Confederación General del Trabajo

Full name General Confederation of Labour
Native name Confederación General del Trabajo
Founded 1979
Members 80,000
Office location Madrid, Spain
Country Spain
CGT demonstration in Barcelona, October 2005

The General Confederation of Labour (Spanish: Confederación General del Trabajo, CGT) of Spain is an Anarcho-Syndicalist trade union, arisen from the 1979 split of CNT/AIT after the arrival of democracy and the following reorganization and restructuring process of the trade unions.

As the largest anarchist trade union in the world, the CGT has a membership of approximately 60,000 people, while representing around 2 million workers through industrial committees and collective bargaining. It is especially strong today in Catalonia, where historically, anarchism had strong support. For historical reasons, the CGT is also a main player in the Spanish state railways, RENFE. It is also part of the industrial committee of SEAT, the Spanish car manufacturer and the largest company in Catalonia. Nonetheless, the CGT does not hold the majority in any important industrial committee at this moment. The CGT has been known to call for industrial action, without support of any other unions. Sometimes it had refused to accept collective bargaining agreements negotiated by other trade unions, unless these have been approved by general secret ballots.

In that sense, the CGT has recently rejected a deal that resulted in layoffs of over six-hundred SEAT workers, about 5% of its labour force, due to weak sales. It also claimed that the number of CGT sympathizers who were laid off was disproportionately high. The other two main trade unions, CC.OO. and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), rejected this claim as baseless. No precise figures were provided by any of the unions to support these claims.

After Francisco Franco's death and the end of dictatorship in Spain, anarchism made a comeback to the trade union scene, though with a major loss in status and influence in comparison with the II Republic period, affecting both the CNT and CGT. Currently, the CGT has 5.000 labor delegates.

The CGT is a member of the European Federation of Alternative Syndicalism, FESAL.

CGT sticker

See also

Solidaridad Obrera (union)

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