Reaching a labor agreement in the Spanish automobile industry is never easy. Ford and General Motors, for example, each have one-year labor contracts which expire at the end of the calendar year. Thus, while they're both trying to tie together a labor package for 1985, they say that a new labor pact may not be reached till May or June. Even so, the workers go right on working, with any benefits being retroactive to the first of the year.
``We don't have large trade unions, such as in Britain and the United States,'' Guillermo Rey Urbez, director of labor relations at Ford of Spain, explains.
When all of the unions come together in the works council, it is never a united front, so it is very difficult to reach any consensus with the council.
Labor unions in Spain are attached to political parties, and their actions are directed by political rather than industrial aims. Of the 11 unions in the Ford factory at Almusafes, near here, ``we recognize only two,'' Mr. Rey declares, ``the Socialists and the Communists, each of them claiming 15 percent of the workers. We also have the anarchist union and two more unions that are to the left of the Communists, plus the extreme-right unions.''
Despite the complexities of negotiation, Ford hasn't lost a minute of working time since 1980.