The Netherlands: Representativeness of the European social partner organisations in the electricity sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Agreements,
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Social partners,
  • Participation at work,
  • Arbejdsmarkedsrelationer,
  • Published on: 22 januar 2014



About
Country:
Netherlands
Author:
Institution:

The electricity sector is of great importance to Dutch society and its economy. After the liberalisation of the market in 2006, the production and distribution of electricity have been privatised, although the network’s infrastructure has remained under state control. So far, the decrease in the number of employees has turned out to be lower than anticipated. Additionally, the organisation of the social partners has remained unchanged and the density is relatively high. Two sectoral collective agreements – one for the network infrastructure, the other for production and distribution – cover the two segments of the sector. The three unions involved – FNV Abvakabo, CNV Publieke Zaak and VMHP-N of the CMHP are the accepted parties in collective bargaining, as is the employer organisation WENb.

Sectoral properties

Economic background

Sectoral coverage

This representativeness study covers companies and employees in the electricity sector, as defined by NACE Rev. 2 code 35.1:

35.1 Electric power generation, transmission and distribution

35.11 Production of electricity

35.12 Transmission of electricity

35.13 Distribution of electricity

35.14 Trade of electricity

Development of sectoral employment and companies

Table 1: Sectoral properties
 

2001

2011

Number of companies in the sector (including one-person companies and self-employed)

28

26

Comment    
Source of company data

CBS/Statline

CBS/Statline

Aggregate employment    
Male employment    
Female employment    
Share of sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy    
Source of employment figures    
Comment    
Aggregate employees

28,000

35,000

Male employees

23,000

26,000

Female employees

5,000

9,000

Share of sectoral employees as a % of total employees in the economy

0.4

0.4

Source of employee figures

CBS/Statline

CBS/Statline

Comment    

2. Overview of the industrial relations landscape in the sector

Since 2006 the production and distribution sub-sector has been privatised, while the electricity network has remained under state control. Industrial relations have not been affected; the sector although smaller, is still densely organised. One employer organisation (WENb) represents the vast majority of employers and the three unions are accepted parties in collective bargaining. Internationalisation and the economic crisis have had some impact on the sector and its employees, but not dramatically so.

3. The sector’s trade unions and employers associations

This report includes detailed information on the following trade unions and employer associations:

(i) trade unions (or employees’ interest organisations) and employer organisations (or business associations) which are affiliated to the sector-related European Union Federation(s) or the sector-related European Employer/Business Federation(s) and represent members in the sector

The sector-related European employee organisations are:

  • IndustriAll Europa;
  • European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU).

The sector-related European employer organisations are:

  • The union of the electricity industry (EURELECTRIC).

(ii) trade unions and employer organisations which are party to sector-related collective bargaining and represent members in the sector.

This report does not include detailed information on the following organisations, because they fall outside the remit of the study:

iii) Affiliates to EU-level sectoral social partners, but without members in the sector. These are the affiliates of EPSU and IndustriAll Europa that have members in other sectors but not in the electricity sector. Use these weblinks for a full list of the IndustriAll affiliates and EPSU affiliates.

iv) Organisations which are involved in sector-related collective bargaining, but do not represent members in the sector.

v) Organisations which represent members in the sector, but are not involved in sector-related collective bargaining, and are not members of EU-level sectoral social-partner organisations.

3a. Please list all the organisations which can be related to the study in the following overview table

Table 2: Overview of industrial relations landscape
Organisation - abbreviation Sector related (members in the sector) Member of a sector-related European organisation Involved in sector related CB Fact-sheet included Source of information
FNV Abvakabo

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

R. Cornelisse; O. van Rijswijk, FNV Abvakabo

CNV Publieke Zaak

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

R. Vergunst, CNV Publieke Zaak

VMHF-N

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

O. Hoole, VMHP-N

WENb**/Netbeheer Netherland

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

P. van der Vlugt

FNV Bondgenoten*

No

Yes

Yes

No

 
Energie-Netherland

?

Yes

No

   
EON energie

Yes

Yes

No

 

norbert.kupfer@eon-energie.com

CNV Vakmensen

?

Yes

?

 

h.smits@cnvvakmensen.nl

The annex at the end of this questionnaire provides the list of all the organisations which are members of the sector-related European organisations, broken down by country.

*FNV Bondgenoten is member of IndustriAll on behalf of its role in the gas sector.

**EON is one of the smaller companies in NL; it is not thought to play a special role in collective bargaining or in European social partner consultation.

