A journey through the arrival of labor rights in "25 milestones". The Ministry of Labor opens its doors to citizens this Monday with an exhibition that includes some of what it considers to be the main advances for workers in the history of Spain. Since the precursory legislation of 8-hour days in 1919going through the Law of 1931 in which the then Minister of Labor, Francisco Largo Caballero, extended the right to paid vacations to all wage earners, to much more recent events such as equality plans or even ERTEs and labor reform. The exhibition, at the ministerial headquarters in Madrid, will this first week with a guided tour at 11 am.
A century of the La Canadiense strike or how your 8-hour workday was achieved
The Ministry directed by Yolanda Díaz has chosen this exhibition, under the title 25 milestones of labor rights in Spain. A tour through the archive of the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy, as an act within the activities of the Open Administration Week 2022. The exhibition is open to the public from June 27 to July 22, Monday to Friday from 10 :00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., in the lobby of the Paseo de la Castellana headquarters, in Madrid. “At 11:00 a.m., from June 28 to July 1, the exhibition can be accessed through a guided tour,” collects the official information of the sample.
The exhibition "reviews the centenary history of the current Ministry of Labor and Social Economy and has been articulated in 25 milestones illustrated through the documents of its Central Archive", they explain in Work. With these documents, "it is reflected how norms and rights are materialized and clearly affect our daily lives as working people", they continue.
Milestones such as 8 hours of work and the strike
The exhibition begins “with the first measures against labor exploitation and the improvement of working conditions” from the organizations created as immediate antecedents of the Ministry of Labor that we know today, “such as the Social Reform Commission, 1883; the Institute of Social Reforms, 1903; National Institute of Prevision, 1908”, points out work.
These, "step by step, were responding to part of the demands of the increasingly significant labor movement such as achieving the maximum working day of 8 hours a day in 1919", highlights the Ministry. This milestone, which places Spain as one of the world's forerunners of the measure, took place as a consequence of the historic La Canadiense strike in Barcelona, a conflict led by the CNT.
“With the birth of the Ministry of Labor in 1920, a slow process of institutionalization of an incipient system of labor relations would begin, in parallel, which is reflected in the Work Accidents Law (1920) or the Labor Contracts Law project (1923-1924), for example”, continues the tour of Yolanda Díaz's department.
Labor stands out as "one of the moments of greatest momentum" in labor rights "the first progressive biennium during the Second Republic (1931-1933) with Francisco Largo Caballero as Minister of Labor and Welfare, during which time the Contract Law was approved of Labor of 1931”. This regulation, of great significance in labor legislation, reflected in the Spanish legal system that the strike was not a reason for dismissal and an important right in terms of rest: paid annual vacations extended to all salaried people, among other labor rights.
Yolanda Díaz's department also highlights "the international dimension of the ministry" with its involvement in the International Labor Organization (ILO) "from its origins, first through the Section and the Institute of Social Reforms, and later through the Ministry of Labor itself, which is almost contemporary with the ILO”.
Rights also in recent history
With the arrival of democracy, "the role of the ministry is reinforced thanks to the promotion of the Spanish System of Labor Relations, one of whose cornerstones is the constitutional recognition of social agents in its development and strengthening", recalls Trabajo.
The Ministry highlights "the recovery of democratic labor rights such as the legalization of unionsright to strike, union elections, as well as in the economic reparation of all those fighters for freedom of association reprisals, through the Amnesty Law in its labor aspect, one of the first and most decisive public policies of democratic memory launched during the same transition.
Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of the arrest of the leadership of the CCOO, even though it was an organization banned by the Franco regime, which would lead to to the so-called 'Process 1001'. The trial against the trade union movement, in which long prison sentences were imposed on its protagonists, turned against the dictatorship, putting the repression that the late Franco regime tried to hide under the spotlight.
“Together with the birth of the social-agreement from 1979 – base on which the Social Dialogue model pivots – we have witnessed during the decades of the eighties and nineties of the 20th century a whole set of fundamental historical milestones” , considers the Ministry of Labor. Since "the elaboration of the Workers' Statute, the configuration and development of a broad public unemployment protection system that coexists with a strong system of active employment policies, the constitutional development of Freedom of Association in 1985 or the restitution of Trade Union Patrimony Historical and Accumulated”, they break down.
In the last two decades, Labor highlights the advances in legislation such as "the fight for equal pay between men and women", with regulations such as equality plans“or the provisions regarding dependency, conciliation and co-responsibility to which the objectives must be added to achieve decent work”, such as 16-week paid leave for both parents with the birth of a child.
Finally, the Ministry closes the exhibition with what it considers "milestones of our most recent history", it collects. Specifically, measures of this legislature of the coalition of PSOE and United We Can: “The advances in the field of Interprofessional Minimum Wage, the regulation of remote work, the protection of workers who provide delivery services through digital platforms, the protection of workers and the productive fabric during the COVID 19 pandemic through ERTEs and the fight against the culture of precariousness in the labor market with the 2022 labor reform”.