Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Post and courier services

  • National Contribution:

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Pracovněprávní vztahy,
  • Representativeness,
  • Date of Publication: 15 Červenec 2008



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This report examines the operations of social partner organisations and collective bargaining in the post and courier services sector. Outlining first the economic background of the sector, the study goes on to analyse the social partner organisations in all Member States of the European Union, with special emphasis on membership levels, the role of the organisations in collective bargaining and public policy, and their national and European affiliations. The final part of the report examines the relevant European organisations, in particular their membership composition and capacity to negotiate. EIRO representativeness studies aim to identify the relevant national and supranational social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in selected sectors. The impetus for these studies arises from the goal of the European Commission to recognise the representative social partner associations to be consulted under the EC Treaty provisions. Hence, this study seeks to provide basic information required to establish sectoral social dialogue.

The study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports submitted by the EIRO correspondents. The text of each of these national reports is available below. The national reports were drawn up in response to a questionnaire and should be read in conjunction with it.

Download the full report (777KB PDF)

National contributions may be available


Objectives of study

The goal of this representativeness study is to identify the relevant national and supranational associations – that is, the trade unions and employer organisations – in the field of industrial relations in the post and courier services sector, and show how these actors relate to the sector’s European interest associations of labour and business. The impetus for this study, and for similar studies in other sectors, arises from the aim of the European Commission to identify the representative social partner organisations to be consulted under the provisions of the EC Treaty. Hence, the study aims to provide the basic information needed to set up sectoral social dialogue. The effectiveness of European social dialogue depends on whether its participants are sufficiently representative in terms of the sector’s relevant national actors across the Member States of the European Union (EU). Therefore, only European organisations which meet this precondition will be allowed to join the European social dialogue.

Against this background, the study will first identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations, subsequently analysing the structure of the sector’s relevant European organisations, in particular their membership composition. This involves clarifying the unit of analysis at both the national and European level of interest representation. The study includes only organisations whose membership domain is ‘sector related’ (see below). At both national and European levels, a multiplicity of associations exists which are not considered to be social partner organisations in the sense that they essentially deal with industrial relations. Thus, the need arises for clear-cut criteria which will enable analysis to distinguish the social partner organisations from other associations.

As regards the national-level associations, classification as a sector-related social partner organisation implies fulfilling one of two criteria: the organisations must either be a party to sector-related collective bargaining or a member of a sector-related European association of business or labour that is on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations consulted under Article 138 of the EC Treaty, and/or that participates in the sector-related European social dialogue. Taking affiliation to a European social partner organisation as a sufficient criterion for determining a national association as a social partner implies that such an association may not at all be involved in industrial relations in its home country. Hence, this selection criterion may seem odd at first glance. However, if a national association is a member of a European social partner organisation, it becomes involved in industrial relations matters through its membership in the European organisation. Furthermore, it is important to determine whether the national affiliates to the European social partner organisations are engaged in industrial relations in their respective country. Affiliation to a European social partner organisation and/or involvement in national collective bargaining are of the utmost importance to the European social dialogue, since they are the two constituent mechanisms that can systematically link the national and European levels.

In terms of the selection criteria for the European organisations, the study includes any other sector-related European association which has under its umbrella sector-related, national social partner organisations, as defined above, in addition to the European social partner organisations. Therefore, the objective to identify the sector-related national and European social partner organisations is both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’.

Definitions

For the purpose of this study, the post and courier services sector is defined in terms of the classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE), to ensure cross-national comparability of the research findings. More specifically, the sector is defined according to NACE 64.1 – namely, NACE 64.11 in relation to national post activities and NACE 64.12 in relation to courier activities other than national post activities.

The domains of the trade unions and employer organisations, and similarly the scope of relevant collective agreements, are likely to vary from this precise NACE demarcation. Therefore, the study includes all trade unions, employer organisations and multi-employer collective agreements that are ‘sector related’ in terms of any of the following four patterns:

  • congruence – the domain of the organisation or scope of the collective agreement must be identical to the NACE demarcation, as specified above;
  • sectionalism – the domain or scope covers only a certain part of the sector, as defined by the aforementioned NACE demarcation, while no group outside the sector is covered;
  • overlap – the domain or purview covers the entire sector along with parts of one or more other sectors. However, it is important to note that the study does not include general associations which do not deal with sector-specific matters;
  • sectional overlap – the domain or scope covers part of the sector as well as parts of one or more other sectors.

At European level, in 1999, the European Commission replaced the Postal Joint Committee, which had been operating since 1994, with a European Social Dialogue Committee for the post and courier services sector. On the trade union side, the Union Network International-Europa Postal Sector (UNI-Europa), through it post and logistics section UNI-Europa Postal, participates in the sector’s European social dialogue and also invites a number of trade unions which are not affiliated to the organisation to participate. The employers are represented in the European social dialogue by the Association of European Public Postal Operators (PostEurop). Thus, affiliation to one of these European organisations is a sufficient criterion for classifying a national association as a social partner organisation. However, it should be noted that the constituent criterion is one of sector-related membership domain. This is important in the case of UNI-Europa due to its multi-sectoral domain. This study will include only those organisations affiliated to UNI-Europa Postal whose domain relates to the post and courier services sector.

Collection of data

The collection of quantitative data, such as those on membership, is essential for investigating the representativeness of the social partner organisations. Unless cited otherwise, this study draws on the country studies provided by the EIRO national centres. It is often difficult to find precise quantitative data. In such cases, rough estimates are provided rather than leaving a question blank, given the practical and political relevance of this study. However, if any doubt arises over the reliability of an estimate, this will be noted.

Quantitative data, as documented in the country studies, may stem from three sources:

  • official statistics and representative survey studies;
  • administrative data, such as membership figures provided by the respective organisations, which are then used to calculate the density rate on the basis of available statistical figures on the potential membership of the organisation;
  • personal estimates made by representatives of the respective organisations.

While the data sources of the economic figures cited in this report are generally statistics, the figures relating to the organisations are usually either administrative data or estimates. Furthermore, it should be noted that several country studies also present data on trade unions and business associations that do not meet the above definition of a sector-related social partner organisation, in order to give a complete picture of the sector’s associational ‘landscape’. For the above substantive reasons, as well as for methodological reasons of cross-national comparability, such trade unions and business associations will not be considered as part of this report.

Report structure

The study consists of three main parts, beginning with a brief summary of the sector’s economic background. The report then analyses the relevant social partner organisations in all 27 EU Member States (EU27) following EU enlargement in May 2004 and January 2007. The third part of the study looks at the representative social partner organisations at European level. Each section will contain a brief introduction, explaining the concept of representativeness in greater detail, followed by the study findings. As representativeness is a complex issue, it requires separate consideration of the national and European levels for two reasons. First, account has to be taken of how national regulations and practices capture representativeness. Secondly, the national and European organisations differ in their tasks and scope of activities. The concept of representativeness must thus be suited to this difference.

Finally, it is worth highlighting the difference between the research and political aspects of this study. While the report provides data on the representativeness of the organisations under consideration, it does not reach any definite conclusion on whether the representativeness of the European social partner organisations and their national affiliates is sufficient for admission to the European social dialogue. The reason for this is that defining criteria for sufficient representativeness is a matter for political decision rather than an issue for research analysis.


Economic background

Since the enactment of the European Directive 97/67/EC on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service – subsequently amended by Directive 2002/39/EC with regard to the further opening of the sector to competition – the European post and courier services sector has undergone a process of profound restructuring in the EU Member States. However, the social functions associated with comprehensive, area-wide universal postal services are guaranteed within the framework of liberalisation. In most of the former EU15 countries prior to EU enlargement in 2004, the process of liberalisation began soon after Directive 97/67/EC was introduced, with the exceptions of France and Ireland. In the 10 new Member States that joined the EU on 1 May 2004, the liberalisation of postal services started later – in most cases shortly before their accession to the EU. In all of the EU27 countries considered in this study, the sector is divided between a single main provider, mostly the former monopolistic public postal services companies, and various private companies that differ strongly in terms of their size and market shares (see report from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Industrial relations in the postal sector, August 2007). The sectoral restructuring affected also labour relations in that the employment relationship shifted from public sector regulations to private law status. However, in several countries, such as Austria, Belgium and France, where the employees of the state monopolies were employed as civil servants, the employees could maintain this status even after restructuring measures. In these circumstances, both public and private employment regulations may be found in the sector. Indeed, public law regulations continue to be important, since the former monopoly providers are usually by far the largest companies in terms of the number of employees and retain a relatively strong market position, holding as much as 90% or more of the market shares.

Tables 1 and 2 present an overview of the socioeconomic development in the post and courier services sector from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, presenting a few indicators which are important to industrial relations and social dialogue. In all of the EU Member States, the number of companies in the sector increased, reflecting the opening up of the market to competition. Only in Slovenia, a noticeable decrease in the number companies providing postal and courier services can be observed. However, the high proportion of self-employed persons with and without employees in some of the countries often blurs data on the number of companies operating in the sector. Thus, the generally high number of self-employed, single-person providers clearly accounts for the increase of companies in the sector, whereas the number of employees in the sector declined in the period under consideration.

In most of the countries for which data are available, employment levels in the sector dropped significantly. For example, in Denmark, Finland, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia, employment levels declined by 10%–20%, while Italy and Sweden showed a decline in employment by 20%–30%. The largest decline in employment was observed in Romania where the number of employees fell by more than 50% between 1994 and 2005. Employment levels in the sector remained relatively stable in Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal, mainly due to the creation of new jobs by the recently established alternative service providers.

The only exceptions to this trend of a decline in employment include Ireland and Latvia where the number of employees increased by more than 80% and 25%, respectively. In these countries, entry to the post and courier services market of large – and mostly multinational – courier companies did not result in job losses of the traditional postal services provider. Rather, employment was boosted in post offices operating as subcontractors for the former state-owned postal services company. In most EU countries, the number of employees in the sector comes close to the total level of employment. This somehow puts the reportedly high share of self-dependent persons in the sector into perspective insofar as the sector is usually dominated by relatively large companies. A notable number of small companies also exist, mainly in the much smaller courier services segment of the sector.

With regard to the gender distribution of employees in the sector, the ‘new’ and ‘old’ Member States show contrasting patterns. Male employment prevails in western and southern European countries. Contrastingly, particularly high shares of female employment are reported in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia where about 80% of employees in the sector are women, as well as in Bulgaria and Romania where the shares of women in total employment amount to 70% and 65%, respectively. The results in Table 2 also show that the sector is rather small, with its share of both total employment and the total number of employees being below 1% in the vast majority of the countries; in Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK), this share is slightly above 1%. A notable exception in this case is Poland, where employment in the post and courier services sector accounts for more than 2% of the country’s total employment.