4. Collective bargaining in the electricity sector

4.1. Are employees in the sector as defined in Section 1 above and in Table 1 covered by collective bargaining?

Yes

4.2. If yes, please consider the five main relevant* collective agreements (single-employer and multi-employer agreements) valid in 2012 in the electricity sector and indicate their levels, the name of the agreements, respective coverage in terms of sectors/activities, the bargaining parties to the agreement and the numbers of employees covered within the electricity sector (also estimate):

Table 3: The five main relevant* collective agreements (single-employer and multi-employer agreements) valid in 2012

Level

Common name

Sectoral coverage

No. of employees covered within the electricity sector

Bargaining parties

Employer(s)

(in case of single-employer agreements) or

Employer organisation(s)

(in case of multi-employer agreements)

Trade union(s)

Multi-employer

Network-companies (infrastructure)

sectional

15,000

WENb

FNV Abvakabo; CNV Publieke Zaak; VMHP-N

Multi-employer

Production and distribution

sectional

About 20,000

(extended company level agreement)

WENb

FNV Abvakabo; CNV Publieke Zaak;

VMHP-N

* Relevance is measured in terms of employees covered.

5. The system of collective bargaining

5.1. Estimate the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage (i.e. the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector).

The coverage is nearly 100%. There are two multi-employer collective agreements for the two sub-sectors; network, and production and distribution. The network agreement covers all employers directly; the agreement for production and distribution is in the process of being extended to the whole sub-sector). In addition to the two multi-employer agreements there are company agreements, often also negotiated with the unions.

5.2. Estimate the relative importance of multi-employer agreements and of single-employer agreements as a percentage of the total number of employees covered.

The relative importance of the two multi-employer agreements is around 95%. Many company agreements refer to one of the two multi-company agreements; in other agreements employers obviously choose their own conditions.

5.2.1. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer association/s?

Yes.

5.2.2. If there is a practice of extending collective agreements targeting employers, is this practice pervasive or rather limited and exceptional?

This practice is pervasive. Of the two multi-employer agreements, the second one – production and distribution – is in the process of being extended). Some companies receive dispensation from the agreement, when their production activities fall in a different sector, for example, Metalelectro.

6. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

6.1. Do tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues exist? If yes, please indicate their domain of activity (for instance, health and safety, equal opportunities, labour market, social security and pensions etc.), their origin (agreement/statutory) and the interest organisations having representatives in them:

No. At national level the tripartite Social-Economic Council has, in three publications, paid attention to the energy sector (NL1202029Q).

7. Data on the trade unions

Abvakabo FNV

Union of Civil Servants affiliated to Federation of Dutch Unions

Abvakabo FNV

The union’s domain

 

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover the entire electricity sector, including all of the sub-activities as a whole, as listed above?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all occupations within the electricity sector among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the electricity sector, all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc. – of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover employees outside the electricity sector?

Yes

General information on the union

 

Is the union engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Both single- and multi-employer bargaining

How many employees are covered by the collective agreement/s signed by the union within the electricity sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

15.000; 20.000

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

How often do sector-related consultations involve the union?

On an ad-hoc basis

Members

 

How many active members in employment does the union have in total (i.e. within the electricity sector and beyond)?

350,000 in 2012

How many active members in employment does the union have within the electricity sector only?

6,200

Does the union have members in the largest electricity companies?

Yes

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the union affiliated?

PSI

To which European-level organisations is the union affiliated?

EPSU*

To which national-level organisations is the union affiliated?

FNV

Source of information

R. Cornelisse; O. van Rijswijk, Interview and mail: 26 March 2013

EIRO national correspondent: Marianne Grunell

*Note: FNV Bondgenoten is member of IndustriAll because of its role in the gas sector.

CNV Publieke Zaak

Christian Dutch Trade Union Civil Servants

Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond Publieke Zaak

The union’s domain

 

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover the entire electricity sector, including all of the sub-activities as a whole, as listed above?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all occupations within the electricity sector among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the electricity sector, all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc. – of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover employees outside the electricity sector?

Yes

General information on the union

 

Is the union engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Both single- and multi-employer bargaining

How many employees are covered by the collective agreement/s signed by the union within the electricity sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

15,000; 20,000

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

How often do sector-related consultations involve the union?

On an ad-hoc basis

Members

 

How many active members in employment does the union have in total (i.e. within the electricity sector and beyond)?

80,000

How many active members in employment does the union have within the electricity sector only?

1,800

Does the union have members in the largest electricity companies?

Yes

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the union affiliated?

PSI

To which European-level organisations is the union affiliated?

