Social partners sign declaration of mutual recognition

In October 2007, a number of national-level social partner organisations, including three trade unions and two employer organisations, signed a declaration of mutual recognition. The declaration came about as a result of the increased attempts of small non-associated organisations to represent their members’ interests at national tripartite and bipartite institutions.

In October 2007, five national-level social partner organisations signed a declaration of mutual recognition at the sitting of the Tripartite Council of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos Trišalė taryba, LRTT). In all, the signatories included the three main trade union organisations – the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (Lietuvos profesinių sąjungų konfederacija, LPSK), the Lithuanian Labour Federation (Lietuvos darbo federacija, LDF) and the Lithuanian Trade Union ‘Solidarumas’ (Lietuvos profesinė sąjunga ‘Solidarumas’, LPS ‘Solidarumas’) – and the two employer organisations – the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (Lietuvos pramonininkų konfederacija, LPK) and the Lithuanian Business Employers’ Confederation (Lietuvos verslo darbdavių konfederacija, LVDK).

Reasons for declaration

According to the social partners, the emergence and signing of this declaration was a response to increasing attempts of small non-associated structures – usually various small trade unions – to represent the interests of their members at the national tripartite or bipartite institutions. In order to define the status of entities entitled to represent employees’ interests at both national and sectoral levels, the social partners signed the ‘Declaration of mutual recognition’.

Role of organisations

In the declaration, the social partners agreed to recognise LPSK, LDF and LPS ‘Solidarumas’ as the national trade union organisations and to acknowledge LPK and LVDK as the national employer organisations.

The social partners further agreed that the aforementioned national organisations shall delegate their representatives to the LRTT and to other tripartite councils. In addition, these national trade unions and employer organisations may, based on mutual agreement, nominate to these tripartite bodies representatives of employees’ or employers’ interests from other organisations, provided they are recognised by the other party to the declaration.

Content of declaration

To define a national-level organisation, the social partners identified its specific features in the declaration in relation to the following:

  • influence on national-level legislation;
  • activities in all counties of the Republic of Lithuania;
  • membership of national structures in international trade union confederations;
  • the number of collective and cooperation agreements signed with employer organisations and the government;
  • recognition of trade unions as the social partner for national-level employer organisations;
  • incorporation of territorial or sectoral trade union organisations;
  • activity period exceeding 15 years;
  • potential of human resources in terms of training centres, project development and number of employees.

The declaration further noted that:

Employers are represented at the territorial tripartite councils (of counties and municipalities) by the representatives delegated from LPK and LVDK territorial organisations, while employees are represented by the representatives delegated from LPSK, LPS ‘Solidarumas’ and LDF territorial organisations. Non-associated trade unions are eligible to delegate their representatives to the territorial tripartite councils in accordance with representation quotas and procedures fixed by appropriate territorial tripartite councils, provided they are recognised as the social partners by appropriate LPK and LVDK territorial organisations.

Moreover, the declaration stipulated that:

Non-associated employer and trade union associations, which are not the members of appropriate national or territorial tripartite councils, may represent the interests of their members on a contractual basis or directly apply to a particular tripartite council, i.e., LPK, LVDK, LPSK, LPS ‘Solidarumas’ and LDF national and territorial organisations.

Inga Blažienė, Institute of Labour and Social Research

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