 75% of the representatives are in attendance and the corresponding minutes are taken. A strike can also be declared directly by those affected by the conflict when 25% of the workforce so decides and subjects the decision to a vote. Voting is in secret and is decided by simple majority.

The declaration and prior notice of a strike must contain the objectives of the same, the transactions undertaken in order to settle the differences and the composition of the strike committee, and must be communicated in writing to the company or, if relevant, any affected business organisations and the labour authority.

The prior notice must be issued at least 5 natural days in advance, or 10 days when the strike affects companies providing public services or those that are essential to the community. The total and unjustified absence of prior notice implies that the strike is illegal.

During the strike, the strike committee, the company and, if relevant, business organisations, are obliged to negotiate in order to reach an agreement and they may recur to such procedures as mediation.

When the strike affects companies that provide any type of public service or those that are essential to the community, the government authority has the power and the duty to dictate the necessary measures to guarantee the aforesaid services. These are so-called minimum services, which must be served by the company and the designated workers. Failure to comply with the aforesaid by the workers may be the cause for sanction or dismissal.

The exercise of the right to strike does not terminate the labour relation, nor may it lead to any type of sanction, unless the worker commits a misdemeanour under labour law. During the strike, the labour contract shall be considered to be suspended and the worker has no right to be paid any wages. Any dispositions in individual labour contracts that declare renunciation of, or any other restriction on, the right to strike are considered null.

A striking worker will maintain special status as registered for Social Security, and the company and the worker's obligation to make contributions is suspended. A striking worker will have to right to unemployment benefit, or compensation for temporary interruption of work.

The strike will end due to expiry of the established period, withdrawal, agreement between the parties or compulsory arbitration.

Unavailable information is represented using the symbol ":". When the value is lower than that of the minimum unit to be able to estimate the statistical operation or if it effects statistical confidentiality, the symbol used is "..".