Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Construction sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Diálogo social,
  • Social partners,
  • Representativeness,
  • Relaciones laborales,
  • Date of Publication: 23 Septiembre 2015



About
Author:
Institution:

This study provides information designed to aid the functioning of sectoral social dialogue in the construction sector. The study is divided into three parts: a summary of the sector’s economic background; an analysis of the social partner organisations in all EU Member States (apart from Croatia), including membership, role in collective bargaining, social dialogue and public policy, and national and European affiliations; and an overview of the relevant European organisations, in particular their membership composition and capacity to negotiate. The aim of Eurofound’s series of representativeness studies is to identify the relevant national and supranational social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in selected sectors. The impetus for these studies comes from the European Commission’s aim to recognise the representative social partner organisations to be consulted under the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Download the full report [1.5 MB PDF]

See also the executive summary

Introduction

Objectives of the study

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the relevant national and supranational social actors – the trade unions and employers’ organisations – in the field of industrial relations in the construction sector, and to show how these actors relate to the sector’s European interest associations of labour and business. The impetus for this study arises from the aim of the European Commission to identify the representative social partner associations to be consulted under the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Hence, this study seeks to provide basic information needed to support 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 EU Member States. Only associations which meet this precondition will be admitted to European social dialogue.

Concept and methodology

To accomplish these aims, the study identifies the sector-related national and European social partner organisations in the construction sector, via a top-down (listing the members of the European affiliations) and a bottom-up approach (through Eurofound’s Network of National Correspondents).

The study first identifies the relevant national social partner organisations in the construction sector and then analyses 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’ (Table 1).

Table 1: Determining the ‘sector-relatedness’ of an organisation

Scope

Question in the standardised questionnaire

Possible answers

Note and explanations

Domain of the organisation within the sector

Does the domain of the trade union/employers’ organisation potentially cover

… the entire construction sector, including all of its subactivities as a whole?

Yes/No

This question refers to the economic subactivities of the NACE code chosen. Some organisations may delimit their domain to only some of the subactivities

… all occupations within the construction sector among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes/No

Some trade unions may delimit their domain to certain occupations or categories of workers only.

… all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance, public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and so on – only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes/No

Some organisations may delimit their domain, for instance, to public-sector companies/employees or SMEs only.

… employees/companies, within the sector, in all regions of the country?

Yes/No

Some organisations may delimit their domain to certain regions instead of the entire territory of the country.

Domain of the organisation outside the sector

…employees/companies/business activities outside the construction sector?

Yes/No

Some organisations may enlarge their domain to other activities not included in the construction sector.

Source: Standardised questionnaire sent to Eurofound’s Network of European Correspondents (2013–2014)

At both national and European levels, many associations are not considered to be social partner organisations as they do not essentially deal with industrial relations. Therefore, there is a need for criteria to define clearly the social partner organisations.

As regards national-level associations, classification as a sector-related social partner organisation implies fulfilling one of the following two criteria:

  • be a party to ‘sector-related’ collective bargaining;
  • be 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 154 of the TFEU and/or participates in the sector-related European social dialogue.

While affiliation to a European social partner organisation is sufficient to determine a national association as a social partner, this does not necessarily imply that the association is involved in industrial relations in its own country. Although this selection criterion may seem odd at first glance, a national association which is a member of a European social partner organisation will become involved in industrial relations matters at EU-level through its membership of the European organisation: through informal communication, consultation procedures and eventually the implementation of agreements concluded by the European social partners at national level.

It is also important to assess 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 connect the national and European levels.

A European association is considered a relevant sector-related interest organisation if:

  • it is on the European Commission’s list of interest organisations to be consulted on behalf of the sector under Article 154 TFEU;
  • and/or it participates in the sector-related European social dialogue;
  • and/or it has asked to be consulted under Article 154 TFEU.

In addition, this study considers any other European association with sector-related national social partner organisations – as defined above – under its umbrella.

Definitions

For the purpose of this study, the construction sector is defined in terms of the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE) to ensure the cross-national comparability of the findings. The NACE code reflects the field of activities covered by the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee ‘Construction’ as demarcated by the social partners in agreement with the European Commission.

More specifically, the construction sector is defined as embracing NACE (Rev. 2) 41, 42 and 43. This includes the following activities:

  • 41 Construction of buildings;
  • 42 Civil engineering;
  • 43 Specialised construction activities.

The domains of the trade unions and employers’ organisations and the scope of the relevant collective agreements are likely to vary from this precise NACE definition. The study therefore includes all trade unions, employers’ organisations and multi-employer collective agreements which are ‘sector-related’ in terms of any of the following four aspects or patterns:

  • congruence – the domain of the organisation or purview of the collective agreement is identical to the NACE demarcation;
  • sectionalism – the domain or purview covers only a certain part of the sector as demarcated by NACE classification, while no group outside the sector is covered;
  • overlap – the domain or purview covers the entire sector together 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 purview covers part of the sector plus (parts of) one or more other sectors.

Organisations are considered to be ‘sector related’ if their membership domain relates to the sector in one of the ways displayed in Figure 1. Table 2 summaries the domain pattern and scope of the sector in terms of these four aspects or patterns.

Figure 1: Sector-relatedness of social partner organisations: possible domain patterns

Table 2: Domain pattern and scope of the organisation’s domain

Domain pattern

Domain of organisation within the sector

Domain of organisation outside the sector

 

Does the union's/employers’ organisation’s domain embrace potentially all employees in the construction sector?

Does the union/employers’ organisation also represent potentially members outside the construction sector?

Congruence (C)

Yes

No

Sectionalism (S)

No

No

Overlap (O)

Yes

Yes

Sectional overlap (SO)

No

Yes

Note: The domain pattern is based on the answers to the questions on the scope of the domain illustrated in Table 1.

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee – Construction

The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) at European level for the construction sector was set up in 1999 in response to a joint request by the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) on the employers’ side and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) on the unions’ side.

Since 2007, the European Builders Confederation (EBC) has attended SSDC meetings in the FIEC delegation. At the time of drafting this report (spring 2015), EBC is not recognised by the European Commission as a European social partner but has requested recognition.

In line with the conceptualisation of this study as outlined above, affiliation to one of these three European organisations (FIEC, EBC and EFBWW) is a sufficient criterion for classifying a national association of one of the European Union Member States as a relevant social partner organisation for the purpose of this study.

However, the constituent criterion is one of sector-related membership. This is important, in particular, in the case of EFBWW due to its sector-overlapping membership domain. Thus, the study includes only those affiliates to EFBWW whose domain relates to the construction sector, as defined earlier.

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 otherwise stated, this study draws on country studies provided by Eurofound’s European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO), a network of national industrial relations experts which became part of Eurofound’s Network of European Correspondents in April 2014. The national correspondents complete a standard questionnaire by contacting the sector-related social partner organisations in their countries. The contact is generally made via telephone interviews in the first place but might, in certain cases, be established via email. In case of the unavailability of any representative, the national correspondents are asked to fill out the relevant questionnaire based on secondary sources, such as information given on the social partner’s website, or derived from previous research studies.

The cut-off date for data collection was 20 March 2013. However, data provided at a later stage (for example, during the procedure of verification of the national reports by the social partners) have also been considered.

It is often difficult to find precise quantitative data. In such cases, the Eurofound correspondents are requested to provide rough estimates rather than leaving a question blank, given the practical and political relevance of the study. However, if there is any doubt over the reliability of an estimate, this is noted.

In principle, quantitative data may stem from the following three sources::

  • official statistics and representative survey studies;
  • administrative data, such as membership figures provided by the respective organisations, which are then used for calculating 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 sectoral figures cited in the report are generally statistics from Eurostat or national statistical offices, the figures in respect of 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 are not considered in this overview report. These organisations can, however, still be found in the national contributions, which are available on demand from Eurofound.

Quality assurance

In order to assure the quality of the information gathered, several verification procedures and feedback loops have been employed.

  • First, the study’s coordinators, in collaboration with Eurofound staff, check the consistency of the national contributions.
  • Second, Eurofound sends the national contributions to the national members of its Governing Board, as well as to the European-level sector-related social partner organisations. The peak-level organisations then ask their affiliates to verify the information. Feedback received from the sector-related organisations is then taken into account, if it is in line with the methodology of the study.
  • Third, the complete study is finally evaluated by the European-level sectoral social partners and Eurofound’s Advisory Committee on Industrial Relations, which consists of representatives from both sides of industry, governments and the European Commission.

Structure of report

The study consists of three main parts, beginning with a brief summary of the sector’s economic background, followed by an analysis of the relevant social partner organisations in all EU Member States (except for Croatia, which was not a Member State when the study was started). The third part of the study examines the representative associations at European level.

Each section contains 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 at national and European level for two reasons: First, the method applied by national regulations and practices to capture representativeness has to be taken into account; Second, the national and European organisations differ in their tasks and scope of activities. The concept of representativeness must therefore be suited to this difference.

Finally, it is important to note the difference between the research and political aspects of this study. While providing data on the representativeness of the organisations under consideration, the report 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 the criteria for adequate representativeness is a matter for political decision rather than an issue of research analysis.

Economic background

The construction sector, as defined for the purpose of this study, covers many different business activities such as residential housing building, construction of civil engineering projects (for example, roads, railways, tunnels and utility projects of various kinds), as well as plumbing, plastering, painting and other activities. These activities thus span both the public and the private sectors. 

According to the Eurostat Labour Force Survey (LFS), the European construction industry employed nearly 15 million people in the third quarter of 2014. Construction is the biggest industrial employer in the EU (4.34 MB PDF), representing about 7% of total employment in the EU27. But due to the relatively widespread practice of undeclared work in the sector in at least several Member States according to the EurWORK national reports, it seems to be likely that not all of the European construction employment is recorded in the Eurostat data.

Due to its economic importance and its role as ‘a major consumer of intermediate products (raw materials, chemicals, electrical and electronic equipment and so on) and related services’, the performance of the construction sector directly impacts on ‘the development of the overall economy’ according to a strategy for sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector (114 KB PDF) published by the European Commission in 2012.

Up to the mid-2000s, the European construction industry contributed significantly to job creation in particular, according to the European Commission’s strategy for its sustainable competitiveness, ‘in some very promising areas, such as the renovation of buildings and in infrastructure’. This was supported by favourable national policies in terms of public contracting and investments as well as the promotion of ‘low-energy’ building. However, the economic recession in 2007–2008 hit the construction sector particularly hard. This is partially attributable to the sector’s dependence on access to credit, which has increasingly been cut off during the crisis. Moreover, there have been severe drops in demand, particularly in the private residential but also in the infrastructure market, usually as a result of the constraints on public spending due to the crisis.