Table 1: Total employment in post and courier services sector, 1994 and 2005
  Number of companies Total employment* Male employment Female employment
1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005
AT n.a. 329 n.a. 30,592 n.a. 20,113 n.a. 10,479
BE n.a. 530 n.a. 39,373 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
BG n.a. 163 n.a. 18,400 n.a. 5,600 n.a. 12,880
CY n.a. 13 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
CZa 247 822 53,300 45,900 8,700 9,900 44,600 35,900
DE n.a. 11,662 n.a. 318,000 n.a. 181,000 n.a. 137,000
DK 966 961 37,117 32,132 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
EE n.a. 22 n.a. 4,300 n.a. 1,100 n.a. 3,400
EL n.a. 301a n.a. 25,177a n.a. 17,705a n.a. 7,401a
ES n.a. 5,341 n.a. 271,700g n.a. 167,300 n.a. 104,400
FI 183 266 25,575 21,229 13,253 11,661 12,322 9,638
FR 1 1 n.a. 289,632 n.a. 143,109 n.a. 146,523
HU 63 87 41,744 40,084 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
IE n.a. 271 9,814 18,100 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
ITc,e 1,208 1,674 237,992 182,438 127,694 97,887 110,298 84,551
LTa,d 40 85 8,890 9,227 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LU n.a. 53 n.a. 1,609h n.a. 970 n.a. 639
LVa,f 11 32 7,486 9,417 1,205 1,761 6,281 7,656
MT 12 12 872 752 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
NL 900 2,350 105,000i 115,000i 77,000 77,000 28,000 38,000
PL 16 174 110,000 111,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PT 1 41 15,803 15,680 ~10,833j ~10,439j ~4,970 j ~5,241j
RO 1 190 94,000 43,116 40,280 15,050 53,720 28,066
SE 141 408 64,444 45,949 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
SI 531 444 6,391 7,195 3,401 n.a. 2,990 n.a.
SKb 16 23 19,639 17,608 4,060 3,543 15,579 14,065
UKb 1 19a n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Notes: n.a. = not available; a= 2006, b = 1996, c = 1991, d = 2003 e = 2001, f = 2007, g = includes telecommunications sector (NACE 64.2), h= only employment in the postal services sector (NACE 64.11), i = employment in post and telecommunication sectors, courier services excluded, j = estimate based on gender-differentiated employment data of the Post Office of Portugal (Correios de Portugal, CTT)

* Includes self-employed and agency workers

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

Table 2: Total employees in post and courier services sector, 1994 and 2005
  Total employees* Male employees Female employees Total sectoral employees as % of total employment in economy Total sectoral employees as % of total employees in economy
1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005
AT n.a. 30,297 n.a. 19,871 n.a. 10,426 n.a. 0.8 n.a. 0.91
BE n.a. 37,386 n.a. ~24,900 n.a. ~12,500 n.a. 0.92 n.a. 0.88
BG n.a. 16,536 n.a. 4,825 n.a. 11,711 n.a. 0.57 n.a. 0.76
CY n.a. 1,114 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.31 n.a. n.a.
CZ a 53,300 45,300 8,700 9,800 44,500 35,500 1.08 0.95 1.25 1.12
DE n.a. 184,140 n.a. 83,621 n.a. 100,519 n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.7
DK n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1.35 1.19 n.a. n.a.
EE n.a. 4,100 n.a. 900 n.a. 3,400 n.a. 0.7 n.a. 0.7
EL n.a. 24,036 n.a. 16,930 n.a. 7,106 n.a. 0.56a n.a. 0.77
ES n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1.75 n.a. n.a.
FI 25,507 21,114 13,191 11,573 12,316 9,611 1.3 0.9 1.6 1.0
FR n.a. 271,887 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
HU n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1.52 1.46 n.a. n.a.
IE 9,814 18,100 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.86 n.a. 1.0
ITc,e 235,256 180,282 125,460 96,143 106,796 84,139 1.03 0.77 1.4 1.04
LTa,d n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.84 0.84 n.a. n.a.
LU n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LVa,f 7,486 9,361 1,205 1,751 6,281 7,610 1.01 0.97 1.01 0.99
MT 872 752 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.5 n.a. 0.6
NL n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PL 112,000 111,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1.9 1.7 2.4 2.0
PT n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.4 0.3 n.a. n.a.
RO 93,000 41,600 39,800 14,500 53,200 27,100 0.94 0.51 1.44 0.91
SE 50,562 39,586 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1.7 1.1 1.5 1.0
SI 6,391 6,893 3,401 n.a. 2,990 n.a. 0.99 0.90 0.99 0.86
SKb 19,610 17,480 4,054 3,437 15,556 14,043 0.93 0.79 0.99 0.84
UKb 261,000 278,000 213,000 221,000 48,000 57,000 n.a. n.a. 1.1 1.04

Notes: n.a. = not available; a= 2006, b = 1996, c = 1991, d = 2003 e = 2001, f = 2007*Only dependent employees

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006


National level of interest representation

In many of the EU Member States, statutory regulations explicitly refer to the concept of representativeness, when assigning certain rights of interest representation and public governance to trade unions and/or employer organisations. The most important rights addressed by such regulations include: formal recognition as a party to collective bargaining; extension of the scope of a multi-employer collective agreement to employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisation; and participation in public policy and tripartite bodies of social dialogue. Under these circumstances, representativeness is normally measured by the membership strength of the organisations. For instance, statutory extension provisions usually allow for a collective agreement to be extended to unaffiliated employers only when the signatory trade union and employer organisation represent 50% or more of the employees within the agreement’s domain (see Institute for Labour Studies (IST), Collective agreement extension mechanisms in EU member countries, Catholic University of Louvain, Typescript, 2001).

As outlined above, the representativeness of the national social partner organisations is of interest in this study in terms of the capacity of their European umbrella organisations for participation in the European social dialogue. Hence, the role of the national actors in collective bargaining and public policymaking constitutes another important component of representativeness. The effectiveness of the European social dialogue tends to increase with the growing ability of the national affiliates of the European organisations to regulate employment terms and to influence national public policies affecting the sector.

As cross-national comparative analysis shows, a generally positive correlation emerges between the bargaining role of the social partners and their involvement in public policy (see Traxler, F., ‘The metamorphoses of corporatism’, in European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2004, pp. 571–598). Social partner organisations that are engaged in multi-employer bargaining play a significantly stronger role in state policies than their counterparts in countries where multi-employer bargaining is lacking. One explanation for this finding is that only multi-employer agreements matter in macroeconomic terms, setting an incentive for governments to persistently seek the cooperation of the social partner organisations. If single-employer bargaining prevails in a country, none of the collective agreements will have a noticeable effect on the economy due to their limited scope. As a result, the basis for generalised tripartite policy concertation will be absent.

In summary, representativeness is a multi-dimensional concept that embraces three basic elements: 1) the membership domain and membership strength of the social partner organisations; 2) their role in collective bargaining; and 3) their role in public policymaking.

Membership domain and strength

The membership domain of an organisation, as formally established by its constitution, demarcates its potential members from other groups which the organisation does not claim to represent. As explained above, this study considers only organisations whose domain relates to the post and courier services sector. For reasons of space, it is impossible to outline in detail the domain demarcations of all of the organisations. Instead, the report notes how they relate to the sector by classifying them according to the four patterns of ‘sector-relatedness’, as specified earlier. Regarding membership strength, a differentiation should be made between strength in terms of the absolute number of members and strength in relative terms. Research usually refers to relative membership strength as ‘density’ – that is, the ratio of actual to potential members.

Furthermore, a difference also arises between trade unions and employer organisations when measuring membership strength. Trade union membership simply means the number of persons who are unionised. In addition to taking the total membership of a trade union as an indicator of its strength, it is also reasonable to break down this membership total according to the sex of its members. However, the situation regarding employer organisations is more complex since they organise collective entities, namely companies that employ employees. Hence, in this instance, two possible measures of membership strength may be used – one referring to the companies themselves, and the other to the number of employees working in the member companies of an employer organisation.

For a sectoral study such as this, measures of membership strength of both the trade unions and employer organisations also have to take into account how the membership domains relate to the sector. If a domain is not congruent with the sector demarcation, the organisation’s total density – that is, density referring to its overall domain – may differ from sector-specific density – in other words, the density referring to the sector. This report will first present the data on the domains and membership strength of the trade unions, followed by the corresponding data for the employer organisations.

Trade unions

The trade union data on both the domains and membership strength are shown in Table 3. This table lists all of the trade unions meeting the two criteria for classification as a sector-related social partner organisation, as outlined earlier. None of these trade unions has demarcated its domain in a way that is exactly congruent with the sectoral definition. This underlines the fact that statistical definitions of business activities differ somewhat from the lines along which employees identify common interests and join together in trade unions. Domain demarcations resulting in sectional overlap are most common. Almost equally frequent – but considerably less widespread than sectional overlap – are overlap and sectionalism.

Sectional overlap usually emanates from domain demarcations that focus on certain categories of employees which are then organised across several or all sectors. Employee categories are specified by various parameters such as: high qualifications, for example university degree holders represented by the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC) or the Finnish Association of Business School Graduates (Suomen Ekonomiliitto, SEFE); distinct occupations, for instance executive managers represented by the Swedish Association of Management and Professional Staff (Sveriges chefsorganisation, Ledarna); and employment status, as in the case of white-collar employees represented by the National Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees (Handels- og Kontorfunktionærernes Forbund, HK Privat) in Denmark or the Swedish Salaried Employees’ Union (Handelstjänstemannaförbundet, HTF) – now Unionen following the merger with the Union of White-collar Workers in Industry (Svenska Industritjänstemannaförbundet, Sif) in January 2008.

Public law employment is another criterion of employment status that has caused a form of sectional overlap which is rather specific to the sector. As mentioned above, postal services were part of the state sector for a long time and the sector’s employees already employed before restructuring processes managed to retain their civil servant status in several cases. As a result, trade unions specialised in the public sector, such as the General Confederation of Public Services (Centrale Générale des Services Publics/Algemene Centrale der Openbare Diensten, CGSP/ACOD) in Belgium, as well as the Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) and the Public Service Executive Union (PSEU) in Ireland, organise parts of the postal sector, in addition to the state sector in the overall sense.

Overlap arises from somewhat differing modes of demarcation that range from general or cross-sectoral domains to domains which cover post and courier services in the wider sense. Domains which embrace both telecommunications and postal services are also widespread: such demarcations can be seen in the case of the Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (Gewerkschaft der Post- und Fernmeldebediensteten, GPF) in Austria, the Communications Trade Union Association (Odborový zväz Spoje, OZS) in Slovakia and the Post and Telecommunications Workers’ Union (Sindicato Nacional dos Trabalhadores dos Correios e Telecomunicações, SNTCT) in Portugal, Sometimes, postal and courier services may be organised in combination with communications and other media organisations, such as the Latvian Trade Union of Communication Workers (Latvijas Sakaru darbinieku arodbiedrība, LSAB) and the Lithuanian Communication Workers’ Trade Union (Lietuvos ryšių darbuotojų profesinė sąjunga, LRDPS). Moreover, overlapping domains in the subsector of courier services and the transport sector account for sectional overlaps in some countries, such as Italy.

Finally, sectionalism ensues from the existence of company trade unions in several countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland. Company trade unionism is even more widespread in these countries than Table 3 suggests. In the case of Poland, the number of company trade unions that operate mainly in the state-owned post-holding company is higher than indicated in Table 3. However, since these trade unions do not participate in collective bargaining, they are not included in the table. The sector’s former monopoly structure is one reason why company trade unionism tends to be more widespread than in most other sectors of the economy across Europe. As long as the postal sector was a state monopoly, a trade union specialised in the sector’s operations was actually a company trade union. Today, company trade unionism, as well as company-centred bargaining (see below), is fostered by the fact that the former monopoly providers still obtain a predominant position in the sector, particularly in terms of employment and unionisation (see below). The predominant position of the former state monopolist is underlined by the fact these companies employ 90% or more of the sector’s total workforce in countries such as Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. More than 80% of those employed in the post and courier services sector work for the main postal services provider in Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. Only in Spain is employment less concentrated in the former monopoly provider, which accounts for a mere 24% of the sector’s total employment.