EPSU

To which national-level organisations is the union affiliated?

CNV

Source of information

R. Vergunst, CNV Publieke Zaak, Interview and mail: 26 March 2013

EIRO national correspondent: Marianne Grunell

VMHP-N
Union for Middle and Higher Personnel – Utility companies
Vereniging voor Middelbaar en Hoger Personeel-Nutsbedrijven

The union’s domain

 

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover the entire electricity sector, including all of the sub-activities as a whole, as listed above?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all occupations within the electricity sector among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes the union is formally open to all employees, but as the name reveals – middle and higher personnel – the organisation represents the middle and higher personnel

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the electricity sector, all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc. – of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover employees outside the electricity sector?

Yes

General information on the union

 

Is the union engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Both single- and multi-employer bargaining

How many employees are covered by the collective agreement/s signed by the union within the electricity sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

15,000; 20,000

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

How often do sector-related consultations involve the union?

On an ad-hoc basis

Members

 

How many active members in employment does the union have in total (i.e. within the electricity sector and beyond)?

60,000 CMHP members in 2012

How many active members in employment does the union have within the electricity sector only?

Not public, but probably less than 1.800 members CNV Publieke Zaak in the sector

Does the union have members in the largest electricity companies?

Yes

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the union affiliated?

-

To which European-level organisations is the union affiliated?

Only via MHP: Eurocadres

To which national-level organisations is the union affiliated?

MHP

Source of information

O. Hoole, VMHP-N, Mail 5 March 2013

EIRO national correspondent: Marianne Grunell

8. Data on the employer associations

WENb
Employer organisation Energy, electricity and gas Utility Companies
WENb, Werkgeversvereniging voor de Energie, Kabel & Telecom en Afval & Milieubedrijven

The employer organisation’s domain

 

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire electricity sector, including all of the sub-activities as a whole, as listed above?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover, within the electricity sector, all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.) (of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies, within the electricity sector, in all regions of your country?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies and/or business activities outside the electricity sector?

Yes

General information on the organisation

 

Is the employer organisation engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Multi-employer bargaining (please indicate if it involves national (cross-sectoral), inter-sectoral, sectoral/branch, regional/local and/or occupational bargaining)

How many companies are covered by the collective agreement/s signed by the employer organisation within the electricity sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

50 members (60 companies/plants) in network and

in production and distribution sub-sector s

How many employees are covered by the sector-related collective agreement/s signed by the employer organisation within the electricity sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

15,000 jobs in network/infrastructure

20,000 jobs in production and distribution

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

How often do sector-related consultations involve the employer organisation?

On an ad-hoc basis

.

Members

 

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (i.e. within the electricity sector and beyond)?

50 members (60 companies/plants) in 2012

How many employees work in these member companies in total (i.e. within the electricity sector and beyond)?

35,000

How many member companies does the employer organisation have within the electricity sector only?

50 members (60 companies/plants) in 2012

How many employees work in these member companies within the electricity sector only?

35,000

Are the largest electricity companies affiliated to this employer organisation?

Yes

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

-

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

EUROELECTRIC

To which national-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

VNO-NCW

Source of information

P. van der Vlugt, WENb. Interview 26 February 2013

EIRO national correspondent: Marianne Grunell

9. Inter-associational relationships

9.1 Inter-union relationships

9.1.1 Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap within the sector.

Abvakabo FNV, CNV Publieke Zaak, VMHP-N.

9.1.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the trade unions within the sector, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No.

9.1.3 If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights?

9.2 Inter-employer association relationships

9.2.1 Please list all employer associations covered by this study whose domains overlap within the sector.

WENb is the only employer organisation.

9.2.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the employer associations within the sector, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

Not applicable.

9.2.3 If yes, are certain employer associations excluded from these rights?

Not applicable.

9.2.4 Are there large companies or employer associations within the sector which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No.

9. Commentary

In the electricity sector there are no specific issues regards representativeness. There are no jurisdictional disputes or recognition problems. The social partners are accepted partners in negotiating collective labour agreements and in consultation by the authorities. The liberalisation of the market mechanisms led to the sector being split in two, with the production and distribution of electricity being privatised. The network infrastructure has remained under state control. So far the organisation of the social partners has remained unchanged and the density is relatively high. Two sectoral collective agreements- one for the network infrastructure, the other for production and distribution - cover the two segments of the sector. The employer organisation WENb and the three unions – FNV Abvakabo, CNV Publieke Zaak and VMHP-N of the CMHP are accepted parties in collective bargaining.