In general, one core reason for the pronounced decline in construction in many EU Member States may be found in the fact that (construction) investments can be postponed in a way that consumption cannot. Across the EU, the impact of the recession and the timing varied widely between Member States and not all construction subsectors have been equally affected. According to Eurostat structural business statistics, for example, construction activities in terms of both turnover and productivity declined more steeply in Ireland and Spain in the period between 2008 and 2013 than in the other Member States. While according to the European Commission’s strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector, the residential housing construction subsector was hit harder than most other parts of construction.

According to the reports from Eurofound’s national correspondents, governments across the EU have taken various measures to mitigate the negative economic and employment effects of the recession on the construction sector. Such measures include:

  • stimulating construction and low energy building programmes;
  • advanced investment projects;
  • tax concessions to stimulate demand in (private) building;
  • subsidies for renovation.

Irrespective of the recent recession, the European construction sector faces a number of structural problems and challenges. As the most pressing among them, the Commission’s strategy for the sector’s sustainable competitiveness identified ‘a shortfall of skilled workers in many companies, low attractiveness to young people due to the working conditions, limited capacity for innovation and the phenomenon of undeclared work’. The strategy also noted the increasing pressure in the world market from competitors from non-European countries which may benefit from less tight regulations in terms of labour and environmental law as well as state aid.

The European construction sector’s business structure is highly fragmented, with a clear prevalence of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), micro companies as well as an increasing number of self-employed people. However, there are also various forms of bogus self-employment. Since construction is a highly labour-intensive sector, the goal of minimising labour costs may induce employers to operate with bogus self-employed workers so as to save on direct pay and social security contributions. In a joint statement issued on 5 February 2010 (2MB PDF), the European sectoral social partners (EFBWW and FIEC) indirectly confirmed the widespread practice of undeclared work by recognising that:

unfair competition and social fraud are unacceptable in the construction industry and demand that these phenomena are eradicated, using a combination of prevention, information and enforcement. … [and that] bogus self-employment often occurs in a trilateral relationship between the contractor, an intermediary, and the worker.

Employment characteristics

Employment in the European construction industry is characterised by a clear prevalence of male workers and a relatively widespread practice of ‘atypical’ work. According to the LFS, men represented around 90% of total employment in the sector in the third quarter of 2014.

Many workers are on fixed-term or temporary employment contracts. In the third quarter of 2014, almost 12% of the total workforce was covered by temporary employment contracts according to the LFS. Apart from fixed-term employment, non-standard employment also involves part-time work and self-employment – 7.5% and more than 26%, respectively, in the third quarter of 2014 (LFS data). The share of non-standard employment in its various forms in construction is thus significantly higher than in most other economic sectors. With regard to self-employment, genuine self-employment needs to be distinguished from ‘bogus self-employment’. According to a European Commission proposal for a decision to establish a European Platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work:

bogus self-employment … occurs when the worker is formally declared as self-employed on the basis of a service contract but the work he/she performs fulfils all the criteria that are used by national law and practice to characterize an employment relationship.

Workers with non-standard employment relationships tend to be more vulnerable in terms of job security than standard employees. They have therefore been more affected by workforce reductions caused by the recession, according to several national reports. The same holds true of low-skilled and migrant workers, who are commonly deployed at construction sites.

Long-term trends

Tables 3 and 4 give an overview of the development from approximately 2001 to approximately 2011 (that is, the situation just after the peak of the recession). They present figures on companies, employment and employees in the sector and in relation to the national economy, stemming from both national sources and Eurostat.

In all of the 17 Member States apart from three (Poland, Portugal and the UK) for which related data are available from the Eurofound correspondents, the number of companies more or less increased. However, it is uncertain whether this growth actually reflects a general expansion of the sector witnessed in these countries or just a process of fragmentation of the sector’s company structure and/or the emergence of a number of self-employed workers. In a few countries, such as Malta, Romania and Slovakia, the number of companies increased by 50% or more within the decade to the early 2010s (Table 3). The case of Sweden is unclear, since the data from the two reference years are not comparable.

Table 3: Total number of companies and employment in construction, 2001 and 2011 (approximately)

Country

Year

Number of companies

Year

Total employment

Female employment

Male employment

Total sectoral employment as % of total employment in economy

AT

n.a.

n.a.

2001

309,500

30,300

279,200

8.5

2010

31,196

2011

360,700

51,100

309,600

8.8

BE

2000

81,515

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2010

92,203

2010

334,400

32,200

302,200

7.4

BG

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2011

19,543

2011

161,559

15,559

146,000

5.4

CY

n.a.

n.a.

2004

39,400

n.a.

n.a.

11.7

2010

6,709

2011

44,400

3,500

40,900

11.1

CZ

2001

228,512

2001

444,900

45,400

399,500

9.4

2011

230,356

2011

431,000

34,200

396,800

8.8

DE

n.a.

n.a.

2001

2,903,000

381,000

2,522,000

7.9

2011

385,898

2011

2,646,000

334,000

2,312,000

6.6

DK

2001

27,830

2001

174,224

16,811

157,413

6.3

2010

31,588

2011

150,218

14,353

135,865

5.6

EE

n.a.

n.a.

2001

38,900

2,900

36000

6.7

2011

7,888a

2011

59,000

6,300

52,700

9.7

EL

n.a.

n.a.

2001

306,146

5,269

300,877

7.6

2009

112,952

2011

247,300

10,100

237,200

6.2

ES

n.a.

n.a.

2001

1,872,000

88,100

1,783,900

11.7

2010

371,025

2011

1,388,300

102,000

1,286,300

7.7

FI

2001

29,585

2001

125,400

9,300

116,100

5.4

2011

42,485

2011

173,200

14,000

159,200

7.8

FR

2001

329,865

2001

1,722,000

n.a.

n.a.

5.9

2011

456,747b

2011

1,722,300

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

HU

2001

83,955

2001

271,500

21,500

250,000

7

2011

98,654

2011

264,000

18,800

245,200

6.9

IE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2011

158,201

n.a.

n.a.

8.5

IT

2001

515,777

2001

1,529,146

136,100

1,393,046

7

2010

607,771

2011

1,822,800

121,700

1,701,100

8.1

LT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2012

5,987

2012

89,000

8,800

80,400

7

LU

2000

>1,953

2001

28,600

n.a.

n.a.

10.3

2009

3,025

2011

40,200

n.a.

n.a.

10.9

LV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2011

6,529

2011

52,478

n.a.

n.a.

~9

MT

2002

3,896

2001

10,399

327

10,072

7.1

2011

5,861

2011

11,807

625

11182

7

NL

2001

67,597

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2011

73,140

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PL

2001

354,000

2001

737,000

91,000

646,000

5

2010

233,019

2011

1,309,600

84,900

1,224,700

8.5

PT

2000

38,009a

2000

306,653a

n.a.

n.a.

11.4

2010

36,101a

2010

294,129a

n.a.

n.a.

10.6

RO

2001

14,299

2000

403,400

n.a.

n.a.

3.7

2011

43,503

2011

679,500

n.a.

n.a.

7.5

SE

2001

22,285c

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2010

87,119

2011

304,700

23,300

281,400

6.7

SI

2001

15,605

2001

55,100

6,000

49,000

6.2

2011

18,826

2011

54,000

5,200

48,800

5.8

SK

2001

44,571

2001

169,500

13,700

155,800

8

2010

91,432

2011

242,900

14,500

228,400

10.3

UK

2001

346,600

2001

1,945,700

203,400

1,742,200

6.8

2011

271,985

2011

2,134,000

235,100

1,898,900

6.9

Notes: For a detailed description of the sources of these data, please refer to the national reports. a Without self-employed workers; b Figure questioned by FIEC and the French Building Federation (FFB); c Figure includes only employer companies; n.a. = not available.

Source: EIRO national correspondents (2013–2014), national statistics.

Twelve of the 20 countries with available data recorded an increase in overall employment within the sector in the same time period, while in eight countries employment fell. Losses in employment were most outstanding in Greece and Spain, recording declines of 19% and 26%, respectively (Table 3). In both countries, however, it is likely that the losses can be traced back almost exclusively to the period from 2008 onwards, when the global economic crisis arose.

In terms of the number of sectoral employees, nine countries recorded a decrease during the period of observance, while in 12 countries this indicator increased; no comparable data are available for six countries (Table 4). In at least seven Member States (Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta and Slovakia), the number of employees with a contractual relationship amounted to less than two-thirds of the total number of employment. One can infer from these findings that, at least in these countries (comparable data are not available for all Member States), the sector is characterised by a high incidence of non-standard employment arrangements.

Table 4: Total employees in construction, 2001 and 2011 (approximately)

Country

Year

Total employees

Female employees

Male employees

Total sectoral employees as % of total employees in economy

AT

2001

284,200

27,100

257,100

8.9

2011

327,100

48,600

278,500

9.7

BE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2010

24,3000

24,400

218,600

7

BG

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2011

141,650

n.a.

n.a.

6.3

CY

2004

29,700

n.a.

n.a.

11.5

2011

34,700

3,400

31,300

10.6

CZ

2001

295,900

38,400

257,500

7.4

2011

253,900

29,300

224,600

6.4

DE

2001

2,027,343

246,198

1,781,145

7.3

2011

1,637,091

210,373

1,426,718

5.8

DK

2001

153,802

15,017

138,785

6

2011

131,633

13,418

118,215

5.3

EE

2001

34,800

2,900

31,900

6.6

2011

50,900

5,700

45,200

9.1

EL

2001

199,876

3,879

195,997

8.1

2011

155,400

8,100

147,400

6

ES

2001

1,499,100

75,500

1,423,600

11.7

2011

1,036,700

85,400

951,300

6.9

FI

2001

111,800

9,000

102,800

5.6

2011

133,700

12,400

121,300

6.3

FR

2001

1,283,000

128,000

1,156,000

5.6

2011

1,495,400

169,000

1,326,400

6.6

HU

2001

122,100

n.a.

n.a.

4.5

2011

115,700

n.a.

n.a.

4.3

IE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

2001

861,195

90,011

771,184

5.5

2011

1,133,200

91,000

1,042,200

6.6

LT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2012

79,900

8,500

71,500

7

LU

2001

27,300

n.a.

n.a.

10.5

2011

38,900

n.a.

n.a.

11.2

LV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2011

50,476

n.a.

n.a.

~10

MT

2001

7,629

285

7,344

6

2011

7,583

513

7,074

5.2

NL

2001

504,000

36,000

468,000

7.2

2011

473,000

40,000

433,000

5.9

PL

2001

603,000

79,000

524,000

6.6

2011

1,023,600

71,100

952,500

8.4

PT

2000

252,624

19,602

239,022

10.7

2010

269,346

25,543

243,803

10.4

RO

2000

355,200

n.a.

n.a.