Table 3: Interest representation of trade unions, 2006
Country Type of member-ship* Domain cover-age Membership Density (%) Collec-tive bargain-ing Consulta-tion National and European affiliations**
Members Female member-ship (% of total member-ship) Dom-ain Sector      
AT                  
GPFa vol. O 62,558 ~25% ~80% ~80% Yes Yes ÖGB, UNI-Europa Postal, ETF
BE                  
‘Transcom’ section of CSC/ACVa vol. SO 90,000 ~30% n.a. n.a. Yes No CSC/ACV, Eurofedop, ETUC
CGSP/ACODa vol. SO 350,764 33% n.a. 41.2 Yes No FGTB/ABVV, UNI-Europa Postal, ETUC
SLFP/VSOA of CGSLB/ACLVBa vol. SO n.a. ~30% n.a. ~20% Yes No CGSLB/ACLVB, UNI-Europa Postal, ETUC
BG                  
TUFCa vol. S 7,387 81% 57.2% 40.1% Yesb Yes CITUB, UNI-Europa Postal
‘Communication’ Federation at ‘Podkrepa’a vol. S 2,300 78% 17.8% 12.5% Yes Yes PTT ‘Podkrepa’, European Postal
Trade Union Organisation in Bulgarian Posts at ADTUa vol. S 145 74% 1.1% 0.8% Yes Yes ADTU
CY                  
PASYDYa vol. SO 13,788 59.6% n.a. ~35% Yes No EPSU, UNI-Europa Postal
OMEPEGEa vol. SO 6,500 30% n.a. ~6% Yes No SEK, ETF
SEGDAMELINa vol. SO 5,461 22.9% n.a. ~9% Yes No PEO
CZ                  
OS ZPTNS vol. SO 25,207 74.5% n.a. 45% Yes No ČMKOS, UNI-Europa Postal, ETUC
DE                  
ver.dia vol. O 2,274,731 49.8% n.a. 63.6% Yes Yes DGB, UNI-Europa Postal, UNI-Europa Telecom, EPSU
CGPT a vol. O 57,500 45% n.a. ~10% Yes n.a. DBB, Eurofedop
DPVKOM a vol. O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes CGB, Eurofedop
DK                  
3F Post vol. O 16,600 34% 75% 70% Yes Yes LO, UNI-Europa Postal
HK/Post vol. O 38,968 73% 45%–50% 80% Yes Yes LO, UNI-Europa Postal
AC vol. SO 254,000 42% 90% 100% Yes Yes EPSU, ETUC
EE                  
ESAL vol. O 2,100 60% 26% 40% Yes Yes EAKL, UNI-Europa Postal
EL                  
POST (Panhellenic Federation of Postal Associations) vol. S ~14,100 n.a. ~99% ~99% Yes Yes GSEE, UNI-Europa Postal
OIYE vol. SO 90,000 n.a. n.a. ~17% Yes No GSEE, UNI-Europa Postal
ES                  
FCT-CC.OOa vol. O 108,809 20% n.a. 16.5% Yes Yes CC.OO, UNI-Europa Postal
FSP-UGTa vol. S 200,000 43% 25% n.a. Yes Yes UGT, UNI-Europa Postal, EPSU, ETUC
TCM-UGTa vol. SO 72,501 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UGT, ETF, ETUC
FES-UGTa vol. SO 97,891 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UGT, UNI-Europa MEI, UNI-Europa Finance
Gizalana vol. SO 29,051 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. No ELA/STV
Hainbata vol. SO 22,908 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. No ELA/STV
CSI-CSIFa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No CSIF, Eurofedop
ELA-Zerbitzuaka vol. S 23,188 n.a. n.a. n.a. No n.a. ELA/STV, UNI-Europa Postal
FI                  
PAUa vol. O 31,860 47% 82% 79% Yes Yes SAK, UNI-Europa Postal
AKTa vol. SO 51,000 12% 80% 80% Yes No SAK, NTF, ETF
SEFEa vol. SO 35,000 52% 68% 60% Yes No YTN, UNI-Europa Postal
VAAL-MFa vol. SO 13,500 53% 91% 3% Yes No SAK, UNI-Europa Postal
FR                  
FAPT-CGTa vol. O 55,540 n.a. n.a. 5.5% Yes Yes CGT, UNI-Europa Postal, EPSU, ETUC
F3C-CGT a vol. SO 15,000 n.a. n.a. 5.2% Yes Yes CFDT, UNI-Europa Postal, EPSU, ETUC
FO-COMa vol. SO 12,000 n.a. n.a. 2.8% Yes Yes CGT-FO, UNI-Europa Postal, EPSU, ETUC
CFTC Poste et telecomsa vol. O 5,885 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes CFDT, ETUC, Eurofedop
PTT CFE-CGCa vol. SO 1,000 n.a. n.a. 0.35% Yes Yes CFE-CGC, CEC
SUD PTTa vol. O 18,000 n.a. n.a. 3.8% Yes Yes SUD
UNSA-Postea vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UNSA, EPSU, ETUC
HU                  
PSZa vol. S 20,312 n.a. 52.4% 50.7% Yes Yes MSZOSZ, UNI-Europa Postal
POFÜSZa vol. S 4,042 n.a. 10.4% 10.1% Yes Yes MOSZ
MAPÉSZa vol. S 1,000 n.a. 0.3% 0.3% Yes No LIGA
Postai Érdekvédelem ‘92a vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No LIGA
PHDSZSZa vol. SO 7,362 n.a. n.a. ~11% No No Eurofedop
IE                  
CWU oblig.c O 19,500 n.a. n.a. 39.8% Yes Yes ICTU, UNI-Europa Postal, ETUC, NESC
PSEU oblig.c SO 10,000 n.a. n.a. 2.8% Yes Yes UNI-Europa Postal, EPSU, ETUC, NESC
CPSU oblig.c SO 13,000 n.a. n.a. 8.2% Yes Yes ICTU, UNI-Europa Postal, EPSU, ETUC, NESC
AHCPS oblig.c SO 3,000 n.a. n.a. 1.1% Yes Yes ICTU, EPSU, ETUC, NESC
IPU vol. S 1,000 n.a. ~100% 5.5% Yes Yes ICTU, ETUC, NESC
SIPTU oblig.c SO 225,000 n.a. n.a. 9.9% Yes Yes ICTU, ETUC
IT                  
SLP-CISLa vol. S 56,000 50% 35%d 37%d Yes Yes CISL, UNI-Europa Postal
SLC-CGILa vol. SO 93,000 35% 30%d 33%d Yes Yes CGIL, UNI-Europa Postal
UIL-POSTa vol. S 20,000 40% 12.5%d 12.6%d Yes Yes UIL, UNI-Europa Postal
FAILP-CISALa vol. S 12,000 52% 7.7%d 7.7%d Yes Yes CISAL
SAILP-CONFSALa vol. S 9,600 50% 6.2%d 6.2%d Yes Yes CONFSAL
UGL COMUNICAZIONI a vol. SO n.a. 13% n.a. 7.2%d Yes Yes UGL, Eurofedop
FILT-CGILa vol. SO 143,696 12.5% 13.6%d 4.8%d Yes Yes CGIL, ETF
FIT-CISLa vol. SO 107,082 15% 10.1%d 1.1%d Yes Yes CISL, ETF
UILTRASPORTIa vol. SO 100,000 20% 8.3%d 0.6%d Yes Yes UIL, ETF
LT                  
LRDPS vol. O 4,503 ~57% ~35% 40% Yes Yes LPSK, UNI-Europa Postal
LU                  
P&T Uniona vol. SO 1,599 25% n.a. n.a. Yesb No CGFP, UNI-Europa Postal
OGB-La vol. SO 59,300 33% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UNI-Europa Postal, ETF, ETUC
LCGBa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Eurofedop
LV                  
LSAB vol. O 7,246 63% 79.2% 42% Yes Yes LBAS, UNI-Europa Postal
MT                  
UHM vol. O 26,129 31% 17% 53% Yes Yes CMTU, Eurofedop, ETUC
GWU vol. O 46,156 18% 30% 43% No No ETUC, EPSU, UNI-Europa, Euro-WEA, FERPA, Eurocadres, ETF, EFTAT, EMF
NL                  
AbvaKaboa vol. SO 352,000 n.a. n.a. 17% Yes Yes FNV, UNI-Europa Postal
CNV Publieke Zaaka vol. SO 78,761 n.a. n.a. ~3% Yes Yes CNV, Eurofedop
BVPPa vol. S 7,000 n.a. n.a. 12% Yes No Eurofedop
VPP vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes n.a. MHP, Eurofedop
FNV Bondge- notena vol. SO 470,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes ETF, ETUC
CNV Bedrijven-bonda vol. SO 90,000 20% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes ETF, ETUC
PL                  
SL NSZZ vol. S 16,000 n.a. n.a. 46.8% No No NSZZ Solidarność, UNI-Europa Postal, ETUC
PT                  
SNTCTa vol. SO 9,130 ~30% 16% 50.2% Yes Yes CGTP-IN, CPQTC, UNI-Europa Postal
SINDETELCOa vol. SO 8,000 47% 7% 25% Yes Yes UGT, UNI-Europa Postal
SINCORa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.3% Yes No n.a.
SINQUADROSa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.3% Yes No n.a.
SINCOMPa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.1% Yes No n.a.
SITICa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.1% Yes No n.a.
FENTCOPa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.01% Yes No n.a.
SINTTAVa vol. SO 7,200 38% 15% 0.01% Yes Yes CGTP-IN, UNI-Europa Postal
FENSIQa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UGT
SEa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.006% Yes Yes UGT
SERSa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.006% Yes Yes UGT, UNI-Europa Postal
SPEUEa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.006% Yes No n.a.
SENa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.006% Yes No n.a.
SEPa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes CGPT-IN
SNEa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UGT
SNAQa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SEMMa vol. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes UGT
USIa vol. O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
CGSIa vol. O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
RO                  
FSPC vol. SO 29,990 60% 85.3% 69.6% Yes Yes BNS, UNI-Europa Postal
SE                  
SEKOa vol. SO 150,000 ~30% ~80% ~80% Yes Yes LO, UNI-Europa Postal, ETF, EPSU, ETUC
SI vol. SO 115,500 22% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SACO, UNI-Europa Postal
Jusek vol. SO 77,000 55% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SACO, UNI-Europa Postal
Civilekonomerna vol. SO 33,000 52% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SACO, UNI-Europa Postal
STa vol. SO 100,000 66% ~90% ~20% Yes Yes TCO, UNI-Europa Postal
HTFa vol. SO 160,000 ~63% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes TCO, ETF, ETUC
Transporta vol. SO 74,000 ~15%–20% ~75% ~75% Yes Yes LO, NTF, SUN, ETF
Ledarnaa vol. SO 70,000 19% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes CEC
SI                  
SDPZ vol. O 10,000 27% n.a. 53% Yes Yes ZSSS
SK                  
OZSa vol. O 6,715 60% 26% 32.5% Yes Yes KOZ SR, UNI-Europa Postal
SOZ PTa vol. O 3,420 56% 13.4% 13.7% Yes Yes KOZ SR, Eurofedop
UK                  
CWU vol. O 600,106 42% n.a. n.a. Yes No TUC, UNI-Europa Postal

Notes: See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

n.a. = not available; * vol. = voluntary, oblig. = obligatory; ** National affiliations are in italics. For the national level, only cross-sectoral (i.e. peak-level) organisations are listed; for the European level, only sector-related organisations are listed.

a= Inter-union domain overlap, b = Indirect collective bargaining involvement via peak organisation, c = Membership is compulsory for employees working in the state postal company; elsewhere in the private sector, union membership is voluntary, d = Figure probably inflated.

O = Overlap, SO = Sectional overlap, S = Sectionalism

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

As the trade unions’ domains often overlap with the demarcation of the sector, so too do their domains with one another in most of the countries in questions. The results presented in Table 3 also give an insight into these inter-union domain overlaps. The latter are endemic: in the vast majority of countries, the domain of any sector-related trade union overlaps with the domain of all the other unions in the sector. Depending on the scale of mutual overlap, this can result in competition for members among trade unions.

Looking at the membership data of the trade unions, it emerges that the gender divide in sectoral employment in eastern and western European Member States (see Table 1) is reflected by the shares of female union members as a proportion of the total trade union membership. Women represent more than 50% of trade union members in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. Nevertheless, a notable number of trade unions in western European countries, such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden, report a majority of female trade union members. Closer consideration shows that the domain of all trade unions recording a majority of female members overlaps in relation to the sector. Hence, the predominance of female members in these trade unions originates in areas of their domains other than post and courier services. In any case, a clear country effect can be seen in relation to the gender-related membership composition. Female predominance in terms of trade union membership correlates with certain regions of Europe – for example, the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as most countries of central and eastern Europe. The high female unionisation rates in the Nordic and Baltic countries are in line with corresponding figures on the composition of the cross-sectoral national trade union confederations (see TN0403105U).

The absolute numbers of the unions’ members differs considerably, ranging from several hundred thousand members to not much more than one hundred members. This considerable variation reflects the differences in the size of the economy and the comprehensiveness of the membership domain, rather than the trade unions’ ability to attract members. Therefore, density is a more appropriate measure of membership strength for a comparative analysis. Domain density is 50% or higher in more than 40% of the trade unions which document figures on density. More than 60% of the trade unions for which data are available organise more than 25% of the employees within their domain. The remaining trade unions equally record a density of between 15% and 25% or below 15% of their potential members. Compared with the density ratio referring to the trade unions’ total domain, the trade unions’ density in post and courier services tends to be lower. In accordance with this, the distribution of sectoral density is more polarised than is the case of total density. Sectoral density is 50% or higher again in the case of almost a quarter of the trade unions for which data are available. About 55% of the trade unions record a sectoral density which is lower than 15%, implying that relatively few unions record a density of between 15% and 25%.

