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Spain – Union blames staffing companies for “blocking” labour agreements

19 December 2012

Spain’s General Union of Workers (UGT) has accused major employers in the staffing market of “blocking” negotiations for a collective industry agreement, something which would increase “precarious” working conditions for temporary agency workers, it claimed.

The union and employers of the staffing industry, including AGETT, AETT and FEDETT, are due to review a collective labour agreement.

But AGETT, an employer’s organisation which represents large staffing firms such as Adecco, Randstad and Unique, has denied the claims. In a statement to Staffing Industry Analysts, the organisation said it remained committed to reaching an agreement with the union.

“First of all, we would like to make clear that the accusations of the UGT Union refer to all Temporary Work Agency (TWA)  federations in Spain (AGETT, AETT and FEDETT), as we are all involved in the collective labour agreement’s (CLA) bargaining.

“We have frequent meetings with unions to renew the TWA collective agreement. In fact, there was a meeting last week. Unfortunately, we haven’t reached an agreement yet, which is usual in these kind of negotiations.”

AGETT said that the recent labour market reforms in Spain which were introduced earlier this year are also impacting negotiations.

The statement said: “Not only the TWA collective agreement is being delayed, but most of the sectors/ industries have problems renewing their CLAs, especially after the last Labour Market Reform.  We are committed to reach an agreement, not to block the negotiations, but unfortunately, and in parallel with other industries in Spain, we haven’t been able to yet.” 

The UGT union represents a number of sectors such as the metal and construction industry, as well as the transport, agriculture and commerce sectors. It said that the collective agreement for agency workers should focus on salaries, general working conditions, and working time. 

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