5.9

2011

500,100

n.a.

n.a.

8.1

SE

2001

192,819

n.a.

n.a.

5.3

2011

242,600

21,700

221,000

5.9

SI

2001

45,200

5,600

39,600

6

2011

41,400

4,500

36,900

5.4

SK

2001

131,500

12,500

119,000

6.8

2011

132,600

13,500

119,100

6.7

UK

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Note: For a detailed description of the sources of these data, please refer to the national reports.

Source: EIRO national correspondents (2013–2014), national statistics.

Tables 3 and 4 also corroborate the earlier finding that men represent the vast majority of workers in the construction sector. In all countries with available data, male employees by far outnumber female employees, representing at least 80% or 90% of the sector’s total workforce.

The tables also indicate that the construction sector is very large. In terms of the share of employment, it proved quite dynamic during the decade to the early 2010s in most countries with available data, with 10 countries showing an upward trend and 10 countries showing a downward trend. In some countries, such as Estonia, Finland, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, the respective employment shares grew by at least 2 percentage points, while in other countries these shares fell considerably, in particular in Spain, were there was a 4.8 percentage point loss in the period between 2001 and 2011 (Table 4).

The construction sector’s share in aggregate employment ranges from 5.4% in Bulgaria to more than 11% in Cyprus (Table 3); no related data were reported for seven countries. In terms of absolute numbers of sectoral workers, six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK) recorded more than one million people who were gainfully employed in the sector in the early 2010s. Both Germany and the UK recorded far more than two million workers in the sector (Table 3).

Recent developments

The impact of the recession from 2008 onwards on the construction sector varied between countries. Overall, at least in terms of employment, the construction sector appears to have suffered more severely from the recession compared with most other industries.

Overall in the European Union, in terms of employment the construction sector was particularly severely hit by the recession: employment for the 15–64 age group declined steadily between 2008 and 2014 from more than 18.6 million in the third quarter of 2008 to less than 15 million in the third quarter of 2014 (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Total number of employees in construction during the recession (EU27)

Note: Workforce aged 15–64 years.

Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey (LFS), 2015.

Figure 2 also shows that the steady decline in employment over the whole period of observance is coincidently overlaid by a cyclical development within each year. This indicates that employment variations in the sector within a year are caused by seasonal fluctuations, in that employment peaks are regularly observable in the second and third quarters of a year. This does not come as a surprise since construction activities tend to increase in the warmer seasons, dependent on weather conditions.

In contrast to Figure 2, which gives a view on the overall development of employment in the sector for the EU27, Figure 3 provides a picture of sectoral employment changes disaggregated by country. It shows the annual percentage changes of sectoral employment to the third quarter of the previous year for the period 2008 to 2014 for each individual Member State. Figure 3 indicates that, in all EU Member States, the sector declined, to at least a certain degree, in terms of employment in at least one of the six consecutive years from 2009 to 2014.

Figure 3: Development of employment in construction during the recession

Notes: Workforce aged 15–64 years. Percentage change to quarter 3 of the previous year.

Source: Eurostat LFS, 2015, and authors’ own calculations on the basis of LFS data.

All countries except for the Czech Republic and Poland recorded a reduction in employment in the construction sector between 2008 and 2009 (Figure 3). In addition, a majority of countries recorded decreases in each of the subsequent years in relation to the respective previous years, although the number of countries recording a growth in employment in relation to the year before increased from only two in 2009 to 12 in 2013. However, this number fell again in 2014 and it remains to be seen whether this year marks a trend reversal or is just an isolated event.

The impact of the recession on the construction sector was particularly strong at the beginning of the crisis. However, the impact diminished steadily over the next few years – at least until 2013. No country recorded an increase in employment in the sector for all the six consecutive years from 2009 to 2014. Only one country, Germany, recorded increases for five years within the six-year period. Conversely, Greece, Italy and Spain all saw job losses within the sector in all six consecutive years of the observation period. Job losses occurred in five years within the six-year period in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovenia. Large-scale declines of more than 30% from one year to the next can be observed only in countries such as Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania.

Overall, Figure 3 confirms the finding above that both the impact of the recession on the construction sector and its timing varied considerably between Member States. In this context, it is not possible to link significant job losses to one single cause – the recent recession. Rather, it seems likely that changes in sectoral employment levels within a very short period of time are due to a number of factors including global economic trends and country- and sector-specific developments such as the property crash in Ireland or the real estate bubble burst in Spain.

National level of interest representation

In many Member States, the statutory regulations explicitly refer to the concept of representativeness when assigning certain rights of interest representation and public governance to trade unions and/or employers’ 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 employers’ organisation;
  • participation in public policy and tripartite consultation.

Under these circumstances, representativeness is normally measured by the membership strength of the organisations. In many countries, for instance, statutory provisions allow for the extension of collective agreements to unaffiliated employers only when the signatory trade union and employer association represent 50% or more of the employees within the agreement’s domain.

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

A cross-national comparative analysis by Franz Traxler shows a generally positive correlation between the bargaining role of the social partners and their involvement in public policy. Social partner organisations that are engaged in multi-employer bargaining are incorporated in state policies to a significantly greater extent than their counterparts in countries where multi-employer bargaining is lacking. This can be attributed to the fact that only multi-employer agreements matter in macroeconomic terms; this in turn gives governments an incentive 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 limited.

In summary, representativeness is a multi-dimensional concept that embraces three basic elements:

  • the membership domain and strength of the social partner organisations;
  • their role in collective bargaining;
  • their role in public policy making.

These elements are discussed in the section below.

Membership domains and strength

The membership domain of an organisation, as formally established by its constitution or name, distinguishes its potential members from other groups which the organisation does not claim to represent. As already explained, this study considers only organisations whose domain relates to the construction sector. However, there is insufficient room in this report to delineate the domain demarcations of all 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 in the section on concepts and methodology.

There is a difference between strength in terms of the absolute number of members and strength in relative terms. Research usually refers to relative membership strength as the density; in other words, the ratio of actual to potential members.

A difference also arises between trade unions and employers’ organisations in relation to measuring membership strength. Trade union membership simply means the number of unionised persons. Measuring the membership strength of employers’ organisations is more complex since they organise collective entities – companies that employ employees. In this case, there are two possible measures of membership strength – one referring to the companies themselves and the other to the employees working in the member companies of an employers’ organisation.

For a sector study such as this, measures of membership strength of trade unions and employers’ organisations generally also have to consider how the membership domains relate to the sector. If a domain is not identical with the sector demarcation, the organisation’s total density (that is, the density referring to its overall domain) may differ from sector-specific density (that is, the organisation’s density referring to the sector).

This report first presents data on the domains and membership strength of the trade unions and then considers those of the employers’ organisations. As far as sectoral membership numbers are concerned, sectoral densities can be calculated provided the number of employees within the sector is given.

Trade unions

Table 5 presents data on trade union domains and membership strength. It lists all trade unions which meet at least one of the two criteria for classification of a sector-related social partner organisation as defined earlier. The abbreviated and full names of trade unions in the construction sector in the EU27 are listed by country in Annex 1.

All the 27 Member States studied have at least one sector-related trade union. A total of 81 sector-related trade unions were identified. Of these 81 unions, only three have demarcated their domain in a way that is largely congruent relative to the sector definition. This is not a surprise, given that artificially defined demarcations of business activities for statistical purposes tend to differ from the lines along which employees identify common interests and gather in associations. Domains congruent relative to the sector can be found with SB-OGBL and LCGB-CA of Luxembourg and FNV Bouw of the Netherlands: all of them are specific construction trade unions, although it could be possible that that their membership domain would also cover smaller parts of sectors other than construction.

Table 5: Domain coverage, membership and density of trade unions in construction, 2011/2012/2013

 

Trade union

Type of membership

Domain coveragea

Membership

Density

Active members

Members active in sector

Sector density (%)

Sectoral domain density in relation to overall domain density

AT

GBH

voluntary

SO

116,376b

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PRO-GE

voluntary

SO

209,502

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GPA-djp

voluntary

SO

172,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

FGTB-CG/ABVV-AC*

voluntary

SO

400,000

75,000

30.9

n.a.

CGSLB/ACLVB*

voluntary

O

270,000

21,000

8.6

n.a.

CSC/ACV Building, Industry & Energy*

voluntary

SO

173,388

81,000

33.3

n.a.

BG

FITUC*

voluntary

O

4,120

2,298

1.6

n.a.

FCIW-Podkrepa*

voluntary

O

6,000

1,000

0.7

n.a.

CY

DWUBC*

voluntary

S

3,651

3,651

10.5

n/a

CWU*

voluntary

SO

17,367

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

OOIMSEK*

voluntary

SO

8,534

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CZ

OS STAVBA

voluntary

O

9,953

5,000

2

n.a.

DE

IG BAU

voluntary

O

297,763

n.a.d

n.a.

IG Metall

voluntary

SO

n.a.

25,000

1.5

CGM*

voluntary

SO

89,400

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DK

DEF

voluntary

SO

23,530

17,000

12.9

equal

Blik & Roer

voluntary

SO

8,226

7,500

5.7

equal

3F

voluntary

SO

280019

67,000

50.9

Dansk Metal

voluntary

SO

86561

900

0.7

Malerforbundet

voluntary

SO

8464

7,000

5.3

equal

HK Privat

voluntary

SO

205,931

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

EE

ETTA

voluntary

n.a.

3,520

830

1.6

EEAÜL

voluntary

SO

2,013

500

1

EL

GFBRP

voluntary

S

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

HFOMD

voluntary

SO

150,000

32,000

20.6

n.a.

ES

MCA-UGT*

voluntary

O

1,200,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FECOMA-CCOO*

voluntary

O

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ELA-HAINBAT*

voluntary

SO

19,990

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FCM-CIG*

voluntary

SO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

FCTU

voluntary

S

60,000

60,000

44.9

n/a

Pro*

voluntary

SO

90,000

6,000

4.5

equal

FEWU

voluntary

SO

21,000

11,000

8.2

equal

JHL

voluntary

SO

180,000

1,400

1

equal

YTN*

voluntary

SO

120,000

3,300

2.5

equal

Pardia

voluntary

SO

47,000

500

0.4

FR

FO Construction*

voluntary

O

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FNCB-CFDT*

voluntary

O

35,000

17,500

1.2

BATI-MAT-TP CFTC*c

voluntary

O

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FNS Construction*c

voluntary

O

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CFE-CGC BTP*

voluntary

SO

3,000

1,500

0.1

n.a.

