A hidden consequence of the new extended validity regimen
Article 84.1 of the Workers’ Statute establishes that: “while a collective labor agreement is in force, unless agreed otherwise, it cannot be affected by the provisions of collective labor agreements with a different scope of application”. This provision essentially prohibits encroachment by collective labor agreements.
Therefore, while a collective labor agreement is in force, it will not be possible to establish another agreement that may coincide in scope with it, not even partially, which is commonly known as concurrent conflict. In practice this can mean that when a sectoral collective labor agreement is very broad and covers various subsectors, they cannot be broken away from the broader industry while the collective labor agreement regulating it is in force.
This leads to a considerable practical problem. Think, for example, of economic industries which are sufficiently important and mature as to constitute their own scope of bargaining, but which have traditionally fallen within much broader sectors, comprising other subsectors with which they have little in common. Let us recall, for example, the large economic industries with sectoral collective agreements such as construction, metal, the chemical industry, farming, etc. According to this rule, the subsectors included in those sectors cannot break away and form their own entity as long as the broader sectoral agreement is in force.
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