LABOURFILE :: Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) ~ Workers’ Commissions

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• Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) ~ Workers’ Commissions •

ccoo_150The Comisiones Obreras (CC00, or ‘Workers Commissions’) is Spain’s largest trade-union federation, having grown from a handful of small labour organisations organized in Asturias, Catalonia and Madrid in the 1960s to more than a million members nationwide today. Since 2008, the CCOO has had more members than either the rival Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT, or ‘General Union of Workers’), the second-largest labour organisation and the historic affiliate of Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE), the smaller Unión Sindical Obrera (USO, ‘Syndicated Worker’s Union’) or the anarcho- syndicalist Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT, ‘General Workers’ Union’).

The original Comisiones of the 1960s were organized by the Partido Comunista de España (PCE, Communist Party of Spain) as well as Catholic worker’s groups fighting for the betterment of working conditions and against the non-representative “vertical unions” put in place during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. After Franco’s death, the original commissiones merged into a single trade-union organisation in 1976 and along with other labour organisations, including the UGT, called a general strike in 1976 and organised protests across Spain against the interim, pre-democratic government that followed Franco’s death.

Since Spain’s transition to democracy in the 1980s, the CCOO has dropped its adherence to Marxism but continuies to define itself as anti-capitalist and as working toward society based on the principles of democratic socialism. In 2008, the CCOO membership surpassed that of the rival UGT, reaching 1.2 million nationwide. That year, the organisation elected Ignacio Fernández Toxo as its general secretary, a position still held by the CCOO labour leader.

In September 2010, the CCOO and the UGT together called for a nationwide general strike in which an estimated 10 million Spanish workers took part to protest austerity cuts and the raising of the retirment age for workers imposed by the Socialist party government of then-President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. In March 2012, the CCOO again participated along with the UGT and other Spanish labour groups in a general strike to protest continued austerity cuts and the 2012 “labour reform law” imposed by the legislative majority in Congress of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) government.

► Learn more about the CCOO at the following links online:

Updated as of 10/2016

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