The 2012 Spanish Labour Law reform has been significantly important in terms of collective bargaining. Regarding the Spanish model presents a high intensity of state legal regulation in this field, the reform has an impact on its basic pillars. Especially, legal changes concern four main issues: 1) Loss of collective agreement validity at the end of the time agreed; 2) The absolute applicability preference of company-level collective agreements vis-à-vis higher level collective agreements; 3) A mandatory public arbitral procedure which permits to modify collective agreements establishing conditions without trade union’s consensus; 4) Important restrictions to the principle of contract freedom between the parties. This research focuses on the practical impact that those changes have in the effective development of collective bargain. The analysis of the indirect consequences and, especially, the practical development of collective agreement processes can lead to the conclusion that a major variation regarding the position of the parties within the negotiation table has occurred. The result is a considerable weakness of collective bargaining as a central instrument in the labour relationships system and a real drop of its capacity to handle agreed labour conditions.
Keywords: Trade unions; Collective bargaining; Labour law reform; Effectiveness of labour law.