The strike is a right recognized for workers both in the Spanish Constitution and in the Workers’ Statute and is understood as a consensual and collective cessation of work by said workers. This right, however, must be executed in accordance with the regulations that regulate it.
The Royal Decree-Law 17/1977, of March 4th , Labor Relations articulates the right of workers to strike. It establishes that to agree to a strike, at least 75% of the workers’ representatives or the workers themselves must meet, if at least 25% of these so decide. In either case, the agreement must be approved by a simple majority and the company must be notified at least five or ten days in advance, if it affects public services.
However, this regulation contains a series of exceptions under which a strike cannot be held . The law contemplates certain cases in which the strike is considered illegal and, therefore, cannot be called. They are as follows:
-When the strike is initiated or sustained for political reasons or for any other purpose beyond the professional interests of the workers.
-When the strike is one of solidarity or support. Previously, there was an exception: that it affected the interests of those who promoted it, but a Constitutional Court ruling in April 1981 declared it unconstitutional.
-When the strike has the objective of altering what is agreed by a collective agreement within its period of validity.
-When the strike takes place in contravention of what is agreed in the regulations or in the company’s collective agreement.
In addition, and as reported in the labor guide of the Ministry of Labor , rotating strikes (those in which the company’s productive units alternate in production with the aim of altering coordination) and zeal strikes ( those that are carried out in compliance with the regulations, without a strike per se, but with a minimum fulfillment of the functions that leads to an intended slowdown in production).
Along with them, the Ministry of Labor includes “those carried out in strategic sectors in order to interrupt the entire production process” and, in summary, “any form of collective alteration of the work regime other than strikes.”