The Worst Record in Europe?: A Comparative Analysis of Industrial Conflict in Spain
AbstractSince the transition to democracy, Spain has recorded the highest strike rate of EU countries. Drawing on a comparison with Franzosi's analysis of strikes in Italy, this article seeks to explain the high number of working days lost in Spain by reference to the role of sectoral bargaining, the instability of corporatist relations, solidaristic features of worker representation and Spanish society, and the development of industrial action by unions outside the main confederations. It is suggested that the pattern of industrial conflict reflects the limited strategic options available to Spanish trade unions and Spanish employers' ambivalence toward industrial relations institutions. The article concludes that although there are reasons to expect a reduction in industrial conflict in Spain, a steady and continuous decline in strikes is improbable.