Spain: first union report of the equality plans negotiated in firms

par Planet labor - 20 Juin 2008

In one year, only eight equality plans like this have been signed. This lean result is easy to understand because of the complexity of the process of gestation, she said, without denying the fact that it represents "truly positive progress."

  • The first obstacle comes from the law itself, which only plans the obligation to bargain for equality plans at the time of the renegotiation of the sectoral or corporate collective agreements. Yet, the number of negotiated collective agreement was included before the law even came into force. Therefore, the first wave of equality plans should come during the next renegotiation round.
  • Besides, the diagnosis of the company's situation is a prerequisite for the negotiation of the plan, which introduces a slow process of data gathering and an evaluation, with staff and management representatives.

Many plans in the pipelines. The following are currently going through the diagnosis phase: General Motors (automobile), Altadis (tobacco), Bimbo (food processing), Alcampo and Carrefour (mass distribution), Mapfre (insurances and mutual companies), and Almirall (pharmaceutical industry). In addition, some companies are currently updating their existing equality plans, such as Indra or Repsol, so they comply with the law's requirements which state that decisions should come from bargaining, not from the management alone. Other companies have signed agreements for the opening of negotiations: Renfe Operadora (railway transport), Adif (railway infrastructures), Freixenet (food processing), John Deere Ibérica (machine tool), and Banco Sabadell (banking). Many national and local sectoral agreements already include the obligation to bargain for equality plans, and some even extend it to undertakings with 100 or more employees (whereas the law provides for 250).

Evaluation of the plans negotiated. Of the eight plans currently in force, the first three, signed in 2007, are in the same sector: banking and services. They are also within large businesses obligated to bargain through national sectoral agreements which already comprise plans for equal treatment between men and women (Rural servicios informaticos, as well as Banesto and Santander in the banking sector). The first plans signed in 2008 concern companies which didn't have to negotiate but which outran the deadline. these companies are Mutualia (insurances and mutual companies), and Corte Inglés (trade), which opened the negotiations as an answer to over two years of conflict with unions about discrimination issues, which led to many controls and summons by the labor inspectorate. The remaining three companies did it spontaneously: 1/ Elcogas, which employs les than 250 people, which means that it wasn't legally bound to do it; 2/ Endesa; 3/ Plataforma Europa (Inditex). With different scopes depending on the cases, these equality plans meet the minimum requirements defined by law. However, Mrs. Sanz thinks that all the plans signed are missing concrete goals which could mean assessable and measurable commitment (like reducing the wage gap, changing the recruitment process, promoting and training women, and so on.)

Planet Labor, June 20, 2008, No. 080518 - www.planetlabor.com

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Auteur(s) : Planet labor

Mots clés : espagne, égalité professionnelle, conditions de travail