The lower sectoral density relative to total domain density is also evident among those trade unions for which figures on both measures are recorded. In almost 50% of these cases, sectoral density is below the total density. Less than 30% of the trade unions considered exhibit higher densities in the post and courier services sector than in their entire organisational domains. Interestingly, in 21.6% of cases, trade unions report no difference in the sectoral and domain densities. Most of these trade unions have sectionalist domains since they are company unions, or they organise members only in a sub-segment of the sector, such as courier services. Only few trade unions report equal densities in terms of the sector and their domain: these include GPF in Austria, the domains of which are overlapping between the telecommunications and the post and courier services sectors, as well as the Union of Service and Communication Employees (Facket för Service och Kommunikation, SEKO) and the Transport Workers’ Union (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet) in Sweden and the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union (Auto- ja Kuljetusalan Työntekijäliitto, AKT), which are characterised by sectional overlap. These findings suggest that the post and courier services sector is usually not the membership stronghold of the trade unions whose domain includes this sector.

Furthermore, anecdotal evidence from the country reports suggests that unionisation rates vary widely across the sector’s companies. The former monopoly providers are usually highly unionised, whereas unionisation of workers is low in the newly established companies. For instance, in Greece, about 99% of the workforce of the two main companies of the former monopoly provider, Hellenic Post (Ελληνικά Ταχυδρομεία, ELTA), is unionised, compared with a much lower density of about 33% in the private courier services sector. Such differences appear to be extremely high also in some central and eastern European countries, such as Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, where a trade union presence is lacking in new companies in the sector.

This polarisation of trade union membership strength in the sector relates to two factors. On the one hand, the high unionisation of the former monopoly providers dates back to the period before restructuring, when they formed part of the public sector, where trade unions are well established. On the other hand, it is particularly difficult for trade unions to establish ground in new companies in times when socioeconomic conditions are generally unfavourable to their advancement, as highlighted by the negative trend in unionisation rates across Europe. This polarised pattern of unionisation influences the sector’s pattern of employer organisation and the system of collective bargaining (see below). In addition to this sectoral effect on unionisation, a country effect emerges once again. The level of both sectoral and total density among the sector-related trade unions is particularly high in two Nordic countries – Finland and Sweden – which are generally noted for having particularly strong trade unions.

The private and public divide that is characteristic of the post and courier services sector, due to the differences in workers’ employment status, has a striking effect on trade union organisation in Ireland. In the Irish example, trade union membership can be voluntary and compulsory. In the case of the General Post Office (An Post), employees are expected to join a trade union, whereas in the private sector union membership tends to be voluntary. However, new employees must under the terms and conditions of their employment contract become a member of the Services, Industrial, Professional, and Technical Union (SIPTU). Thus, unionisation in the Irish post and courier services sector is rather determined by institutionalised practices than by statutory provisions. In other EU countries, such as Belgium, Cyprus and Luxembourg, public and private sector trade unions coexist in the post and courier services sector.

Employer organisations

Tables 4 and 5 present the membership data on employer organisations. Only 13 of the 27 EU countries under consideration register employer organisations in the post and courier services sector. In the other countries, no association exists that meets the definition of a social partner organisation, as previously outlined. This does not mean that employers remained unorganised. Generally, business interest organisations may also deal with employers’ interests other than those relating to industrial relations. Organisations which specialise in dealing with matters other than those relating to industrial relations are commonly designated as trade associations (see TN0311101S). Sector-level trade associations usually outnumber sector-level employer organisations (see Traxler, F. ‘Business associations and labour unions in comparison’, in British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 1993, pp. 673–691). The same scenario also emerges for the postal and courier services sector. In countries where employer organisations have not been formed, sector-related business associations exist, which exclusively or primarily perform the tasks of a trade association. In the post and courier services sector, trade associations mainly represent commercial, technical and product market interests, along with the authorities and the national regulatory agencies.

Table 4: Domain coverage, membership and density of employer organisations, 2006
Country Domain cover-age Membership Density
Type Companies Employees Companies Employees
Domain Sector Domain Sector
AT n.e.
BE n.e.
BG n.e.
CY                
OEB SO vol. 5,000 n.a. n.a. 33.3% n.a. n.a.
CZ                
Czech Union of Postal, Telecomm-unications and Print Distribution O vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
DE                
AGV Postdienstea S vol. ~25 ~200,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
AGV BuZa S vol. ~35 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
DK                
DI O vol. 7,000 400,000 n.a. <1% n.a. ~75%
ATL SO vol. 2,000 30,000 90% 80% 90% 80%
DMA SO vol. 100 18,000 90% 100% 90% 100%
EE n.e.
EL n.e.
ES                
ASEMPRE S vol. 114 ~5,000 n.a. 2.1% n.a. 4.0%
ANEB S vol. 75 3,000 n.a. 1.4% n.a. 2.4%
FI                
TIKLIa O vol. 194 20,000 70% 0.75% 90% 94%
ALTa SO vol. 900 22,000 73% 14% 80% 7%
VKL SO vol. 354 26,235 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
FR n.e.
HU n.e.
IE                
IBEC O vol. 7,500 n.a. n.a. 18.8% n.a. 70%
IT                
FISE-ASSOPOSTE S vol. 45 2,500 25%b n.a. 60%b n.a.
FISE-AREa S vol. 10 2,500 16.7%b n.a. 72%b n.a.
FEDITa S vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LT n.e.
LU  
CLC SO vol. 10,000 50,000 n.a. 5.8% n.a. n.a.
LV n.e.
MT n.e.
NL                
TLN SO vol. 6,000 127,000 ~50% n.a. 85%–90% n.a.
PL n.e.
PT n.e.
RO n.e.
SE                
Biltrafikensarbetsgivarförbund SO vol. 12,000 66,952 75%–80% 75%–80% 75%–80% 75%–80%
Almega SO vol. 8,600 350,000 >50% n.a. >50% ~80%
SI                
ZDS Transport and Comm-unication sectiona O vol. 1,330 205,000 1.2% 11% n.a. 82%
Association for Transport and Comm-unication at GZSa SO vol. 29,502 n.a. 25.2% 45% n.a. 17%
SK                
ÚDPT SR O vol. 29 61,243 ~50% 4% 55% 92%
UK n.e.

Notes: See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

O = Overlap, SO = Sectional overlap, S = Sectionalism; vol. = voluntary; n.e. = non-existent; a = Inter-associational domain overlap; b = Figure may be overestimated due to data reported by the organisations themselves

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Table 5: Collective bargaining, consultation and national/European affiliations of employer organisations, 2006
Country Collective bargaining Consultation National and European affiliations*
AT n.e.
BE n.e.
BG n.e.
CY      
OEB Yes No BusinessEurope
CZ      
Czech Union of Postal, Telecommunications and Print Distributiona Yes n.a. -
DE      
AGV Postdienstea Yes n.a. BDA, BusinessEurope
AGV BuZa No n.a. n.a.
DK      
DI Yes Yes BusinessEurope
ATL Yes Yes HTS, DA, EuroTra
DMA Yes Yes DA, ENPA
EE n.e.
EL n.e.
ES      
ASEMPRE Yes Yes CEOE
ANEB Yes NO -
FI      
TIKLIa Yes Yes EK, BusinessEurope (indirectly via affiliation to EK)
ALTa Yes No EK, BusinessEurope (indirectly via affiliation to EK)
VKL Yes No EK, BusinessEurope (indirectly via affiliation to EK)
FR n.e.
HU n.e.
IE      
IBEC Yes Yes BusinessEurope
IT      
FISE-ASSOPOSTE Yes Yes FISE, Confindustria
FISE-AREa Yes Yes FISE, Confindustria
FEDITa Yes Yes CONFETRA
LT n.e.
LU      
CLC Yes No EuroCommerce
LV n.e.
MT n.e.
NL      
TLN Yes Yes VNO-NCW
PL n.e.
PT n.e.
RO n.e.
SE      
Biltrafikensarbetsgivarförbund Yes No SN
Almega Yes No SN, UF, FSF, Friskolornas Riksförbund, Branschföreningen Tågoperatörerna, Branschrådet för Servicetjänster, NFWO, HTF Sweguard, RINORD, CEDEFOP, EFCI, EFCA, ACE
SI      
ZDS Transport and Communications sectiona Yes No ZDS, BusinessEurope
Association for Transport and Comm-unication at GZSa Yes No GZS, EICTA
SK      
ÚDPT SR Yes Yes CEEP
UK n.e.

Notes: See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

* National affiliations are in italics.

a= Indirect collective bargaining involvement via peak organisation, n.e. = non-existent

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

The existing sector-related employer organisations are often organised along subsectoral lines. In Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, more than one employer organisation exists. Usually, the membership domains of these organisations are differentiated between postal services on the one hand, and transport and courier activities on the other. No association exists in a domain which is congruent with the postal and courier services sector defined in this study. In most cases, the domains of employer organisations are rather encompassing, implying overlaps or sectional overlaps with the sector. The domains of the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI), the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (IBEC) and the two main Slovenian employer organisations, including the Slovenian Employers’ Association (Zdruzenje delodajalcev Slovenije, ZDS) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije, GZS), are more general. In Denmark, DI covers the entire industry in the broader sense. The other organisations generally embrace areas of activity such as transport and/or communications, in addition to postal and courier services.

In some EU countries, for example in Ireland and Slovenia, the presence of the general association is due to the fact that such associations conduct collective bargaining at central level, which includes the sector. In contrast to the trade unions listed in Table 3, all employer organisations depend on voluntary membership. In Slovenia, GZS and ZDS have already met the requirements of a recent change in legislation that obliged the chamber organisations to become a voluntary association within the ensuing three years.

In relation to GZS and ZDS, both total and sectoral densities in terms of companies in the two sector-related sections plummeted from the former 100%, which was required by law, to less than 50%. Sectoral density remained relatively high, at 82%, only in the case of the Transport and Communication section of ZDS.

Density is generally high in the case of the organisations with voluntary membership. This especially holds true for density of employees covered. With the exception of GZS in Slovenia and the two employer organisations in Spain, namely the Professional Association of Postal Services Companies (Asociación Profesional de Empresas de Reparto y Manipulación de Correspondencia, ASEMPRE) and the National Association of Postal Services Employers (Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Buzoneo, ANEB), all of the associations for which data are available on employee density of their domain or the sector cover at least 50% of employees. Apart from ASEMPRE and ANEB in Spain, even those organisations recording a sector-related company density of 10% or lower – DI in Denmark, the Finnish Employers’ Association TIKLI (Tieto- ja tekniikka-alojen työnantajaliitto, TIKLI), the Luxembourg Trade Confederation (Confédération Luxembourgeoise du Commerce, CLC), the Transport and Communication section of ZDS in Slovenia and the Slovakian Union of Transport, Post and Telecommunications Employers (Únia dopravy, pôšt a telekomunikácií SR, ÚDPT SR) of Slovakia – cover 50% or more of the sector’s employees.

Considering all associations for which data are available, the density ratio of employees is either equal or higher than density of the companies with regard to both the total domain and the sector-related domain. This indicates a generally higher propensity of larger companies to join employer organisations. Since there is usually one main relatively large company or a few large companies in the post and courier services sector, a rather low density of companies nevertheless can be found alongside a relatively high density of employees in the sector. Only six voluntary associations exist for which all measures of density are available – the Employers’ Association for Transport and Logistics (Arbejdsgiverforeningen for Transport og Logistik, ATL) and the Danish Maritime Authority (Søfartsstyrelsen, DMA) in Denmark, TIKLI and the Road Transport Employers’ Association (Autoliikenteen Työnantajaliitto, ALT) in Finland, the Swedish Road Transport Employers’ Association (Biltrafikens Arbetsgivarförbund, BA) and ÚDPT SR in Slovakia. As the total density of companies is higher than or at least equally as high as their sector-related counterparts in all of these cases – with the exception of DMA in Denmark which has a total density rate slightly below the sectoral density of 100% – this suggests that the sectoral structures of postal and courier services are problematic for employer organisations in terms of member recruitment, as is the case for trade unions.

