Recent Collective Bargaining Articulation Reforms in France and Spain
Articulation of collective bargaining has been deeply modified both in Spain and in France in recent years. This study outlines and compares the decentralising process undergone by both countries in a context of broader changes in industrial relations in Europe. For decades, both the Spanish and French systems were based on the sectoral bargaining level, which provided a certain degree of equalization to working conditions within every sector, even though historical factors have led to differing evolutions of the two systems. The decentralising of collective bargaining in favour of the enterprise level began timidly in France in 1982 but the real legislative revolution in French collective bargaining occurred in 2004 and 2008. Today, enterprise collective agreements may “revoke” conditions established by a sectoral collective agreement. This is also the case in Spain, deriving from two more recent reforms (2011 and 2012), but, despite strong parallels between both countries, there are also clear differences regarding how these changes are being applied.
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