HU

EFEDOSZSZ

voluntary

O

6,000

5,000

4.3

equal

IE

SIPTU*

voluntary

O

199,881

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

OPATSI

voluntary

S

615

615

n.a.

n/a

BATU*

voluntary

S

4,000

4,000

n.a.

n/a

UCATT*

voluntary

SO

8,750

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

TEEU

voluntary

SO

39,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FILLEA CGIL*

voluntary

SO

353,000

291,000

25.7

FILCA CISL*

voluntary

SO

302,067

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FENEAL UIL*

voluntary

SO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

UGL COSTRUZIONI*

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FESICA*

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

LSPS

voluntary

O

1,500

750

0.9

n.a.

LU

SB-OGBL*

voluntary

C

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

LCGB-CA*

voluntary

C

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

LV

LCA*

voluntary

O

1,019

n.a.

n.a.

LCDAA*

voluntary

SO

1,203

1,084

2.1

equal

MT

GWU*

voluntary

O

37,488

n.a.

n.a.

UHM*

voluntary

O

22,565

n.a.

n.a.

NL

FNV Bouw*

voluntary

C

106,528

106,528

22.5

n/a

CNV Vakmensen*

voluntary

O

132,000

38,500

8.1

PL

Budowlani*

voluntary

O

12,500

4,000

0.4

SBiPD*

voluntary

O

8,500

2,000

0.2

n.a.

PT

SETACCOP*

voluntary

O

n.a.

8,700

3.2

FEVICCOM*

voluntary

O

30,000

20,000

7.4

n.a.

SQTD*

voluntary

SO

2,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

RO

FGS Familia

voluntary

O

60,000

55,000

11

SE

ST

voluntary

SO

75,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Ledarna*

voluntary

SO

90,000

9,500

3.9

Elektrikerna

voluntary

SO

25,000

10,000

4.1

Byggnads*

voluntary

S

60,000

60,000

24.7

n/a

GS

voluntary

SO

40,000

n.a.

n.a.

SPU

voluntary

SO

15,000

14,100

5.8

TJ

voluntary

SO

4,000

600

0.2

SEKO

voluntary

SO

83,000

20,000

8.2

SAGE*

voluntary

SO

134000

2000

0.8

Unionen*

voluntary

SO

535,000

15,000

6.2

SI

SDGD

voluntary

O

4,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SK

IOZ

voluntary

O

14,186

<7,150

<5.4

UK

GMB*

voluntary

O

621,500

20,000

0.9

 

UCATT*

voluntary

O

83,760

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

UNITE*

voluntary

O

1,500,000

45,000

2.1

Notes: * Domain overlap with other sector-related trade unions. a Domain coverage: C = Congruence; O = Overlap; SO = Sectional Overlap; S = Sectionalism (for details see Table 2); b Figure includes non-active members; c Union representative contacted refused to give (part of) the requested information; d Answer deliberately refused.n.a. = not available; n/a = not applicable.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014), administrative data and estimates.

 

Domain demarcations resulting in overlap relative to the sector occur in 36% of the cases for which related information is available (Figure 4). In general, overlap arises from two different modes of demarcation:

  • general (that is, cross-sectoral) domains (as is the case for GWU of Malta, CGSLB/ACLVB of Belgium, SIPTU of Ireland, IOZ of Slovakia, and GMB and UNITE of the UK);
  • domains covering the broader construction (including manufacture of building materials) and woodworking sector, sometimes also including part of the metal, mining and public utilities industries (as is the case for FITUC and FCIW-Podkrepa of Bulgaria, OS STAVBA of the Czech Republic, IG BAU of Germany, MCA-UGT and FECOMA-CCOO of Spain, FO-Construction, FNCB-CFDT, BATI-MAT-TP CFTC and FNS Construction of France, EFEDOSZSZ of Hungary, LSPS of Lithuania, LCA of Latvia, Budowlani and SbiPD of Poland, SETTACOP and FEVICCOM of Portugal, FGS Familia of Romania and SDGD of Slovenia). Sectional overlaps prevail in the sector and occur in 53% of the cases for which information is available (Figure 4). This mode usually emanates from domain demarcations which focus on certain categories of employees which are then organised across several or all sectors. This mode can be found with trade unions representing employees in segments of the economy sectionalistically overlapping relative to the construction sector. Employee categories are specified by various parameters such as:
  • distinct occupations, for example:

- electricians – see DEF of Denmark, FEWU of Finland, TEEU of Ireland and Elektrikerna of Sweden;

- painters – see Malerforbundet of Denmark and SPU of Sweden;

- managers – see YTN of Finland, CFE-CGC BTP of France and Ledarna of Sweden;

- graduate engineers – see SAGE of Sweden;

- draftspersons – see SQTD of Portugal.

  • employment status, for example:

- white-collar workers, as is the case of GPA-djp of Austria, Denmark’s HK Privat, Finland’s Pro and Pardia, and Sweden’s Unionen;

- blue-collar workers, as is the case of GBH and PRO-GE of Austria, FGTB-CG/ABVV-AC/and CSC/ACV of Belgium, 3F of Denmark and HFOMD of Greece.

  • geographic region, for example, ELA HAINBAT and FCM-CIG of Spain.

Other trade unions’ domains cover part of the construction sector in terms of business activities (rather than in terms of employee categories) in addition to (parts of) at least another sector. Such domains may, for instance, cover the following:

  • part of the local government sector (for example, JHL of Finland);
  • the private sector (for example, CWU and OOIMSEK of Cyprus);
  • the metalworking sector (see EEAÜL of Estonia and IG Metall of Germany);
  • the woodworking sector (see FILLEA CGIL, FILCA CISL and FENEAL UIL of Italy).

Last, but not least, sectionalism is also common in the sector, albeit with a relatively small share of 7.7% of trade unions for which related information is available recording this mode of domain demarcation relative to the sector (Figure 4). Sectionalism arises from the existence of sector-specific trade unions which represent, in terms of employee category, one or more particular building grades/professions (for example, plasterers as is the case of Ireland’s OPATSI, carpenters as is the case of DWUBC of Cyprus and bricklayers as is the case of Ireland’s BATU) or employment status (such as blue-collar workers – see Finland’s FCTU, Greece’s GFBRP and Sweden’s Byggnads), without any representational domain outside the sector.

Those trade unions whose membership domain does not cover the entire construction sector have delimited their domain primarily in terms of occupations and economic activities rather than (legal) form/size of enterprise and region: 42.5% of the trade unions with available information have a domain which does not cover all occupations, while 34.2% of the trade unions with available information have a domain which does not cover all economic activities within the sector.

But although there are several relatively highly specialised trade unions with a clear-cut and narrow membership domain focusing on a particular occupational subgroup within the sector’s workforce, there is no indication that this specialisation particularly fosters high unionisation rates in the sector. According to a number of national reports, unionisation rates tend to be lower in the construction sector than in other sectors.

Figure 4: Distribution of membership domain patterns of sector-related trade unions in construction

Notes: Percentages are rounded. N = 78.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national reports (2013–2014)

The construction sector is characterised by several features, most of which are generally deemed unfavourable to member recruitment. These are:

As the trade union domains often overlap with the demarcation in the sector, so do their sectoral domains with one another in the case of those countries with a pluralist trade union ‘landscape’ in the construction sector. In the pluralist trade union systems (recording more than one sector-related trade union) of Austria, Denmark, Estonia and Greece, no case of inter-union domain overlap within the sector can be observed. In all other countries with more than one sector-related trade union (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK), the sectoral domain of at least one trade union overlaps with the sectoral domain of at least one other trade union (see Table 8 in the section on Collective bargaining). Depending on the scale of mutual overlap, this results in competition for members. Noticeable inter-union competition within the sector is recorded in five countries: Finland, France, Germany, Malta and Portugal.

Membership of the sector-related trade unions is voluntary in all cases.

The absolute numbers of trade union members differ widely, ranging from about 1.5 million (in the case of UNITE in the UK) to just over 600 (in the case of Ireland’s OPATSI) (Table 5). This considerable variation reflects differences in the size of the economy and the comprehensiveness of the membership domain rather than the ability to attract members. Hence, density is a more appropriate measure of membership strength for a comparative analysis. This holds true despite the fact that some of the density figures gathered and calculated for the purpose of this study may be unreliable.

Therefore this report considers densities referring to the sector (‘sectoral density’), given that a trade union’s membership within the sector and the number of employees in the sector are both provided. Moreover, some tentative information (without providing figures) on the trade unions’ ‘sectoral domain density’ (that is, the density referring only to that part of the sector as covered by the union’s domain) in relation to their overall ‘domain density’ (that is, the density referring to the union’s overall domain) is available for those unions with a domain (sectionalistically) overlapping with regard to the sector (see below).

The sectoral density figures provided in this section refer to net ratios, which means that they are calculated on the basis of active employees only rather than taking all union members (that is, those in work and those who are not) into account. This is mainly because research usually considers net union densities as more informative than gross densities, since the former measure tends to reflect unionisation trends among the active workforce more quickly and more appropriately than the latter, since only the active workforce is capable of taking industrial action.

More than 50% of the trade unions with available data have a sectoral density (calculated as the ratio of the number of members in the sector to the total number of employees in the sector) of less than 5%. Sectoral density is 30% or less in the case of more than 95% of the trade unions which document figures on density (Table 5).

There are two possible explanations for the overall very low sectoral densities of the sector-related trade unions:

  • low densities with regard to the unions’ sectoral domain (sectoral domain densities);
  • their generally small size (in terms of sectoral membership domain) in relation to the sector.

While only tentative information is available for the former issue (see below), the latter appears to apply to many of the sector-related trade unions. This is indicated by the fact that more than half of the unions have a membership domain which is sectionalist or sectionalistically overlapping with regard to the sector and thus covers only part of the sector. But because sectoral density data can be calculated for only slightly more than half of the 81 sector-related trade unions, the available figures on sectoral density should be treated with caution.

Comparing the trade unions’ overall domain densities with their sectoral domain densities provides an indication of whether the construction sector tends to be a stronghold of sector-related trade unions which also organise employees in sectors other than the construction industry, or not. The Eurofound national correspondents were asked to give a substantiated estimate of the relationship between these two densities, if possible, without providing exact figures. Almost the same number of trade unions (for which information is available) recorded a sectoral domain density that was either lower than or higher than their overall domain density. This result is astonishing given the outstandingly low sectoral densities of most trade unions which, in tandem with anecdotal evidence depicted in several national reports indicating low unionisation rates, would suggest a majority of unions record a sectoral domain density lower than their overall domain density. However, related information was provided for only a minority of the sector-related trade unions and, moreover, some of the answers to this question might eventually turn out to be unreliable. The results nevertheless show that, overall, the construction sector cannot be qualified as a stronghold of those trade unions with a membership domain (sectionalistically) overlapping with regard to the sector. Rather, in many cases, their core membership base supposedly lies in areas other than the construction sector.

