In 2011, the Socialist Party government reformed this mechanism as part of a wider reform of tariff rules (Royal Decree 7/2011 of 10 June) where it gave priority to enterprise-level agreements on multi-employer sector agreements (national, regional or provincial) on issues such as base pay and wage increases. However, the law allowed social partners to define another collective bargaining structure, whether at the inter-professional or sectoral (regional and national) level, that could continue to give priority at the sectoral level. With regard to two-part agreements, inter-professional collective agreements have been signed since the mid-1990s between the most representative unions and employers` organizations. These agreements were signed, with a brief interruption of the crisis in 2012, 2015 and more recently in 2018. Although these are not binding agreements and contain only guidelines on various topics, such as wage increases, they nevertheless offer a degree of coordination and a general framework for collective bargaining. Overall, collective agreements have an “implicit” obligation to peace at work. In the meantime, peace clauses (“explicit”) are not mandatory in Spanish collective agreements, but may be included. In accordance with Article 82.2 of the Status of Workers, collective agreements can govern peace at work by agreed obligations. If the negotiators decide to apply this possibility, peace clauses appear. In general, collective agreements in Spain can include two main types of clauses: normative clauses and coercive clauses. The normative clauses deal with the fundamental content of the agreement (i.e. wage regulation, working time, division of duties, etc.), while mandatory clauses govern certain obligations.
Therefore, peace clauses are mandatory clauses. The peace clauses imply (for the signatory parties) a temporary obligation not to use the right to strike for the duration of the agreement. During the strike, employment contracts are suspended. The right to strike is an individual right that is exercised collectively. Thus, individual workers are free to decide for themselves whether they wish to participate or not. After 1997, social dialogue was revived at a time of economic growth and employment. Various tripartite agreements were concluded between 1997 and 2008. In addition, the social partners have entered into two-part cross-sector collective agreements. These agreements play an important role in the coordination of collective bargaining in Spain. The economic crisis, which began in 2008, has strongly influenced the labour relations context. At first, the Spanish system weathered the effects of the economic crisis relatively well, but the situation changed dramatically after 2011, when two major reforms of tariff rules were adopted by the government.
Both reforms seemed to accept a common diagnosis from various EU and Spanish institutions, which deemed Spanish collective bargaining too rigid, which prevented companies from changing the working rules to adapt to shocks.