Due to the highly concentrated economic structure of the sector, an employer organisation can nevertheless arrive at a sector-related density of employees that is higher than the overall density of employees; this is true in the cases of DMA in Denmark, TIKLI in Finland and ÚDPT SR in Slovakia. Hence, the key question in this regard is whether the sector’s employers join together in employer organisations at all. The complete absence of sector-related employer organisations in the majority of the EU27 countries indicates the sector-specific obstacles in terms of increasing employer membership more strikingly than the lower sector-related density relative to overall density does.

Collective bargaining and its actors

Trade unions

Table 3 above lists all of the trade unions engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. As already noted above, their bargaining activities are often company-centred, leading to a relatively high proportion of employees being covered by single-employer bargaining in several countries, compared with multi-employer bargaining. Despite the numerous cases of inter-union domain overlap, relatively few cases of inter-union competition for bargaining rights and participation in public policy can be observed. Such rivalries are reported for the sector’s principal trade unions in Bulgaria where only nationally representative unions are entitled to conclude collective agreements. In Portugal, only those trade unions that met the statutory criteria of recognition – organisations affiliated to the General Workers’ Union (União Geral de Trabalhadores, UGT) and the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses, CGTP) – are consulted by public policy authorities. In Austria, the sector’s traditional labour representative, GPF, has a monopoly representation, although the private sector white-collar trade union, the Union of Salaried Employees (Gewerkschaft der Privatangestellten, GPA), has already begun to organise employees of the sector’s ‘alternative’ providers that have emerged in the market after liberalisation. Moreover, the newly formed vida trade union in Austria, which organises workers in the transport, catering and personal services sectors, may also represent some of the post and courier services sector’s blue-collar workers. Currently, according to GPF, no inter-union rivalries exist in Austria. However, it remains to be seen which trade union will be the first to claim the right to conclude a sector-related multi-employer agreement. In Hungary, only two of the seven trade unions that organise members in the post and courier services sector meet the requirements for representativeness that entitle a union to engage in sector-related bargaining.

Strong rivalry and competition between the sector’s trade unions are reported in Malta. Conflict is spurred by the legal provision which states that only the trade union that represents the majority of employees is entitled to conclude collective agreements. So far, this condition has been fulfilled by the Union of United Workers (Union Haddiema Maghqudin, UHM), whereas the second largest general union, the General Workers’ Union (GWU), is not officially recognised by MaltaPost plc. Thus, GWU has not been consulted by public authorities in relation to the company’s privatisation. At present, GWU is party to an industrial dispute regarding trade union membership and recognition.

Overall, cooperation in relation to collective bargaining prevails. In some countries, such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy and the Netherlands, some or even all of the trade unions in the post and courier services sector have joined forces, forming bargaining cartels in order to negotiate with the employer side. One sector-specific reason for this is that the former monopoly providers represent the hub of organised industrial relations. This sets an incentive for trade unions to cooperate, particularly when it comes to negotiating with these companies. Otherwise, the trade unions run the risk that some of them – or even all of them apart from one single union which may be preferred by the employer – are excluded from the bargaining process.

In Poland, no trade union rivalries are reported simply due to the fact that collective bargaining does not take place in the post and courier services sector since statutory regulations exclude the government as a party to company-level collective bargaining. Interestingly, no such legal provisions exist in the postal sector that provide for representational requirements differentiated between employees that fall under the terms of private law and those employed in the public sector. For instance, in the French telecommunications sector, different representativeness criteria are applied for trade unions that organise members in the public and private sectors. However, the general aim is to bring together – within each confederation – the employees of both La Poste and France Télécom.

Employer organisations

Employer organisations which conduct sector-related collective bargaining exist in 13 of the EU27 countries (Table 5 above). The majority of countries where employer organisations exist report more than one employer association; such countries include Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Thus, issues of inter-associational relations are of relevance in the post and courier services sector. Despite this, no domain overlaps are reported in relation to Denmark, Spain and Sweden. In the latter two countries, the listed associations are characterised by sectionalism or sectional overlap resulting from the existence of separate organisations for subsectors such as courier services and transport. However, even in view of widespread domain overlaps, little evidence of inter-associational rivalries can be seen. Trade union rivalry with regard to collective bargaining is only reported in the Netherlands, where rivalry between Transport and Logistics Netherlands (Transport en Logistiek Nederland, TLN) and other employer organisations that are active in the transport sector have arisen in the past. However, in recent years, inter-sectoral cooperation in collective bargaining – such as simultaneous negotiation rounds – has increased between TLN and transport sector organisations.

System of collective bargaining

Table 6 presents an overview of the system of sector-related collective bargaining in the EU27. The standard measure of the importance of collective bargaining as a means of employment regulation is obtained by calculating the total number of employees covered by collective bargaining as a proportion of the total number of employees within a certain sector of the economy (see Traxler, F., Blaschke, S. and Kittel, B., National labour relations in internationalised markets, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001). Accordingly, the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage is defined as the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector.

To delineate the bargaining system, two further indicators are employed: that is, the relevance of multi-employer bargaining compared with single-employer bargaining. Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employer organisation on behalf of the employer side. In the case of simple-employer bargaining, it is the company or its subunit(s) which is party to the agreement; this includes cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement. The relative importance of multi-employer bargaining, measured as a percentage of the total number of employees covered by a collective agreement, thus indicates the impact of the employer organisations on the overall collective bargaining process.

The results in Table 6 also indicate whether statutory extension schemes are applied to the sector. For reasons of brevity, this analysis is limited to extension schemes which are designed to extend the scope of a collective agreement to the employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisation; it does not deal with extension regulations targeting employees. The latter are not relevant to this particular analysis for two reasons. On the one hand, extending a collective agreement to employees who are not unionised in the company covered by the particular agreement is a standard of the International Labour Organization (ILO), aside from any national legislation. On the other hand, employers have good reason to extend a collective agreement concluded by them even when they not are formally obliged to do so; otherwise, they would create an incentive for their workforce to unionise.

Compared with employee-related extension procedures, schemes that target employers are thus far more important to the strength of collective bargaining in general and to multi-employer bargaining in particular. This is because the employers are capable of refraining both from joining an employer organisation and from entering single-employer bargaining in the context of a purely voluntary system. Therefore, employer-related extension practices increase the coverage of multi-employer bargaining. Moreover, when pervasive, such practices may encourage employers to join the controlling employer organisation, since membership enables them to participate in the bargaining process and to benefit from the organisation’s related services in a situation where the respective collective agreement will bind them in any case (see Traxler et al, 2001).

Table 6: System of sectoral collective bargaining, 2005
Country Collective bargaining coverage (CBC) Proportion of multi-employer bargaining (MEB) as % of total CBC Extension practices
AT 77% 0% (none)
BE 100% 0% pervasive
BG 52.3% 0% none
CY ~20% 0% none
CZ >82% n.a. none
DE <80% ~80% none
DK ~90% ~95% none
EE 98% 0% none
EL ~100% 0% none
ES ~60% n.a. none
FI 90% 100% pervasive
FR 100% 0% none
HU 97% 0% none
IE ~53% 0% none
IT ~99% ~14% pervasive
LT ~90% 0% none
LU 100% n.a. none
LV 84% 0% none
MT 84% 0% none
NL ~100% n.a. pervasive
PL 0% 0% none
PT 94% 0% none
RO 82.2% 0% none
SE 100% 100% none
SI ~100% ~100% none
SK 90%–95% n.a. none
UK <63% 0% none

Notes: Collective bargaining coverage (CBC) means employees covered as a percentage of the total number of employees in the sector. Multi-employer bargaining (MEB) is noted relative to single-employer bargaining (SEB). Extension practices include functional equivalents to extension provisions, that is, obligatory membership and labour court rulings. n.a. = not available.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

Collective bargaining coverage

In terms of collective bargaining coverage in the post and courier services sector, 19 of the EU27 for which data are available record extremely high coverage rates of 80% or more (see Table 6 above). Taking also those countries into account where the coverage rate is higher than 50%, an additional six countries can be considered – Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). Besides Cyprus, where about 20% of the sector’s employees are covered by a collective agreement, Poland stands out in terms of low coverage rates. For example, in the Polish post and courier services sector, workers are exclusively employed on individual employment contracts. According to statutory regulations, the government cannot act as a bargaining agent in the state-owned postal company Poczta Polska. In the smaller part of the private post and courier services sector, representative organisations do not exist on either the employer or employee side. Thus, collective bargaining is completely lacking in the sector.

Although multi-employer bargaining is lacking in more than 72% of the countries for which data are available, the coverage rates in the European post and courier services sector are particularly high. Several factors – often rooted in national particularities – that sometimes interact with each other account for the high collective bargaining coverage: multi-employer bargaining coincides with a high density of both trade unions and employer organisations in countries such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Finland is an example of a country where high coverage is buttressed both by high employer density and pervasive extension practices. Single-employer bargaining is backed by pervasive extension practices, particularly in Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. In the case of Austria, obligatory membership of employer organisations works as a functional equivalent to pervasive extension practices. Finally, the high economic concentration of the sector in terms of employment may give rise to very high bargaining coverage even when only single-employer bargaining prevails, provided that the sector’s key companies are covered. This is the case in countries like France, Hungary, Portugal and Spain where the former state-owned main providers in the sector maintained their dominant position in terms of employment. However, less supportive conditions appear to reduce the collective bargaining coverage rate considerably. Typically, single-employer bargaining agreements exist in all of the countries with a coverage rate of 60% or lower.

For the majority of countries – with the exception of the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain – at least a rough estimate can be made with regard to the relative importance of multi-employer bargaining. This type of bargaining prevails only in five countries – Denmark, Finland, Germany, Slovenia and Sweden. In the latter two countries, all of the employees covered come under the terms of multi-employer bargaining. It should be noted that multi-employer bargaining does not mean sector-level bargaining in all of these cases. In Ireland, for instance, the sector is covered by an all-encompassing central agreement at national level. In Austria, collective bargaining for the sector’s employees still employed under public law terms is centralised as its covers the state sector as a whole. However, only certain negotiations can be conducted for Austria’s public sector, since it is excluded from the right to bargain collectively.

Multi-employer bargaining is completely absent rivalry with regard to collective bargaining is only reported in the Netherlands, where rivalry between Transport and Logistics Netherlands (Transport en Logistiek Nederland, TLN) and other employer organisations that are active in the transport sector have arisen in the past. However, in recent years, inter-sectoral cooperation in collective bargaining – such as simultaneous negotiation rounds – has increased between TLN and transport sector organisations., the sector’s high concentration, particularly in conjunction with the special status of the former monopoly provider with regard to employment relations, has paved the way for widespread single-employer bargaining practices. It is often the case that only one single company agreement, concluded for the principal provider, exists in the sector – for example, in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Slovakia – while all of the other companies in the sector are not covered by any agreement.

The high bargaining coverage rate in terms of employees thus conceals a very low coverage in terms of companies in several countries. The divide between the collective bargaining coverage among employees working for the main postal services provider and the rest of the workforce primarily employed by newly established alternative providers is reported to be particularly pronounced in some of the new EU Member States. Organisational structures outside of the former state-owned postal services companies are weak or non-existing both on the employer and employee side, which is the case in countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

Since extension schemes can only be applied to multi-employer agreements, the widespread practice of single-employer bargaining limits their use even in cases where labour law provides for such schemes. Extension practices are common in Belgium, Finland, Italy and the Netherlands, and it is typical for these practices to be pervasive in the post and courier services sector in these countries. In all of these countries, the coverage rate is particularly high. For instance, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands record a maximum coverage rate of about 100%, while in Finland the coverage rate is slightly lower at about 90% (Table 6). When looking at the aim of extension provisions – that is, to make multi-employer agreements generally binding – the provisions for obligatory membership in the Austrian chamber organisations should also be considered. In Slovenia, both ZDS and GZS have been transformed into voluntary associations, implementing statutory provisions that aim to abolish compulsory membership. Another functional equivalent to statutory extension schemes can be found in Italy. In accordance with the country’s constitution, minimum conditions of employment must apply to all employees. The labour court rulings relate this principle to the multi-employer agreements, to the extent that they are regarded as generally binding (see IST, 2001).