In conclusion, the study reveals that there are many occupational trade unions in the construction sector which often record relatively narrow membership domains. This may favour a particularistic representation of collective interests on behalf of small professional groups. Nevertheless, despite the shortcomings in relation to data availability and the existing dataset, one can infer from the information collected that union density rates in the sector do not tend to be high. The relatively low densities within the sector can be explained by a large number of factors, such as relatively low average skill levels as well as non-standard (including bogus self-employment) and migrant work.

Employers’ organisations

Tables 6, 7 and 9 present information on employers’ and business organisations in the construction sector. The abbreviated and full names of the employers’ and business organisations in the construction sector in the EU27 are listed by country in Annex 1.

As is the case of the trade union side, all 27 Member States have at least one sector-related employers’ organisation. In eight countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Spain and Slovakia), only one sector-related employers’ organisation matching at least one of the two criteria for inclusion (see above) was identified. The remaining 19 countries have pluralist associational systems, meaning there are at least two sector-related employers’ organisations.

Generally, business interest organisations may also deal with interests other than those related to industrial relations. As explained in an earlier Eurofound report, Employers’ organisations in Europe, organisations specialised in matters other than industrial relations are commonly defined as ‘trade associations’. Such sector-related trade associations exist in the construction sector. In terms of the national scope of their activities, all the associations that are not involved in collective bargaining (see Table 9 in the section on Collective bargaining) either primarily or exclusively act as trade associations in their country. Put simply, the main reference of trade associations is the ‘product’ market (where business has interests in relation to customers and suppliers) rather than the labour market. It is only the conceptual decision to include all associational affiliates to FIEC and EBC, regardless of whether they have a role in national bargaining which gives them, as a work hypothesis, the status of a social partner organisation within the framework of this study.

Of the 104 employers’ or business organisations identified in this study, eight belong to this group of trade associations (no related information is available for three organisations, namely Luxembourg’s FEDIL, Poland’s KPB UNI-BUD and Romania’s UNPR). As outlined above, in eight countries of the EU27 only one single organisation (in the meaning of a social partner organisation as defined before) has been established. The incidence of pluralist associational systems on the employers’ side is therefore slightly lower (19 of the 27 Member States) than on the trade union side (21 of the 27 Member States). However, the number of sector-related employers’ or business organisations across the Member States (104) clearly outweighs the number of sector-related trade unions (81). Overall, the employers’ and business organisations are more unevenly distributed among the Member States than the trade unions, in that a number of countries that have only one sector-related employers’ or business organisation while a few countries (Austria, Italy and the UK) have 10 or more of such organisations.

Table 6: Domain coverage and membership of employers’ and business organisations in construction

 

 

Domain coveragea

Membership

Type

No. of companies

Companies in sector

No. of employees

Employees in sector

AT

BIB

S

compulsory

12,600

12,600

80,000c

80,000c

FVBI

S

compulsory

150

150

30,000c

30,000c

BIBHG

S

compulsory

13,856

13,856

25,796

25,796

BIDGS

S

compulsory

3,207

3,207

16,798

16,798

BIHPFK

S

compulsory

1,954

1,954

5,740

5,740

BIHB

S

compulsory

2,109

2,109

10,213

10,213

BIMT

SO

compulsory

5,901

5,700

20,201

19,000

BIS

SO

compulsory

781

<781

2,629

<2,600

BITHG

SO

compulsory

10,000

500

39,000

6,000

FEEI

SO

compulsory

300

n.a.

60,000

n.a.

BIEGAK

SO

compulsory

7,700

n.a.

35,000

n.a.

BISHL

S

compulsory

2,500

2,500

30,900

30,900

BIM

SO

compulsory

8,381

n.a.

41,000

n.a.

BE

CC/CB

O

voluntary

14,090

13,544

87,863

81,928

Bouwunie

S

voluntary

8,000

8,000

30,000

30,000

BG

BCC

O

voluntary

2,036

1,689

27,000

23,000

CY

OSEOK

C

voluntary

1,009

1,009

n.a.

n.a.

CZ

SPS v ČR*

C

voluntary

1,290

1,290

125,000f

125,000f

SDMSZS*

SO

voluntary

15,000

14,250

n.a.

n.a.

DE

ZDB*

C

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

HDB*

S

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ZVDH

S

voluntary

7,400

7,400

55,000

55,000

BV Farbe

SO

n.a.

42,754

n.a.

197,500

n.a.

ZVSHK

S

voluntary

52,500

52,500

334,000

334,000

BV Steinmetze

SO

n.a.

2,100

n.a.

11,000

n.a.

BV Gerüstbau

S

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BI Gerüst

S

compulsory

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DA

SO

voluntary

520

430

n.a.

7,500

DK

Dansk Byggeri*

O

voluntary

6,000

5,520

70,000

n.a.

Tekniq

S

voluntary

2,800

2,800

40,000

40,000

Danske Malermestre

S

voluntary

1,285

1,285

5,700

5,700

DS H&I*

SO

voluntary

2,250

995

20,000

4,030

DHV*

SO

voluntary

725

645

2,800

2,400

EE

EEEL

O

voluntary

102

85

7,000

6,000

EL

PEDMEDE*

S

voluntary

6,200

6,200

n.a.

n.a.

SATE

S

voluntary

930

930

n.a.

n.a.

STEAT*

S

voluntary

37

37

n.a.

n.a.

ES

CNC

O

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

CFCI RT

S

voluntary

2,700

2,700

55,000

55,000

STTA*

SO

voluntary

164

120

5,900

4,500

PALTA*

O

voluntary

1,700

25

140,000

600

FR

CAPEB*

S

voluntary

80,000

80,000

150,000

150,000

SNSO*

S

voluntary

4,000

4,000

120,000

120,000

FFB*

S

voluntary

57,000

57,000

600,000

600,000

FNTP*

S

voluntary

8,020

8,020

269,687

269,687

FFIE*

S

voluntary

5,000

5,000

130,000

130,000

FSCOP*

S

voluntary

600

600

15,000

15,000

HU

EVOSZ*

C

voluntary

300

300

n.a.

n.a.

IPOSZ*

SO

voluntary

30,000

1,500

100,000

5,000

IE

CIF

C

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ECA*

S

voluntary

40

40

n.a.

n.a.

AECI*

S

voluntary

250

250

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANCE*

C

voluntary

20,000

20,000

145,000

145,000

ANAEPA*

S

voluntary

66,000

66,000

64,000

64,000

CNA UNIONE COSTRUZIONI*

SO

voluntary

65,171

60,172

90,000

83,000

ANIEM*

O

voluntary

6,000

3,200

60,000

32,000

FIAE*

n.a.

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CLAAI*

SO

voluntary

107,930

8,350

74,530

1,580

ANCPL*

SO

voluntary

1200

400

40,000

20,000

FEDERLAVORO E SERVIZI*

SO

voluntary

5,300

1,120

185,000

12,900

AGCI SPL*

SO

voluntary

2,788

n.a.

10,410

n.a.

AGI*

S

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

LSA

O

voluntary

154

120

30,000

24,000

LU

FDA*

O

voluntary

n.a.

1,670

57,331

39,898d

FEDIL*

n.a.

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LV

LBA

O

voluntary

98

88

5,000

4,500

MT

FOBC

C

voluntary

9

9

n.a.

n.a.

NL

Bouwend Nederland*

C

voluntary

4,500

4,500

71,000

71,000

AN*

O

voluntary

1,760

n.a.

40,000

25,000

PL

ZRP*

SO

voluntary

n.a.

21,200

700,000

31,500

KPB UNI-BUD*

n.a.

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PT

AECOPS*

S

voluntary

5,000

5,000

140,000

140,000

AICCOPN*

O

voluntary

8,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FEPICOP*

S

voluntary

13,000

13,000

310,000d

310,000d

AICE*

O

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

RO

ARACO*

C

voluntary

1,200

1,200

50,000

50,000

UNPR*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SE

Almega T*

SO

voluntary

3,900

1

155,000

3,000

EIO

SO

voluntary

2,700

1,350

26,000

9,000

GBF

SO

voluntary

550

520

>3,000

3,000

PE*

S

voluntary

700

700

n.a.

n.a.

Malaremästarna*

S

voluntary

870

870

8,000

8,000

PLR

S

voluntary

900

900

1,200

1,200

BI*

S

voluntary

3,200

3,200

90,000

90,000

TMF

SO

voluntary

850

700

40,000

35,000

VVS-Företagen

S

voluntary

1,500

1,500

17,500

17,500

SI

ZGIGM*

O

voluntary

480

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ZDS*

n.a.

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SG-OZS*

n.a.

voluntaryb

n.a.

7,800

n.a.

42,000d

SK

ZSPS

O

voluntary

104

70

11,600

8,900

UK

FMB**

S

voluntary

10,000

10,000

50,000e

50,000e

NFB**

S

voluntary

1,600

1,600

300,000

300,000

CECA**

S

n.a.

300

300

n.a.

n.a.

TICA**

S

voluntary

90

90

6,000

6,000

ECA**

S

voluntary

2,750

2,750

30,000

30,000

SBF**

S

n.a.

700

700

n.a.

n.a.

UKCG**

S

voluntary

34

34

n.a.

n.a.

HBF**

S

voluntary

160

160

n.a.

n.a.

NFRC**

S

voluntary

1,000

1,000

18,000

18,000

LGA**

SO

voluntary

350

40

1,200,000

4,000

NASC**

S

voluntary

220

220

13,000

13,000

PDA**

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SELECT**

S

voluntary

1,800

1,800

12,000

12,000

ECIA**

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Notes: Data for 2011, 2012 or 2013 as available.

* Domain overlap with other sector-related employer/business organisations; ** No information on domain overlaps provided; a Domain coverage: C = Congruence; O = Overlap; SO = Sectional Overlap; S = Sectionalism (for details see Table 2); b Compulsory until autumn 2013; c FIEC suggests 250,000 employees employed by member companies; d Figure doubtful; e Rough estimate provided by EBC; f Figure questioned by EBC; n.a. = not available.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014), administrative data and estimates.

Table 7: Density and affiliations of employers’ and business organisations in construction

 

 

Density

National affiliations***

European affiliations****

Companies

Employees

Sector (%)

Sector (%)

Sectoral domain in relation to overall domain

AT

BIB

40.4

24.5

n/a

WKÖ

FIEC, EUROFM

FVBI

0.5

9.2

n/a

WKÖ

FIEC, (EIC)

BIBHG

44.4

7.6

n/a

WKÖ

FESI, UEEP, EUFA P+F

BIDGS

10.3

5.2

n/a

WKÖ

 

BIHPFK

6.1

1.7

n/a

WKÖ

VEUKO

BIHB

6.7

3.1

n/a

WKÖ

EFTC

BIMT

18.3

5.8

equal

WKÖ

 

BIS

<2.6

<0.8

equal

WKÖ

EACD

BITHG

1.6

1.8

equal

WKÖ

 

FEEI

n.a.

n.a.

equal

WKÖ

 

BIEGAK

n.a.

n.a.

equal

WKÖ

 

BISHL

8

9.4

n/a

WKÖ

 

BIM

n.a.

n.a.

equal

WKÖ

 

BE

CC/CB

14.7

33.7

n.a.

