The Basque Government’s Proposed Decree sidelines the trade union representation elected by the Basque working class

Sep 10, 2018
On the 23rd of July ELA received by post the Proposed Decree by which the Basque Government intends to regulate the institutionalisation of social dialogue in the Autonomous Community. The Proposal sets forth the idea that a single trade union is enough for the employers and the Government to be able to adopt any agreement. In ELA’s opinion, this is sidelining the reality of Basque trade unionism. “It means a step further towards trying to remove the effectiveness of the democratic results of the trade union elections, sidelining trade unions with fighting spirit”. ELA is placing the responsibility for this deeply anti-democratic proposal at the President’s door.

The General Secretary, Adolfo Muñoz “Txiki”, Amaia Aierbe and Mikel Noval, members of the Executive Committee, appeared this morning in Bilbao to denounce “electoral rigging”, which “sidelines the trade union majorities existing in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country”. For ELA, is not by chance that the Government has chosen the summer to raise these questions. It is not the first time, it did the same two years ago, also at the end of July, when it agreed, to support the collective bargaining agreement with a minority, with Confebask, CCOO and UGT.

Furthermore, the functions established for the social dialogue debate are limited to a very reduced area. For example, tax and budgetary policies are not included in this. In our opinion, the restriction of subjects has to do with the position that the Basque Government gives to the trade union movement, refusing it the possibility of debating and negotiating on subjects that we consider to be essential. This completely undervalued conception of social dialogue has to do with how the Government understands the trade union’s role. Back in 2014, in a document prepared by the Government itself, it defended the idea that the trade unions have an “unwavering” responsibility: sharing the policies made by the Government.

The Government restricts the social dialogue Committee’s functions to proposing modifications, suggestions or contributions “about the topics that are being passed on”, leaving it clear that the absence of agreement “under no circumstances will prevent or suspend the processing” of the provision in question.