Participation in public policymaking

Interest associations may partake in public policy in two basic ways: they may be consulted by the authorities on matters affecting their members; or they may be represented on ‘corporatist’, that is tripartite, committees and boards of policy concertation. This study considers only cases of consultation and corporatist participation that are suited to sector-specific matters. Consultation processes are not necessarily institutionalised, meaning that the organisations consulted by the authorities may vary according to the issues being addressed and also over time, depending on changes in government. Moreover, the authorities may initiate a consultation process on an occasional rather than a regular basis. Given this volatility, Tables 3 and 5 designate only those sector-related trade unions and employer organisations that are usually consulted.

Trade unions

The trade unions are consulted by the authorities in the majority of countries. Since a multi-union system has been set up in almost all of the countries, the possibility that the authorities may prefer to consult certain trade unions or that the unions compete for participation rights cannot be ruled out. However, in most countries where a noticeable practice of consultation is observed, any of the existing trade unions can take part in the consultation processes. However, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are the exceptions to this rule. In these countries, access to sector-related consultation processes is bound to a trade union’s affiliation to one of the major union confederations in each country – such as the Allied Unions (FNV Bondgenoten) and the CNV Industrial Union (CNV Bedrijvenbond) in the Netherlands, CGTP and UGT in Portugal and the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras, CC.OO) and the General Workers’ Confederation (Unión General de Trabajadores, UGT) in Spain. In Finland, the Finnish Post and Logistics Union (Posti- ja logistiikka-alan unioni, PAU) is the only union consulted on sector-specific matters, whereas in Luxembourg the cross-sectoral Luxembourg Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (Onofhängege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg, OGB-L) is reported to be the only association consulted by public authorities. In the case of Greece and Hungary, only the most representative sector-related trade unions are consulted. However, inter-union conflict over participation in public policy seldom occur among trade unions in the sector. Such conflict is reported only in relation to Hungary and Portugal.

Employer organisations

Although some rivalry over collective bargaining rights exists between employer organisations in some countries, such as the Netherlands and Slovenia, conflict over participation rights does not appear to be a problem. In the majority of the countries where such organisations exist, they are usually consulted in sector-related matters. Furthermore, where employer organisations exist, they have the same opportunity as trade unions to participate in consultation processes. In general, both sides of industry are either consulted or not consulted in relation to sector-related matters. In other countries, such as Finland and Spain, only some of the sector-related trade unions and employer organisations are consulted.

Asymmetrical consultation

In a few countries, asymmetrical consultation practices between employer and trade union organisations of interest representation can be found. In Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden, only the trade unions are consulted on sector-specific matters, whereas employer organisations are not part of the consultation process. As noted previously, employer organisations – in the sense of the aforementioned definition of a social partner organisation – are not established in 15 of the EU27. However, this does not necessarily mean that employers are excluded from consultation procedures in these countries. Under such circumstances, it is the main postal services provider which is either directly involved in consultation processes or consulted in the framework of bipartite or tripartite committees for public policy consultation. Due to the semi-monopolistic structure of the post and courier services sector in Europe, trade associations – that is, organisations specialised in matters other than industrial relations (see TN0311101S) – seldom exist. This contrasts with interest organisations in other sectors of activity such as telecommunications, where trade associations exclusively representing employers’ interests are widespread. Moreover, these associations are consulted on sector-specific matters.

Tripartite/bipartite participation

Turning from consultation to tripartite participation, the research reveals that sector-specific tripartite or bipartite bodies are established in only some of the EU27 countries – Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (Table 7). In Bulgaria, a bipartite body was established for the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector when the principal telecom provider was privatised in 2004. The interests of the postal sector in Romania are indirectly represented at tripartite level through the affiliation of the Post and Communications Trade Union Federation (Federaţia Sindicatelor din Poştă şi Comunicaţii, FSPC) to the National Trade Union Bloc (Blocul Naţional Sindical, BNS). In Slovenia, a tripartite committee for postal services and telecommunications has been inactive since its formation. Table 7 summarises the main properties of public policy boards which are currently active. Some of the boards’ activities refer to sectors such as telecommunications and transport but overlap with postal or courier services. The majority of the sector-related public policy boards are based on statute. Bodies which focus on bipartite agreement between the social partners exist in Hungary and Spain. In Slovakia and Slovenia, tripartite bodies in the post and telecommunications sector have been founded on the basis of social partner agreements. However, in Slovenia, the tripartite body is reported to have never been active since its establishment in 2003. Likewise, in Latvia, a tripartite consultation body on transport and ICT issues was set up, but is not currently active (see European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2007). The tasks of these bodies differ somewhat and include training, health and safety and social dialogue. However, some of these bodies deal with matters other than industrial relations.

In terms of composition, the inter-sectoral trade union confederations are represented on these bodies in Italy, Romania and Spain, whereas public policy consultation is exclusively the task of sector-related trade unions in Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. In Denmark, a number of trade unions which differ with respect to their sectoral domain and the employment status of their members are represented on boards often concerned with matters that go beyond the post and courier services sector. Likewise, on the employer side, participants on these boards include sector-related organisations, like those in Denmark, Slovakia and Spain, and inter-sectoral organisations, like those in Denmark and Slovenia, as well as organisations representing other industries, in particular the transport sector. In the case of Denmark, the cross-industry organisation DI is represented indirectly by Post Danmark on some of the bipartite bodies. The large postal companies are usually the main parties representing employers on these bodies. It is only the case in Spain that a joint body exists, comprising the Spanish state-owned postal services company Correos (Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos S.A.) and the sector-related employer organisation ASEMPRE.

Table 7: Sector-specific public policy boards
Country Name of body and scope of activity Bipartite/ tripartite Origin Participants
Trade unions Business associations
BE JC Post, joint commission of De Post, limited liability company under public law, and historical postal operator. Responsible for the universal service under the terms of the management contract concluded with the state. Bipartite Statutory: The legal basis of the current system of Belgian social dialogue is the law of 5 December 1968 on collective agreements and joint committees. This legislation defines the collective agreement (article 5), the criteria of representativeness of the social partner organisations (articles 3 and 42), the joint committees’ attributions (article 38), and the hierarchy of the sources of right and obligation between employers and workers (article 51). Transcom section of CSC/ACV CGSP/ACOD section of FGTB/ABVV SLFP/VSOA section of CGSLB/ACLVB De Post
DK Post operator within the vocational training programme (Postoperatør inden for EUD Mekanik, transport og logistik) Bipartite Statutory 3F DI represented by Post Danmark
  Sectoral health and safety council within transport and wholesale –includes post and courier services sector (BAR Transport og engross) Tripartite Statutory 3F HK FOA DJF FTF DI HTS/ATL BOA Ministry of Finance (Finansministeriet) Danish Regions Lederne
  Transport sector training board – includes post and courier services sector (Transporterhver-vets Uddannelsesråd: Brancheudvalg Post, TUR) Bipartite Statutory 3F DI represented by Post Danmark HTS/ATL
  Transport sector training fund (Transportsekto-rens Uddannelsesfond) Bipartite Agreement 3F ATL
ES Continuing training commission (Comisión de Formación Contínua) Bipartite Continuing Training Agreement of the Public Administrations CC.OO, UGT Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos S.A.
  Postal advisory council Tripartite: with participation of the national government, the regional and local authorities Statutory: highest advisory body of the government on postal services UGT, CC.OO Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos S.A. ASEMPRE
HU Subsectoral social dialogue committee Bipartite assisted by government authorities National agreement on sectoral social dialogue Own Constitution of the Committee Resolution of Committee of Participation Permission POFÜSZ PSZ Hungarian Post Co. Ltd (Magyar Posta)
IT CIV (Consiglio di Indirizzo e Vigilanza) for the national insurance body in the sector Tripartite Statutory Slc-Cgil, Slp-Cisl, Uil-Post, Failp-Cisal, Sailp-Confsal,Ugl- Comunicazioni Poste Italiane Spa
  Fund FOR.TE. Bipartite Statutory Filt-Cgil, Fit-Cisl, Uilt-Uiltrasporti, Cgil, Cisl-Uil Confetra
RO Social dialogue commission at the level of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Ministerul Comunicaţiilor şi Tehnologiei Informaţiei, MCTI) Tripartite Statutory Representatives of all nationally representative trade union confederations. FSPC is represented indirectly via its membership in the peak-level confederation BNS Representatives of all employer organisations represented at national level.
SI Economic and social committee of post and telecommunications (Ekonomsko-socialni odbor za poštne in telekomunikacijske storitve, ESO-PT) Tripartite Agreement SDPZ – ZSSS GZS, ZDS
SK Post and tele-communications tripartite body, which deals with employment issues, wages, working conditions and occupational health and safety in post and tele-communications companies Tripartite Based on tripartite Agreement on common actions in economic and social partnership concluded between the Ministry of Transport, Post and Telecommunications (MDPT SR) and the social partners SOZ PT and OZS ÚDPT SR

Notes: See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

In some countries, the profile of sector-specific corporatism reflects the predominant position of the former monopoly providers. In France, several specific boards exist for La Poste, whereby the company’s Social Dialogue Commission and Strategic Discussion Commission are the most relevant ones. Likewise, in Bulgaria, Italy and Latvia, bipartite bodies composed of representatives of company management and trade unions present in a company have been set up within the national postal companies. In contrast to the boards listed in Table 7, these bodies deal with industrial relations rather than public policy issues, with the exception of the Council for Coordination of Interest within Bulgarian Post which also carries out collective bargaining.


European level of interest representation

At European level, eligibility for consultation and participation in social dialogue is related to three criteria, as defined by the European Commission. Accordingly, a social partner organisation must have the following attributes:

  • be cross-industry, or relate to specific sectors or categories and be organised at European level;
  • consist of organisations which are an integral and recognised part of Member States’ social partner structures, which have a capacity to negotiate agreements and which are representative of all Member States, as far as possible;
  • have adequate structures to ensure the effective participation in the consultation process.

In terms of social dialogue, the constituent property of these structures is the ability of an organisation to negotiate on behalf of its members and to conclude binding agreements. Against this background, the following section on the European organisations of the post and courier services sector will analyse the organisations’ membership domain, the composition of their membership and their ability to negotiate.

As will be outlined in greater detail below, two European organisations representing both employees and employers are significant in the sector: UNI-Europa represents the employee side, while PostEurop represents the employer side. Hence, the following analysis will concentrate on these two organisations, while providing supplementary information on other organisations which are linked to the sector’s national industrial relations actors.

Membership domain

In terms of the membership domain, UNI-Europa – which in turn is linked to UNI-Global and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) – is differentiated into 13 sectors which gather the corresponding national trade unions: commerce; electricity; financial services; gambling and betting; graphic design/printing; hairdressing and beauty; business and information technology services (IBITS); media, entertainment and the arts; postal services; real estate; social insurance; tourism; and telecommunications. Thus, the membership domain of UNI-Europa overlaps relative to the sector.

In contrast to other European employer organisations, PostEurop does not organise associations. Its unit of membership is the company itself. PostEurop’s members are public postal operators – that is, postal operators with universal service obligations according to the European Directive 97/67/EC. Within the European Social Dialogue Committee for the post and courier services sector, employers are represented through the ‘Social Affairs Committee’ under the umbrella of PostEurop. The Social Affairs Committee comprises postal operators of the EU27 and negotiates on behalf of its members. Organising the main providers of the countries considered in this study, PostEurop’s membership domain falls within with the statistical demarcation of the sector. However, since it represents only a part of the sector, namely the large national postal services companies, PostEurop’s organisational domain is characterised by sectionalism.

Membership composition

In terms membership composition of UNI-Europa and PostEurop, the research also considers the European Federation of Public Service Employees (Eurofedop) for comparative purposes. It should be noted that the countries covered by these organisations extend beyond the EU27 examined in this study. However, this report will only consider membership of the EU27. Furthermore, the study is confined to the affiliates of UNI-Europa Postal only. Table 8 lists the membership of UNI-Europa Postal. With the exception of Slovenia, UNI-Europa Postal has affiliates in all EU Member States.