FEB

FIEC

Bouwunie

8.7

12.3

n/a

Unizo

EBC

BG

BCC

8.6

16.2

BIA, CEIBG, BCCI

FIEC

CY

OSEOK

15

n.a.

n/a

OEB,

FIEC

CZ

SPS v ČR*

0.6

49.2d

n/a

KZPS

FIEC

SDMSZS*

6.2

n.a.

n.a.

HK ČR, UZS ČR

EBC

DE

ZDB*

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

BDA, UDH

FIEC, FESI, EUF

HDB*

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

BDA, BDI

FIEC, EIC, EFFC, FESI

ZVDH

1.9

3.4

n/a

 

(UEAPME)

BV Farbe

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BDA

UNIEP

ZVSHK

13.6

20.4

n/a

 

 

BV Steinmetze

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

 

BV Gerüstbau

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

 

 

BI Gerüst

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

 

 

DA

0.1

0.5

n.a.

 

EDA

DK

Dansk Byggeri*

17.5

n.a.

equal

DA

FIEC

Tekniq

8.9

30.4

n/a

DA

 

Danske Malermestre

4.1

4.3

n/a

DA

 

DS H&I*

3.1

3.1

equal

HVR

 

DHV*

2

1.8

equal

HVR

 

EE

EEEL

1.1

11.8

n.a.

ETTK, EKT

FIEC

EL

PEDMEDE*

5.5

n.a.

n/a

 

FIEC, EIC

SATE

0.8

n.a.

n/a

 

 

STEAT*

0

n.a.

n/a

 

 

ES

CNC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CEOE, CEPYME

FIEC, EBC

FI

CFCI RT

6.4

41.1

n/a

EK

FIEC

STTA*

0.3

3.4

 

 

PALTA*

0.1

0.4

EK

 

FR

CAPEB*

17.5

10

n/a

UPA

EBC

SNSO*

0.9

8

n/a

 

EBC

FFB*

12.5

40.1

n/a

MEDEF, CGPME

FIEC

FNTP*

1.8

18

n/a

MEDEF, CGPME

FIEC

FFIE*

1.1

8.7

n/a

(MEDEF, CGPME

(FIEC)

FSCOP*

0.1

1

n/a

CG SCOP

CECOP

HU

EVOSZ*

0.3

n.a.

n/a

 

FIEC

IPOSZ*

1.5

4.3

n.a.

 

EBC

IE

CIF

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

 

FIEC

ECA*

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

 

 

AECI*

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

 

 

IT

ANCE*

3.3

12.8

n/a

CONFINDUSTRIA

FIEC, EIC, ERMCO, UEPC

ANAEPA*

10.9

5.6

n/a

Confartigianato Imprese

EBC

CNA UNIONE COSTRUZIONI*

9.9

7.3

CNA

EBC

ANIEM*

0.5

2.8

CONFIMI IMPRESA

 

FIAE*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CASARTIGIANI

 

CLAAI*

1.4

0.1

 

 

ANCPL*

0

1.8

LEGACOOP

CECOP

FEDERLAVORO E SERVIZI*

0.2

1.1

CONFCOOPERATIVE

CECOP

AGCI SPL*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

AGCI C

ECOP

AGI*

n.a.

n.a.

n/a

 

FIEC, EIC

LT

LSA

2

30

n.a.

LPK

FIEC

LU

FDA*

55.2

About 100

 

EBC, UEAPME

FEDIL*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

FIEC

LV

LBA

1.3

8.9

n.a.

LDDK, LTRK

EBC

MT

FOBC

0.2

n.a.

n/a

 

FIEC

NL

Bouwend Nederland*

6.2

15

n/a

VNO-NCW, MKB-Nederland

FIEC

AN*

n.a.

5.3

equal

 

EBC

ZRP*

9.2

3.1

 

EBC

PL

KPB UNI-BUD*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

FIEC

PT

AECOPS*

13.9

52

n/a

 

(FIEC), AIE, GCI-UICP

AICCOPN*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

AEP

(FIEC)

FEPICOP*

36

About 100

n/a

 

FIEC

AICE*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

UEPC

RO

ARACO*

2.8

10

n/a

ACPR

FIEC

UNPR*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

EBC

SE

Almega T*

0

1.2

n.a.

Svenskt Näringsliv

Eurociett

EIO

1.5

3.7

Svenskt Näringsliv

 

GBF

0.6

1.2

n.a.

 

UEMV, FAECF, EuroWindoor

PE*

0.8

n.a.

n/a

Företagarna

 

Malaremästarna*

1

3.3

n/a

 

 

PLR

1

0.5

n/a

Svenskt Näringsliv, Företagarna

GCI-UICP

BI*

3.7

37.1

n/a

Svenskt Näringsliv

FIEC, EIC

TMF

0.8

14.4

Svenskt Näringsliv

CEI-Bois, EFIC, FEMIB

VVS-Företagen

1.7

7.2

n/a

Svenskt Näringsliv

GCI-UICP

SI

ZGIGM*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GZS

FIEC

ZDS*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ZDS

 

SG-OZS*

41.4

About 100

n.a.

OZS

EBC, VEUKO

SK

ZSPS

0.1

6.7

RUZ SR

FIEC

UK

FMB**

3.7

n.a.

n/a

CBI

EBC

NFB**

0.6

n.a.

n/a

 

FIECd

CECA**

0.1

n.a.

n/a

 

 

TICA**

0

n.a.

n/a

 

FESI, EiiF

ECA**

1

n.a.

n/a

CBI

AIE, CENELEC, UEAPME

SBF**

0.3

n.a.

n/a

CBI

 

UKCG**

0

n.a.

n/a

CBI

 

HBF**

0.1

n.a.

n/a

CBI

UEPC

NFRC**

0.4

n.a.

n/a

 

IFD

LGA**

0

n.a.

 

CEEP

NASC**

0.1

n.a.

n/a

 

UEG

PDA**

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

 

SELECT**

0.7

n.a.

n/a

CBI

AIE

ECIA**

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

 

Notes: Data for 2011, 2012 or 2013 as available.

* Domain overlap with other sector-related employers’ or business organisations; ** No information on domain overlaps provided; *** Only cross-sectoral (that is, peak-level) associations are listed; **** Affiliation in parenthesis means indirect affiliation via higher order unit; a Until about 2012; b No FIEC member, but tied to FIEC by a cooperation agreement; c Figure questionable; d Figure questioned by EBC; n.a. = not available; n/a = not applicable

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014), administrative data and estimates

The membership domains of the employers’ and business organisations tend to be narrower than those of the sector-related trade unions. In contrast to organised labour, membership domains which are sectionalist relative to the sector – at least in relative terms – prevail among the employers’ organisations, with a share of 49% of the cases for which related information is available; 15.6 % and 26%, respectively, of the associations rest on overlapping and sectionalistically overlapping domains relative to the sector (Figure 5). No organisation in the sector has a domain that is cross-sectoral.

Most cases of domain overlaps (in the case of organisations with domains either overlapping or sectionalistically overlapping relative to the sector) are caused by:

  • coverage of (part of) the broader defined building and construction sector, including also the manufacture of building materials (as is the case of BCC of Bulgaria, CNA UNIONE and ANIEM of Italy, LBA of Latvia, ZGIGM of Slovenia and CNC of Spain), architecture (as is the case of Portugal’s AICE and Slovakia’s ZSPS) and a number of distinct and very specialised activities related to construction in a broad sense, such as metal engineering (see Austria’s BIM), carpentry activities (see SDMSZS of the Czech Republic and TMF of Sweden), monument preservation (as is the case of Germany’s BV Farbe and BV Steinmetze) and recycling activities (see DA of Germany);
  • coverage of (part of) the whole ‘industry’ sector (as is the case of Dansk Byggeri and DS H&I of Denmark and LSA of Lithuania).

There are also several employers’ or business organisations whose domain is focused on a particular segment of the economy which sectionally overlaps the construction sector. Such organisations may cover the cooperative sector (such as ANCPL, FEDERLAVORO and AGCI of Italy), all kinds of artisan activities (see IPOSZ of Hungary, CLAAI of Italy, FDA of Latvia and ZRP of Poland), training and education activities (as is the case of EEEL of Estonia, again LSA of Lithuania and again LBA of Latvia) and local/ regional government services (as is the case of LGA in the UK).

Sectionalism, the prevailing domain pattern relative to the construction sector among the sector-related employers’ and business organisations, is caused by domain demarcations that focus on a particular subsector or segment of the construction sector, without covering areas of business activity outside the sector. Such subsectors or segments may be defined by:

  • size class of construction enterprises such as SMEs (as is the case of Austria’s BIB, Belgium’s Bouwunie, France’s CAPEB and SNSO, and FMB in the UK) or large companies (as is the case of FVBI of Austria and ASI of Italy);
  • ownership structure of the construction enterprises such as private sector companies (as is the case of all employers’ organisations in Austria as well as Portugal’s AECOPS and FEPICOP);
  • highly specialised activities within the construction sector, such as roofing (see Austria’s BIDGS, Germany’s ZVDH and Sweden’s PLR), sanitary and heating engineering activities (see Austria’s BISHL and Germany’s ZVSHK), electrical (engineering) activities (see Tekniq of Denmark, FFIE of France, ECA and AECI of Ireland, as well as ECA in the UK) and civil engineering activities (as is the case of FNTP of France and CECA in the UK).

Finally, 9.4% of the associations have a membership domain that is more or less congruent with the sector definition (Figure 5). This means that the domain of these organisations largely covers the construction sector as defined for the purpose of this study.

Figure 5: Distribution of membership domain patterns of sector-related employers’ organisations in construction

Notes: Percentages are rounded; N = 96.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national reports (2013–2014)

In several countries, the sectoral employers have managed to establish specific employers’ organisations as a particular voice of narrow and distinct business activities within the construction sector. Accordingly, almost 59% of the employers’ and business organisations for which information is available have delimited their domain in terms of business activities in that they do not cover all activities within the construction sector. Moreover, some 49% of the organisations for which information has been provided do not represent all (legal) forms of companies in the sector (in most cases focusing on particular size classes of enterprises), while domain demarcations in terms of territorial coverage play only a minor role.