Marianne Grunell, University of Amsterdam

Annex: Organisations which are members of the sector-related European organisations

 

EPSU

IndustriAll

EURELECTRIC

AT

GDG, VERDI

PRO-GE

Österreichs E-Wirtschaft 

BE

CSC, CSC - Services Publics, SLFP,

CGSP ACOD,

CGSP-P, CGSP-G

GAZELCO Distrigas,

CG-FGTB,

CGSP-ACOD Gazelco,

CGSP Admi

ACV/CSC BIE,

LBC-NVK,

SETCA-BBTK

FEBEG,

SYNERGRID asbl

BG

NSFEB,

FEW-Podkrepa,

PK Services,

FCIW-PODK,

NDWU, VODOSNABDITEL,

FITUGO,

FCIW-PODKREPA

NF Energy - CL Podkrepa,

NFE,

NEWF Podkrepa

 Bulgarian Electric Power Association

CY

FSGEC, PASYDY

FPUEAE

Electricity Authority of Cyprus

CZ

OS UNIOS,

Public Services International,

OS ECHO,

OS DLV, RWE

OS ECHO

CSZE

DE

VERDI

IG BCE

BDEW

DK

3F workers union,

DM, PEU, FOA,

DK Funktionærforbund,

DEF,

CO Industri

Dansk Energi

EE

AEEWTU

AEEWTU - EEAÜL

The Union of Electricity Industry of Estonia

ES

FITAG-UGT,

AGBAR,

FSAP-CCOO,

FSP UGT

FITAG-UGT,

FITEQA-CC.OO,

ELA-HAINBAT,

FI CC.OO,

UNESA

FI

JYTY, JHL, UNION of SALARIED EMPLOYEES,

PARDIA,

SÄHKÖLIITTO,

UIL (INSINÖÖRILIITTO),

Energiateollisuus ry

FR

CGT – FNME, FPSPSS-FO, CGT-SP, Public Services International, PSI,

INTERCO CFDT,

FNEM-FO, CFTC,

UNSA, FNME-CGT,

FCE-CFDT,

FNEM FO

UFE

GR

-

PFEPPRCI,

GENOP-DEI

HELAS

HU

VKDSZ, EVDSZ, HVDSZ 2000

V.D.Sz.Sz. (EVDSZ),

BDSZ

EMT

IE

ESBOA, IMPACT,

SIPTU, Electricity Supply Board Officers Association

SIPTU

EAI

IT

FEMCA, UILCEM,

FP-CGIL, FLAEI-CISL, FILCTEM-CGIL,

UILCEM

UNEI

LT

LITUF, LVPF,

LTUSE

 

Nacionaline Lietuvos Elektros Asociacija 

LU

CGT-L,

Confédération Luxembourgeoise des Syndicats Chrétiens - Secteur Public, LCGB,

LCGB

Organisation des Entreprises d’Electricité du Luxembourg

LV

LTUE, LAKRS

ENERGIJA, LINA

LEEA

MT

GWU

 

ENEMALTA Corporation

NL

ABVAKABO FNV, CNV

FNV Bondgenoten,

ABVAKABO FNV, EON

FNV,

CNV Vakmensen

Energie-Nederland,

Netbeheer Nederland

PL

SKEE Solidarnosc,

PSS Solidarnosc

SGiE Solidarnosc,

PKEE

PT

Sindicato dos Trabalhadores da AdministraçãoPública,

STAL, SINTAP,

SINDEL, STE

SINDEL

ELECPROR

RO

GAZ ROM,

UNIVERS,

Public Services International,

ENERGETICA,

APA NOVA,

GAZ MEDIAS,

FS Gaz Romania

UFS ATLAS, FSLCP,

FNME, Hidrosind,

FS Hidrosind,

IRE,

SE

SEKO, NOFS,

VISION,

HK Kommunal,

KOMMUNAL, TRANSPORT, FACKFORBUNDET

UNIONEN, SEF,

SVERIGES INGENJORER,

SEKO

 Svensk Energi Swedenergy AB

SI

SDE SLOVENIJE

SDE

Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, Energy Association, EURELECTRIC Section

SK

SOZE, TUWIFWS,

POZ,

Slovak Gas Industry Trade Union,

Slovak Trade Union of Health and Social Services,

ECHOZ, SOZPS,

SPP

ZOJES

ZZES

UK

Prospect, UNISON,

NIPSA, FDA,

Unite the Union,

GMB

GMB,

UNITE (ex-TGWU),

UNITE the UNION

ENA, Energy UK, ERA

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