Table 8: Members of UNI-Europa Postal, 2007*
Country Members
AT GPF
BE CGSP/ACOD, SLFP/VSOA of CGSLB/ACLVB
BG TUFC, PTT ‘Podkrepa’
CY PASYDY
CZ OS ZPTNS
DE ver.di
DK 3F/Post, HK/Post
EE ESAL
EL POST, OIYE
ES ELA-Zerbitzuak, FCT-CC.OO, FSP-UGT
FI PAU, SEFE, VAAL-MF
FR CGT-FAPT, F3C-CGT, FO-COM
HU PSZ
IE CPSU, CWU, PSEU
IT SLC-CGIL, SLP-CISL, UIL-POST
LT LRDPS
LU P&T Union, OGB-L
LV LSAB
MT GWU
NL AbvaKabo
PL SL NSZZ
PT SERS, SINDETELCO, SINTTAV, SNTCT
RO FSPC
SE SEKO, SI, Jusek, Civilekonomerna, ST
SI -
SK OZS
UK CWU

Notes: *List is confined to sector-related trade union organisations of the EU27 countries under consideration. See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Table 9 summarises the members of Eurofedop. Membership is restricted to 10 of the EU27. As far as available data on membership of the national trade unions provide sufficient information on their relative strength (see Table 3), it can be concluded that UNI-Europa Postal covers the sector’s most important labour representatives in all but one of the EU27, with the exception of Slovenia. In several countries, 50% or more of the sector-related trade unions are members of UNI-Europa Postal; this is the case in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Sweden. In most countries with a single organisation representing employees, this trade union is usually a member of UNI-Europa Postal, which is the case in Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. All sector-related trade unions are covered by UNI-Europa Postal in Greece. With regard to the membership strength of Eurofedop, its presence is notable in Germany and the Netherlands. However, Eurofedop’s members in these two countries are not among the most representative organisations of the post and courier services sector. Generally, evidence is lacking of the membership strength of Eurofedop’s affiliates.

Table 9: Members of Eurofedop, 2007*
Country Members
AT -
BE ‘Transcom’ of CSC/ACV
BG -
CY -
CZ -
DE CGPT, DPVKOM
DK -
EE -
EL -
ES CSI-CSIF
FI -
FR CFTC Postes et telecoms
HU PHDSZSZ
IE -
IT UGL-Comunicazioni
LT -
LU LCGB
LV -
MT UHM
NL CNV Publieke Zaak
PL -
PT -
RO -
SE -
SI -
SK SOZ PT
UK -

Notes: *List is confined to sector-related employer organisations of the EU27 countries under consideration. See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

PostEurop has direct company membership in all of the 27 countries under examination, with the exception of Cyprus (Table 10) where the Department of Postal Services of the Ministry of Communications and Works is a registered member. Thus, Cyprus Post is listed as an indirect member of PostEurop. PostEurop covers the major postal services companies, many of which belong to the group of former monopoly providers.

With direct company membership, PostEurop structures are not tied to the national systems of business associations. This raises the question of how these structures relate to the above European Commission criterion of representativeness, which requires European associations to cover organisations that are themselves an integral and recognised part of Member States’ social partner structures and with capacity to negotiate agreements. As noted previously, multi-employer bargaining is not widespread in the post and courier services sector, and collective bargaining is conducted either mainly or exclusively at company level in most of the 27 countries (Table 6). In these circumstances, the companies themselves are the agents of business in industrial relations, while employer associations are absent. More specifically, the very large companies, in particular the former monopoly providers, are the key actors and leaders of business in the sector’s systems of single-employer bargaining; furthermore, they are usually affiliated to PostEurop. In the case of the smaller number of countries where multi-employer bargaining is all-encompassing – for example, in Finland, Slovenia and Sweden – PostEurop can be linked indirectly to the national bargaining process in two possible ways. First, its member companies may conduct bargaining within its own realm, so that their agreements complement the sector-level agreements. Secondly, PostEurop’s members, when affiliated to the national employer organisations – for example, in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain – can influence their goal formation and bargaining strategies.

Table 10: Members of PostEurop, 2007*
Country Members
AT Österreichische Post AG  
BE La Poste / De Post / Die Post
BG Bulgarian Post plc
CY Cyprus Post**
CZ Česká Pošta
DE Deutsche Post AG  
DK Post Danmark A/S
EE Eesti Post Ltd
EL Hellenic Post – ELTA
ES Correos y Telégrafos S.A.  
FI Itella Oyj
FR La Poste
HU Magyar Posta
IE An Post – General Post Office
IT Poste Italiane S.p.A.
LT AB Lietuvos paštas
LU Entreprise des Postes et des Télécommunications Luxembourg
LV Latvijas Pasts
MT MaltaPost p.l.c.
NL TNT Post
PL Poczta Polska
PT CTT - Correios de Portugal, S.A.
RO C.N. Posta Romana S.A.  
SE Posten AB  
SI Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o.
SK Slovenská pošta, a. s.
UK Royal Mail Group PLC

Notes: *List is confined to the EU27 countries under consideration. See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations. **Indirect member, since Cyprus Post is a state-run company under the umbrella of the Department of Postal Services of the Ministry of Communications and Works

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Capacity to negotiate

The third criterion of representativeness at European level refers to the ability of an organisation to negotiate on behalf of its own members. In the case of UNI-Europa, the members of the social dialogue committee and the secretariat are empowered to sign agreements in the name of all affiliates through the regular, and statutory, steering group and committee meetings. PostEurop’s capacity to negotiate on behalf of its members in social dialogue dealings is based on the rules of procedure of the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the post and courier services sector, which was signed together with UNI-Europa Postal in 1999.

As a proof of the weight of UNI-Europa, Eurofedop and PostEurop, it is also useful to make a comparison with other European associations that may be important representatives of the sector. This can be achieved by reviewing the European associations to which the sector-related trade unions and employer organisations are affiliated.

Regarding the trade unions, these affiliations are listed in Table 3. Evidently, European organisations other than UNI-Europa represent only a small number of both sector-related trade unions and countries. Due to a far-reaching overlap of the courier services sector with the transport sector, affiliations to the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) are frequent with 13 affiliations in eight countries. Almost equally frequent are affiliations to the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), which has 12 affiliations covering seven countries. Affiliations to UNI-Europa Telecom and UNI-Europa Finance can be found in one country, respectively. Eurofedop’s presence in the post and courier services sector is clearly less strong; with 11 affiliations in 10 countries, the organisation does not match UNI-Europa’s organisational strength in the sector. Rather, the number of trade unions and countries covered by Eurofedop comes close to that of ETF and EPSU.

Even though the list of affiliations in Table 3 may be incomplete, this review underlines the principal status of UNI-Europa as a voice for employees in sector – all the more since many of the abovementioned affiliations to other European organisations reflect the overlapping domains of the affiliates, rather than reflecting a true affiliation to the post and courier services sector. Exceptions are those European organisations which organise public sector employees or certain professions or employee groups whose interests crosscut the confines of postal and courier services.

A similar overview of the employer organisations’ memberships can be derived from Table 4. The findings show that the employer organisations listed do not contribute to an increase in representational strength of the sector’s employers. PostEurop’s full coverage of member companies in terms of countries results from the semi-monopolistic status of its members. As Table 4 indicates, employer organisations are lacking in 14 of the 27 countries considered in this study. In cases where they exist, their affiliations’ organisational links with European sectoral federations seldom exist (Table 5). Besides affiliations to the European Business Confederation BusinessEurope – namely, eight affiliations, three of which are indirect affiliations through membership in a cross-sectoral organisation, covering six countries – only two federations are considered as European social partner organisations consulted under Article 138 of the EC Treaty. Each of these two federations – the European Federation of Cleaning Industries (EFCI) and EuroCommerce which represents the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe – have no more than one association in both Sweden and Luxembourg. All other organisations are considered as trade or special interest associations: these include the European Transport Training Association (EuroTra), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), the European Information and Communications Technology Industry Association (EICTA), and the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations (EFCA) and the Architect’s Council of Europe (ACE). Each of these associations has an affiliation to one of the sector-related employer organisations.


Commentary

The European post and courier services sector has been subject to liberalisation and privatisation processes in recent years. However, most of the former state monopoly providers have maintained their predominant position in terms of market share and employment with regard to both postal and courier services.

These economic properties have had an influence on the national industrial relations systems. Despite deregulation and liberalisation, industrial relations structures in the sector have remained persistent in the vast majority of EU Member States. In general, the trade unions that have always been active within the former state-owned postal services companies are still the major labour organisations in the liberalised postal services sector. In the courier services segment of the sector in particular, the liberalisation of the market unleashed dynamic changes in industrial relations in some countries. In the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania, for example, the associational system of the sector has been reorganised into a single-union system. With regard to employer representation and participation in collective bargaining, new associations have been set up in the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Slovenia. In other countries, new trade unions and employer organisations were not set up, mostly due to the small number of employees in the newly privatised part of the sector. However, associations from other sectors, in particular from the transport sector, expanded into the area of postal and courier services sector in a number of countries. This process is still ongoing, for example, in Austria. New bargaining structures were set up which intersect with remaining public sector style of industrial relations.

This development has given rise to highly polarised structures in several respects. New private law employment relations often coexist with the older public sector style within the national postal services companies, which is the case in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Luxembourg. Essentially, this has also led to a polarisation between the old and the new segment of the sector in terms of whether industrial relations are organised. Both the trade unions and employer organisations have encountered serious difficulties in organising the newly established companies. The strongholds of the trade unions are still the former monopoly providers, while employer organisations have not been formed in the majority of countries. This has made single-employer bargaining more important in the sector than is generally the common pattern in many countries. At the same time, the former monopoly provider has often developed a key role in the sector’s industrial relations system. In extreme cases, the sector concludes only one collective agreement, which is concluded for this provider.

The dominant position of the national postal services provider in collective bargaining does not however imply a general influence of these collective agreements on negotiations on wages and working conditions in the entire sector. The strongly market-orientated employment conditions in the small-scale operators often become a reference for bargaining policies of the national postal services companies. Thus, trade unions are forced into a rather defensive position despite their generally strong presence in the sector. In this regard, in Germany, the support of trade unions affiliated to the Confederation of the German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) for the introduction of a statutory minimum wage in the German postal services sector is an instructive example.

Nevertheless, a comparison with recent figures on cross-sectoral collective bargaining coverage in the 25 Member States of the EU prior to the entry of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007 (EU25) indicates that the sector’s bargaining coverage has increased in 18 of the 22 countries for which comparable data are available (see Marginson, P. and Traxler, F., ‘After enlargement: Preconditions and prospects for bargaining coordination’, in Transfer, Vol. 11, 2005, pp. 423–438). In a number of countries, including Austria, Cyprus, Poland and Spain, the collective bargaining coverage rate in the post and courier services sector is lower than the overall level. The high bargaining coverage can be traced to the sector’s specific market structures and industrial relations patterns: bargaining coverage is boosted by the fact that the former monopoly providers, which are generally covered, still represent the largest proportion of employment. However, collective bargaining, as well as organised industrial relations, may decline to the extent that this predominant employment position of the principal providers may come to an end.

Overall, the polarising properties of the sector affect the associability of business more than is the case for labour. The sector’s employers have refrained from forming a social partner organisation in the majority of countries in order to remain independent with regard to their employment policies. However, in some countries, such as Denmark and Ireland, the national main providers joined cross-industry employer organisations. Reflecting the predominance of the sector’s companies over business associations in most of the national industrial relations systems, PostEurop, the sector-related voice of employers at European level, admits only companies as members. Hence, employer organisations are excluded from membership even though they remain the key industrial relations actors representing employers in a notable number of countries, and may gain importance as relevant actors in some of the new Member States that joined the EU in May 2004; this is the case in Finland, Germany and Spain. Regardless of this, PostEurop and its labour counterpart, UNI-Europa, are unmatched as the European representatives of employers and employees, particularly since no other European organisation can compare with them in terms of organising relevant sector-related industrial relations actors across the European Member States.


