one in four delegates "does not exist"

one in four delegates "does not exist"


The class unions, CC OO and UGT, are "doped" with 80,000 union delegates of companies that no longer exist. This figure represents almost a third of the total union representatives, which is around 260,000 in all of Spain. At least 55,000 union delegates would correspond to companies with more than ten workers and another 25,000 delegates would represent companies with between five and nine workers. According to INE data on business deaths between 2013 and 2017, a total of 29,419 companies with between five and nine workers would have ceased their activity altogether. In that same period, another 9,060 companies with more than ten workers would have closed. When crossing these data it is clear that 30.76% of the union delegates are "ghost" representatives of companies that no longer exist, according to the calculations of the Independent Trade Union of Officials (CSIF).

The majority centrals themselves have admitted on more than one occasion the pacts between them so as not to cancel their delegates once their mandate expires when the companies in which they worked disappear. In this way, the collection of the relevant public subsidies is ensured. Until the centrals sealed the truce, the war consisted of deleting the registry of the delegates of other unions whose companies had disappeared or had no substitutes to replace them to alter the representativeness data. These "phantom" delegates remain registered with the Ministry of Labor until the four-year term of their function is met and they are suppressed when new union elections are held.

According to the subsidies received by the unions of the Ministry of Employment for exercising representation in the different companies, CC OO and UGT would be pocketing three million euros without any justification by these delegates. In addition, these 80,000 "ghost" representatives allow access to aid from regional governments. Although unions are not legally obliged to notify the closure of companies, the large centrals should, according to their transparency codes, report the absence of trade union activity of their delegates when these situations arise due to the economic situation.

Minority and sectoral unions, such as CSIF, have repeatedly requested the reform of the Organic Law on Freedom of Association in 1985, considering that it favors the two major trade unions and those at the regional level.

Sources of CSIF denounce that the norm gives class centers privileges for their participation in institutions, social dialogue, the promotion of professional training, safety and health at work, collective bargaining and electoral promotion. CSIF proposes to reduce by half the level of representativeness required by law, from 10% to 5%, so that other unions with national implementation can act in areas of negotiation that are vetoed.

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