COMITÉ DE EMPRESA Any company with 50 or more employees is required by Spanish law to have a comité de empresa (works council), whose purpose is to promote employees' interests in the workplace. The council (which can have from 5 to 75 members, depending on the size of the concern) is elected by all the employees, and holds office for four years. Its powers and responsibilities include the right to negotiate agreements with management; the right to information and consultation on matters affecting the workforce; and responsibility for monitoring compliance with employment law and health and safety regulations. Although the councils are distinct from trade unions, many are in practice dominated by union members, and the council system, rather than leading to “joint management”, can simply be the arena in which traditional worker-management conflicts of interest are played out.
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