In countries with a highly fragmented and differentiated associational ‘landscape’ on the employer side – such as Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and the UK – the associations’ domains tend to be tailor-made for a particular subgroup of employers and businesses within the sector. More strikingly than on the side of organised labour, this enables these associations to perform a very individualised interest representation on behalf of their members, although their membership strength may vary widely from one organisation to the other. Such a fragmented associational configuration tends to favour the (bargaining) power of organised business in small segments of the economy.  

Membership is compulsory for all 13 sector-related employers’ organisations in Austria and one in Germany (BI Gerüstbau) (Table 6). In the case of the Austrian associations, this is due to their public law status as chamber units. In case of BI Gerüstbau, membership is mandatory due to its public law status as a guild. As far as related information has been provided, membership of all the other sector-related employers’ or business organisations is voluntary (Table 6).

In those countries with a pluralist structure in relation to employers’ organisations, these associations have usually managed to arrive at non-competing and collaborative relationships; the exceptions are SPS v ČR and SDMSZS of the Czech Republic as well as several associations of Italy. Their activities are complementary to each other as a result of inter-associational differentiation by membership demarcation (as is the case, in particular, of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK) than by functions and tasks.

As the figures on membership totals (Table 6) and density (Table 7) indicate, membership strength in terms of both companies and employees varies widely in terms of the membership domain in general and the sector. Again, as outlined earlier in the context of the trade unions, density figures rather than absolute membership numbers are informative in terms of membership strength.

In the case of the sector-related employers’ and business organisations, the sectoral densities of both companies and employees (employed by these companies) can be calculated. However, the lack of absolute numbers of members, in particular in terms of employees, in the construction sector in the case of many associations means that sectoral densities can only be calculated only for some of them.

According to the figures available, about 70% and about 53%, respectively, of the employers’ and business organisations have a sectoral density in terms of companies and employees of 5% or less (Table 7). Whereas the median of the organisations’ sectoral densities in terms of companies lies at 1.4%, the corresponding median in terms of employees stands at 4%. This does not necessarily infer overall very low densities of the sector-related employers’ and business organisations in construction, since sectoral densities (in contrast to sectoral domain densities) tend to decline with increasing levels of associational fragmentation. Higher sectoral densities in terms of employees compared with those in terms of companies indicate a higher propensity by the larger companies to associate than their smaller counterparts.

As for the sector-related trade unions, some tentative information on the sectoral domain density of the employers’ and business organisations in relation to their overall domain density is available for those associations with a domain (sectionalistically) overlapping with regard to the sector. But because related information has only been provided for very few employers’ and business organisations, these data should be treated with caution.

In contrast to the situation on the trade union side, the sectoral domain densities, at least in terms of employees, of the employers’ and business organisations tend to be higher than or at least equal to their overall domain densities in the vast majority (that is, 83.3%) of cases for which related information has been provided. These, albeit very tentative, results indicate that, unlike the trade union side, the construction sector may constitute a stronghold of many of those employers’ and business organisations with a domain (sectionalistically) overlapping with regard to the sector. This corresponds with the fact that many sector-related employers’ and business organisations tailored their membership domain to the construction sector (or part of it) so as to align their policy of interest representation with the specific requirements of their members.

Collective bargaining and its actors

Table 8 lists all the trade unions engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. Despite numerous cases of inter-union domain overlap and some cases of unclear domain demarcation, inter-union rivalry and competition for bargaining capacities was identified in only a few countries such as Finland, France, Malta and Portugal.

Eight Member States (Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Portugal) have an employers’ or business organisation that is not a party to collective bargaining (Table 9). Although this is the only employers’ or business organisation identified in the case of Estonia, Latvia and Malta, all three report being consulted regularly. No information on collective bargaining involvement was provided for three organisations (FEDIL of Luxembourg, KPB UNI-BUD of Poland and UNPR of Romania). Those associations not involved in sector-related collective bargaining are classified as social partner organisations in this report only because of their affiliation to at least one of the sector-related European-level employers’ organisations, FIEC and EBC. In the case of the sector-related employer organisations, cases of such rivalry have been reported from countries such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland and Italy. Conversely, in at least 23 of the 27 Member States which record one or more sector-related employers’ or business organisations, at least one of them is engaged in sector-related collective bargaining.

Table 8: Collective bargaining, consultation and affiliations of trade unions in construction

 

Trade union

Collective bargaininga

Collective bargaining coverage (total)b

Consultation/ frequency

National affiliations**

European affiliations***

AT

GBH

M

n.a.

n.a.

ÖGB

EFBWW

PRO-GE

M

48,000

regularly

ÖGB

IndustriAll Europe, EFFAT

GPA-djp

M

n.a.

n.a.

ÖGB

IndustriAll Europe, EPSU, EFFAT, EFJ, UNI Europa

BE

FGTB-CG/ABVV-AC*

M+S

165,000

regularly

FGTB

EFBWW

CGSLB/ACLVB*

M+S

165,000

regularly

 

EFBWW, EFFAT, ETF

CSC/ACV Building, Industry & Energy*

M+S

165,000

regularly

CSC/ACV

EFBWW, IndustriAll Europe, UNI Europa

BG

FITUC*

M+S

3,300

yes/ n.a.

CITUB

EFBWW

FCIW-Podkrepa*

M+S

3,300

yes/ n.a.

Podkrepa

EFBWW, EPSU

CY

DWUBC*

M+S

40,000

ad hoc

DEOK

 

CWU*

M+S

40,000

ad hoc

PEO

 

OOIMSEK*

M+S

40,000

ad hoc

SEK

EFBWW

CZ

OS STAVBA

M+S

175,000

ad hoc

ČMKOS

EFBWW

DE

IG BAU*

M+S

n.a.

ad hoc

DGB

EFBWW

IG Metall*

M+S

n.a.

ad hoc

DGB

EFBWW

CGM*

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

CGB

CESI

DK

DEF

M+S

21,500

ad hoc + regularly

LO

EFBWW

Blik & Roer

M+S

12,000

regularly

LO

EFBWW

3F

M+S

65,000

ad hoc + regularly

LO

EFBWW, IndustriAll Europe, UNI Europa, EFFAT

Dansk Metal

M+S

1,700

ad hoc + regularly

LO

IndustriAll Europe

Malerforbundet

M+S

8,000

regularly

LO

EFBWW

HK Privat

M+S

2,200

regularly

LO

UNI Europa

EE

ETTA

S

815

ad hoc

EAKL

ETF, EPSU

EE

EEAÜL

S

2,161

no

EAKL

EPSU, IndustriAll Europe

EL

GFBRP

M

n.a.

ad hoc

GSEE

 

HFOMD

M

n.a.

no

GSEE

 

ES

MCA-UGT*

M+S

654,412

regularly

UGT

EFBWW

FECOMA-CCOO*

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

CCOO

EFBWW

ELA-HAINBAT*

M

n.a.

n.a.

 

EFBWW

FCM-CIG*

M

n.a.

no

CIG

 

FI

FCTU

M

82,000

regularly

SAK

EFBWW

Pro*

M

20,000

regularly

STTK

EFBWW, EPSU, EFFAT, IndustriAll Europe, UNI Europa, ETF

FEWU

M

13,000

ad hoc

SAK

EFBWW, UNI Europa, IndustriAll Europe

JHL

M+S

3,000

no

SAK

EPSU

YTN*

M+S

15,000

no

AKAVA

(IndustriAll Europe)

Pardia

M+S

3,000

no

STTK

EPSU

FR

FO Construction*

M+S

1,440,000

n.a.

CFDT

EFBWW

FNCB-CFDT*

M+S

1,440,000

ad hoc

CFDT

EFBWW

BATI-MAT-TP CFTC*c

M+S

1,440,000

no

CFTC

EFBWW

FNS Construction*c

M+S

1,440,000

n.a.

CGT

EFBWW

CFE-CGC BTP*

M+S

1,440,000

no

CFE-CGC

FECC

HU

EFEDOSZSZ

M

115,700

ad hoc

MSZOSZ

EFBWW, IndustriAll Europe

IE

SIPTU*

M+S

n.a.

regularly

ICTU

EFBWW

OPATSI

M+S

n.a.

regularly

ICTU

 

BATU*

M+S

n.a.

regularly

ICTU

 

UCATT*

M+S

n.a.

regularly

ICTU

 

TEEU

M+S

n.a.

regularly

ICTU

 

IT

FILLEA CGIL*

M

1,100,000

ad hoc

CGIL

EFBWW

FILCA CISL*

M

1,100,000

yes/ n.a.

CISL

EFBWW

FENEAL UIL*

M

1,100,000

yes/ n.a.

UIL

EFBWW

UGL COSTRUZIONI*

M

n.a.

n.a.

UGL

 

FESICA*

M

n.a.

n.a.

CONFSAL

 

LT

LSPS

S

n.a.

ad hoc

LPSK

 

LU

SB-OGBL*

M

n.a.

yes/ n.a.

OGBL

EFBWW

LCGB-CA*

M

n.a.

yes/ n.a.

LCGB

EFBWW

LV

LCA*

S

n.a.

regularly

 

EFBWW

LCDAA*

S

1,885

regularly

LBAS

 

MT

GWU*

S

n.a.

regularly

 

EFBWW, ETF, EFFAT, EPSU, Eurocadres, UNI Europa, EURO WEA, FERPA, SCECBU, IndustriAll Europe

UHM*

S

n.a.

yes/ n.a.

CMTU

EUROFEDOP

NL

FNV Bouw*

M+S

118,840

ad hoc

FNV

EFBWW

CNV Vakmensen*

M+S

118,840

ad hoc

CNV

EFBWW

PL

Budowlani*

S

40,000

regularly

OPZZ

EFBWW

SBiPD*

S

n.a.

regularly

NSZZ Solidarnosc

EFBWW

PT

SETACCOP*

M+S

140,000

ad hoc

UGT

EFBWW

FEVICCOM*

M

n.a.

n.a.