Annex: List of abbreviations

Country Abbreviation Full name of organisation
Austria (AT) GPF Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees
  GPA Union of Salaried Private Sector Employees
  ÖGB Austrian Trade Union Federation
  vida Formed from the merger of the Union of Railway Employees (GdE), the Commerce and Transport Union (HTV) and the Hotels, Catering and Personal Services Union (HGPD)
Belgium (BE) CES Economic and Social Council
  CGSLB/ACLVB Federation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium
  CGSP/ACOD General Confederation of Public Services
  CSC/ACV Transcom Confederation of Christian Trade Unions – Transcom section
  FGTB/ABVV Belgian General Confederation of Labour
  SLFP/VSOA Free Trade Union of Civil Servants
Bulgaria (BG) ADTU Association of Democratic Trade Unions
  CITUB Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria
  PTT ‘Podkrepa’ Communication Federation ‘Podkrepa’
  TUFC Trade Union Federation of Communications
Cyprus (CY) PASYDY Pancyprian Public Employees Trade Union
  OEB Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation
  OMEPEGE Federation of Transport, Petroleum and Agricultural Workers of Cyprus
  SEGDAMELIN Cyprus Agricultural, Forestry, Transport, Port, Seamen and Allied Occupations Trade Union
  SEK Cyprus Workers’ Confederation
  PEO Pancyprian Federation of Labour
Czech Republic (CZ) ČMKOS Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions
  OS ZPTNS Trade Union of Employees in Postal, Telecommunications and Newspaper Services of the Czech Republic
Denmark (DK) AC Danish Confederation of Professional Associations
  ATL Employers’ Association for Transport and Logistics
  BOA Employers’ Association of Danish Petroleum Industry
  3F Post United Federation of Danish Workers – Post section
  DA Confederation of Danish Employers
  Danske Regioner Danish Regions
  DI Confederation of Danish Industries
  DJF Danish Railway Workers’ Union
  DMA Danish Maritime Authority
  FOA Trade and Labour
  FTF Confederation of Salaried Employees and Civil Servants
  HK-Privat National Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees in Denmark
  HTS Confederation of Danish Commercial Transportation and Service Industries
  Lederne Danish Association of Managers and Executives
  LO Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
  UNIONEN Merger of the Swedish Salaried Employees’ Union (HTF) and the Union of White-collar Workers in Industry (Sif)
Estonia (EE) ESAL Estonian Communication Workers’ Trade Union
  EAKL Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions
Finland (FI) AKT Finnish Transport Workers’ Union
  ALT Road Transport Employers’ Association
  EK Confederation of Finnish Industries
  PAU Finnish Post and Logistics Union
  SAK Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions
  SEFE Finnish Association of Business School Graduates
  TIKLI Finnish Employers’ Association TIKLI
  VAAL-MF Viestintäalan ammattiliitto – Medieförbundet
  VKL Federation of the Finnish Media Industry
  YTN Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff
France (FR) CFDT French Democratic Confederation of Labour
  CFE-CGC French Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff – General Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff
  CFTC French Christian Workers’ Confederation
  CGC General Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff
  CGT General Confederation of Labour
  CGT-FO General Confederation of Labour – Force Ouvrière
  F3C-CGT CFDT Communications, Consulting and Cultural Workers Federation
  FO-COM Force Ouvrière Communication
  PTT CFE-CGC Post and Telecommunications Workers Federation – General Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff
  SUD Independent Union – Solidarity, Unity, Democracy
  SUD PTT Independent Union – Solidarity, Unity, Democracy –Post and Telecommunications Workers Federation
  UNSA National Federation of Independent Unions
  UNSA-Poste National Federation of Independent Unions – Postal Sector
Germany (DE) AGV Postdienste Postal Services Employers’ Association
  AGV neue BuZ Employers’ Association of the New Postal and Delivery Services
  BDA German Confederation of Employers’ Associations
  CGB Christian Federation of Trade Unions
  CGPT Christian Union Postal Services and Telecommunications
  DBB German Civil Service Association
  DGB Confederation of German Trade Unions
  DPVKOM Association of Postal Services and Communications Employees
  ver.di United Services Union
Greece (EL) ELTA Hellenic Post
  GSEE Greek General Confederation of Labour
  POST Panhellenic Federation of Postal Associations
  OIYE Federation of Greek Private Employees
Hungary (HU) MAPÉSZ Magyar Pétanque Szövetség
  LIGA Democratic League of Independent Trade Unions
  MOSZ National Federation of Workers’ Councils
  MSZOSZ National Association of Hungarian Trade Unions
  PHDSZSZ Trade Union Federation of Post and Communications Employees
  POFÜSZ Independent Trade Union of Postal Workers
  Postai Érdekvédelem ‘92 Interest Protection ‘92
  PSZ Postal Trade Union
Ireland (IE) AHCPS Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants
  An Post General Post Office
  CPSU Civil and Public Services Union
  CWU Communication Workers’ Union of Ireland
  IBEC Irish Business and Employers Confederation
  ICTU Irish Congress of Trade Unions
  IPU Irish Postmasters’ Union
  PSEU Public Service Executive Union
  SIPTU Services, Industrial, Professional, and Technical Union
Italy (IT) CGIL General Confederation of Italian Workers
  CISAL Italian Confederation of Autonomous Workers’ Unions
  CISL Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions
  Confindustria General Confederation of Italian Industry
  CONFETRA Italian Confederation of Transport and Logistics Enterprises
  CONFSAL General Confederation of Autonomous Workers’ Trade Unions
  FAILP-CISAL Autonomous Union of Italian Postal Workers – Italian Confederation of Autonomous Workers’ Unions
  FEDIT Federazione Italiana Trasportatori
  FILT-CGIL Italian Federation of Transport Workers – General Confederation of Italian Workers
  FISE Federation of Service Enterprises
  FISE-ARE Federation of Service Enterprises – Associazione delle Agenzie di Recapito Espressi
  FISE-ASSOPOSTE Federation of Service Enterprises – National Association of Postal Services Enterprises
  FIT-CISL Italian Federation of Transport – General Confederation of Italian Workers
  SAILP-CONFSAL Autonomous Union of Italian Postal Workers – General Confederation of Autonomous Workers’ Trade Unions
  SLC-CGIL Communication Workers’ Union – General Confederation of Italian Workers
  SLP-CISL Federation of Postal Workers - Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions
  UGL General Workers’ Union
  UGL Comunicazioni General Communication Workers’ Union
  UIL Union of Italian Workers
  UIL-POST Union of Italian Postal Workers
  UILTRASPORTI Italian Union of Transport Workers
Latvia (LV) LBAS Latvian Free Trade Union Confederation
  LSAB Communication Workers Trade Union
Lithuania (LT) LPSK Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation
  LRDPS Lithuanian Communication Workers’ Trade Union
Luxembourg (LU) CLC Luxembourg Trade Confederation
  LCGB Luxembourg Christian Trade Union Confederation
  OGB-L Luxembourg Confederation of Independent Trade Unions
  P&T Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications Trade Union
Malta (MT) CMTU Confederation of Malta Trade Unions
  GWU General Workers’ Union
  UHM Union of United Workers
Netherlands (NL) AbvaKabo Dutch Civil Servants’ Trade Union
  BVPP Craft Union for Postal Workers
  CNV Christian Trade Union Federation
  CNV Bedrijvenbond CNV Industrial Union
  CNV Publieke Zaak Christian Trade Union Federation – Public Sector Trade Union
  FNV Federation of Dutch Trade Unions
  FNV Bondgenoten Allied Unions
  MHP  
  TLN Transport and Logistics Netherlands
  VNO-NCW Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers
  VPP Union for Higher Educated Workers
Poland (PL) NSZZ Solidarność Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarity’ (NSZZ Solidarity)
  SL NSZZ Sekretariat Łączności NSZZ ‘Solidarność’
Portugal (PT) CGTP-IN General Confederation of Portuguese Workers – Intersindical Nacional
  CGSI General Confederation of Independent Trade Unions
  CPQTC Portuguese Confederation of Technical and Scientific Staff
  CTT Post Office of Portugal
  FENSIQ National Confederation of Unions for Technical Staff
  FENTCOP National Union of Transports, Communication and Public Works
  SE Spanish Students’ Union
  SEMM Trade Union of Engineers of the Merchant Marine
  SEN Southern Nurses’ Union
  SEP Portuguese Nurses’ Union
  SERS Union of Engineers in Southern Portugal
  SINDETELCO Democratic Union of Communication and Media Workers
  SINCOMP Communications Union of Portugal
  SINCOR Sindicato Independente dos Correios de Portugal
  SINQUADROS Sindicato de quadros das Comunicações
  SINTTAV National Union of Telecommunication and Audiovisual Workers
  SITIC Independent Trade Union of Information and Communciations Workers
  SNAQ National Union of Technical Staff
  SNE National Union of Engineers
  SNTCT Post and Telecommunications Workers’ Union
  SPEUE Portuguese Union of Engineers
  UGT General Workers’ Confederation
  USI Union of Independent Trade Unions
Romania (RO) BNS National Trade Union Bloc
  FSPC Post and Communications Trade Union Federation
Slovakia (SK) OZS Communications Trade Union Association
  KOZ SR Central Confederation of Trade Unions
  ÚDPT SR Slovakian Union of Transport, Post and Telecommunications Employers
  SOZ PT Slovak Trade Union of Posts and Telecommunications
Slovenia (SI) GZS Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia
  SDPZ Trade Union of Workers in Transport and Communications
  ZDS Slovenian Employers’ Association
  ZSSS Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia
Spain (ES) ANEB National Association of Postal Services Employers
  ASEMPRE Professional Association of Postal Services Companies
  CC.OO Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions
  CEOE Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organisations
  CSI-CSIF Trade Union Confederation of Public Servants
  ELA/STV Basque Workers’ Solidarity
  ELA-Zerbitzuak Employees, technicians, shops and food sector within Basque Workers’ Solidarity
  FCT-CC.OO Communication and Transport Federation – Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions
  FSP-UGT Public Service Workers’ Federation – General Workers’ Union
  Gizalan Represents Public Services and Teaching Federations within Basque Workers’ Solidarity
  FES-UGT Service Federation of the General Workers’ Union
  Hainbat Represents Chemical, energy, paper, graphic arts, communications and transport and the Construction and wood federations within Basque Workers’ Solidarity
  TCM-UGT Federación Estatal de Transportes, Comunicaciones y Mar – General Workers’ Union
  UGT General Workers’ Union
Sweden (SE) Almega Swedish Industrial, IT and Services Employers’ Association
  BA Swedish Road Transport Employers’ Association
  Civilekonomerna Association of Graduates in Business Administration and Economics
  Friskolornas Riksförbund Swedish Association of Independent Schools
  FSF Föreningen Svensk Företagshälsovård
  HTF Salaried Employees’ Union
  Jusek Association of Graduates in Law, Economics and Personnel Management
  Ledarna Swedish Association of Managerial and Professional Staff
  LO Swedish Trade Union Confederation
  NFWO New Forms of Work Organisation
  NTF Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union
  RINORD Informal grouping of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers’ (FIDIC) northern European member associations from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark
  SACO Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations
  SEKO Union of Service and Communication Employees
  SI Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers
  SN Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv)
  ST Civil Servants’ Union
  SUN Nordic Union for the Service Sectors
  Svenskt Näringsliv Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
  Tågoperatörerna Association of Swedish Train Operators
  TCO Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees
  Transport Transport Workers’ Union
  UF Ung Företagsamhet
United Kingdom (UK) CWU Communication Workers Union
  TUC Trades Union Congress
     
Europe ACE Architect’s Council of Europe
  BusinessEurope European Business Confederation
  CEC European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff
  CEDEFOP European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
  CEEP European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest
  EESC European Economic and Social Committee
  EFCA European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations
  EFCI European Federation of Cleaning Industries
  EFFAT European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors and Allied Branches
  EICTA European Information and Communications Technology Industry Association
  EMF European Metalworkers’ Federation
  ENPA European Newspaper Publishers’ Association
  EPSU European Federation of Public Service Unions
  ETF European Transport Workers’ Federation
  ETUC European Trade Union Confederation
  Eurocadres Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff
  Eurocommerce European organisation representing the retail, wholesale, and international trade sectors
  Eurofedop European Federation of Public Service Employees
  EuroTra European Transport Training Association
  Euro-WEA European Workers’ Education Association
  FERPA European Federation for Retired Personnel
  PostEurop Association of European Public Postal Operators
  UNI-Europa Union Network International – Europa
  UNI-Europa Finance Union Network International-Europa Finance Sector
  UNI-Europa MEI Union Network International-Europa Media, Entertainment and the Arts Sector
  UNI-Europa Postal Union Network International-Europa Postal Sector
  UNI-Europa Telecom Union Network International-Europa Telecom Sector

Vera Glassner, Department of Industrial Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria

EF/08/55/EN

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