Workers’ representation and union rights in the fourth industrial revolution: the Spanish case

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Emilia D’Avino

Summary: 1. The resilience of the Spanish Trade Union System: adaptation and transformation in a context of change. 2. “Libertad de sindicación”: a milestone. 3. Structural conditions and open points of the workers’ representation in Spain. 4. The collective bargaining: a weakened right for digital unions. 5. Union rights within the undertaking. The link with a “material workplace”. 6. Right to strike. Current challenges. 7. Collective rights of self-employed. 8. Collective rights of economically dependent self-employed (TRADE). 9. Some comparative conclusions.


The Article deals with the Spanish trade union system in a critical perspective. The A. describes the legislative framework on unions’ freedom, right to strike, union rights within the undertaking, and collective bargaining rights, with reference also to the minimum trade union rights granted to self-employed. After the regulatory reconstruction, the A. identifies its strengths and weaknesses. Analysing that system, with its peculiarities, provides an opportunity to reflect on the “state of the art” of the Italian system.


Technological revolution, platform economy, unions, collective bargaining, right to strike, technological strikebreaking.