CGTP-IN

 

SQTD*

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

CGTP-IN

 

RO

FGS Familia

M+S

100,000

ad hoc

CNS Cartel Alfa

EFBWW

SE

ST

M+S

n.a.

no

TCO

ETF, EPSU, UNI Europa

Ledarna*

M+S

9,500

regularly

 

CEC

Elektrikerna

M

10,000

regularly

 

EFBWW

Byggnads*

M+S

60,000

regularly

LO

EFBWW

GS

M

n.a.

ad hoc

LO

EFBWW

SPU

M+S

13,000

regularly

LO

EFBWW

TJ

M

600

no

SACO

Eurocadres

SEKO

M+S

25,000

regularly

LO

EFBWW, EBTS

SAGE*

M+S

2,000

ad hoc

SACO

IndustriAll Europe, UNI Europa, Eurocadres, FEANI

Unionen*

M+S

15,000

ad hoc

 

EFBWW

SI

SDGD

M+S

54,000

ad hoc

ZSSS

EFBWW

SK

IOZ

M+S

n.a.

regularly

KOZ SR

EFBWW

UK

GMB*

M+S

20,000

regularly

TUC, CSEU

EFBWW, EFFAT, EPSU, IndustriAll Europe, ETF, UNI Europa

UCATT*

M+S

500,000

ad hoc

TUC

EFBWW

UNITE*

M+S

n.a.

ad hoc

TUC

EFBWW, UNI Europa, IndustriAll Europe, EPSU, EFFAT, ETF

Notes: Notes: Data for 2011, 2012 or 2013 as available. * Domain overlap with other sector-related trade unions; ** Only cross-sectoral (that is, peak level) associations are listed; *** Affiliation put in parenthesis means indirect affiliation via higher or lower order unit; a Collective bargaining involvement: S = single-employer bargaining; M = multi-employer bargaining; b Number of employees covered by collective agreements concluded by the union within the construction sector; c Union representative contacted refused to give (part of) the requested information; n.a. = not available

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014), administrative data and estimates

Table 9: Collective bargaining and consultation of employers’ and business organisations in construction

 

Name of organisation

Collective bargaininga

Coverageb

Consultation/ frequency

Number of companies

Number of employees

AT

BIB

M

12,600

80,000

regularly

FVBI

M

150

30,000

regularly

BIBHG

M

13,856

26,000

regularly

BIDGS

M

3,200

16,800

regularly

BIHPFK

M

2,000

5,740

regularly

BIHB

M

2,100

10,200

regularly

BIMT

M

5,900

20,000

regularly

BIS

M

<800

<2,700

regularly

BITHG

M

500

6,000

ad hoc

FEEI

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BIEGAK

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BISHL

M

2,500

30,900

n.a.

BIM

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

CC/CB

M

29,307

177,588

ad hoc + regularly

Bouwunie

M+S

30,000

152,000

ad hoc + regularly

BG

BCC

M

60

3,000

yes/ n.a.

CY

OSEOK

M

1,108

32,800

ad hoc

CZ

SPS v ČR*

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

SDMSZS*

no

0

0

ad hoc + regularly

DE

ZDB*

M

74,000

660,000

ad hoc + regularly

HDB*

M

74,424

655,714

ad hoc + regularly

ZVDH

M

12,600

90,000

ad hoc + regularly

BV Farbe

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ZVSHK

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BV Steinmetze

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BV Gerüstbau

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BI Gerüst

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DA

M

1,100

10,000

ad hoc

DK

Dansk Byggeri*

M

5,520

n.a.

regularly

Tekniq

M

2,800

40,000

ad hoc + regularly

Danske Malermestre

M

1,285

5,700

regularly

DS H&I*

M

995

4,030

regularly

DHV*

M

645

2,400

regularly

EE

EEEL

no

0

0

regularly

EL

PEDMEDE*

Mc

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

SATE

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

STEAT*

Mc

n.a.

n.a.

no

ES

CNC

M

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

FI

CFCI RT

M

30,000

130,000

regularly

STTA*

M

4,000

11,000

regularly

PALTA*

M

25

600

no

FR

CAPEB*

M

198,029

1,444,000

ad hoc + regularly

SNSO*

no

0

0

regularly

FFB*

M

198,029

1,44,4000

ad hoc

FNTP*

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

FFIE*

M

198,029

1,444,000

regularly

FSCOP*

M

198,029

1,444,000

regularly

HU

EVOSZ*

M

98,654

115,700

ad hoc

IPOSZ*

M

98,654

115,700

ad hoc

IE

CIF

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

ECA*

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

AECI*

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

IT

ANCE*

M

130,000

400,000

n.a.

ANAEPA*

M

90,000

190,000

ad hoc + regularly

CNA UNIONE COSTRUZIONI*

M

90,000

190,000

ad hoc + regularly

ANIEM*

M

6,000

60,000

ad hoc

FIAE*

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CLAAI*

M

152,500

459,500

ad hoc + regularly

ANCPL*

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

FEDERLAVORO E SERVIZI*

M

1,120

12,900

ad hoc + regularly

AGCI SPL*

M

n.a.

n.a.

yes/n.a.

AGI*

no

0

0

n.a.

LT

LSA

no

0

0

ad hoc

LU

FDA*

M+S

1,670

39,898e

regularly

FEDIL*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LV

LBA

no

0

0

regularly

MT

FOBC

no

0

0

regularly

NL

Bouwend Nederland*

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

AN*

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

ZRP*

yes

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

PL

KPB UNI-BUD*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

PT

AECOPS*

M

13,000

140,000

ad hoc

AICCOPN*

M

13,000

n.a.

n.a.

FEPICOP*

no

0

0

ad hoc

AICE*

M

13,000

140,000

n.a.

RO

ARACO*

M+S

1,200

100,000

ad hoc

UNPR*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SE

Almega T*

M

1

3,000

regularly

EIO

M

1,350

9,000

regularly

GBF

M

520

n.a.

ad hoc

PE*

M

700

n.a.

ad hoc

Malaremästarna*

M

870

n.a.

ad hoc

PLR

M

900

1,200

regularly

BI*

M

3,200

90,000

regularly

TMF

M

700

35,000

regularly

VVS-Företagen

M

1,500

17,500

ad hoc

SI

ZGIGM*

M+S

18,826

54,000

ad hoc

ZDS*

M+S

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

SG-OZS*

M+S

7,800

42,000

ad hoc

SK

ZSPS

M

70

8,900

ad hoc + regularly

UK

FMB**

M

10,000

n.a.

regularly

NFB**

M

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

CECA**

M

n.a.

500,000

regularly

TICA**

M

90

6,000

regularly

ECA**

M

1,100

25,000

regularly

SBF**

M

400

n.a.

regularly

UKCG**

M

n.a.

500,000

ad hoc

HBF**

M

n.a.

600,000

regularly

NFRC**

M

4,000

250,000

regularly

LGA**

M

40

4,000

no

NASC**

M

n.a.

n.a.

ad hoc

PDA**

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SELECT**

M

n.a.

n.a.

regularly

ECIA**

M

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Notes: Data for 2011, 2012 or 2013 as available. * Domain overlap with other sector-related employers’ or business organisations; ** No information on domain overlaps provided; a Collective bargaining involvement: S = single-employer bargaining; M = multi-employer bargaining; b Number of companies/employees covered by collective agreements concluded by the employers’ organisation within the construction sector; n.a. = not available.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014), administrative data and estimates

Table 10 provide an overview of the system of sector-related collective bargaining in the 27 countries under consideration.

The importance of collective bargaining as a means of employment regulation is measured by calculating the total number of employees covered by collective bargaining as a proportion of the total number of employees within a certain segment of the economy as described in the book National labour relations in internationalised markets by Traxler, Blaschke and Kittel. 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 used. The first indicator refers to the relevance of multi-employer bargaining compared with single-employer bargaining. Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employers’ organisation on behalf of the employers’ side. In the case of single-employer bargaining, the company or its divisions is the party to the agreement. This includes the 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, therefore provides an indication of the impact of the employers’ organisations on the overall collective bargaining process.

The second indicator considers whether statutory extension schemes have been applied to the sector. For reasons of brevity, this analysis is confined to extension schemes which widen the scope of a collective agreement to employers not affiliated to the signatory employers’ organisation; extension regulations targeting the employees are therefore not included in the research. Regulations concerning the employees are not significant to this analysis for two reasons. Firstly, extending a collective agreement to those employees who are not unionised in the company covered by the collective agreement is a standard of the International Labour Organization (ILO), aside from any national legislation. Secondly, employers have good reason to extend a collective agreement they concluded even when they are not formally obliged to do so; otherwise, they would introduce an incentive for their workforce to unionise.

As explained in the work by Traxler, Blaschke and Kittel, compared with employee-related extension procedures, schemes that target the employers are far more significant for the strength of collective bargaining in general and multi-employer bargaining in particular. This is because the employers are capable of refraining from both joining an employers’ organisation and entering single-employer bargaining in the context of a purely voluntaristic system. Therefore, employer-related extension practices increase the coverage of multi-employer bargaining. Moreover, when it is pervasive, an extension agreement may encourage more employers to join the controlling employers’ organisation. Such a move then 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.

Table 10: System of sectoral collective bargaining

Country

CBC (%) (estimates)

Share of MEB in total CBC (%) (estimates)

Extension practicesa

AT

100

100

(2)

BE

100

100b

2

BG

2.3

prevailing

0

CY

n.a.

prevailing

0

CZ

68.9

100b

2

DE

53–70

95

2

DK

~65

prevailing

0

EE

2–6

0

0

EL

n.a.

prevailing

0

ES

almost 100

98,6

2

FI

90

95

2

FR

almost 100

almost 100

2

HU

100

100b

2

IE

n.a.

n.a.

2i

IT

100

100

(2)

LT

~5

0

0

LU

~80

100

2

LV

3.6

0

0

MT

n.a.

0

0

NL

100

100

2

PL

~5

0

0

PT

80–100

prevailingc

0d

RO

~50e

~40e

0f

SE

~90

>90

1

SI

almost 100

almost 100

0g

SK

10–30

100b

0

UK

~40

>90

0h

Notes: Data from 2012–2013. CBC = collective bargaining coverage: employees covered as a percentage of the total number of employees in the sector; MEB = multi-employer bargaining relative to single-employer bargaining; Extension practices (including functional equivalents to extension provisions, that is, obligatory membership and labour court rulings); a 0 = no practice, 1 = limited/exceptional, 2 = pervasive. Cases of functional equivalents are in parentheses; b Complemented by single-employer bargaining; c Almost 100% until 2010; d Pervasive until 2010; e 100% until 2011, when the new social dialogue law came into effect; f Pervasive until 2011, when the new social dialogue law came into effect; g No legal provision for extension procedures in the sector, but multi-employer collective agreements are usually informally used by non-affiliated parties in the sector; h No legal provision for extension procedures in the sector; however, many employers that are not party to collective agreements implement part or all of their terms; i Pervasive until May 2013; n.a. = not available.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014), administrative data and estimates

Collective bargaining coverage

Of the 23 countries with data available, 12 had a rate of 80% or more for the sector’s collective bargaining coverage (Table 10). This group of countries comprises Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Conversely, five countries had a rate of less than 10% for collective bargaining coverage. These countries are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

A third group of countries had medium range rates of between 40% and 70%, including countries such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Romania and the UK. Slovakia, with an estimated collective bargaining coverage of 10–30%, is difficult to classify.

No data were provided for four countries (Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Malta).

Until recently, Greece recorded high collective bargaining coverage rates in the construction sector. However, with the introduction of the Economic Stability Mechanism and the First Memorandum 2011 agreed with the so-called ‘Troika’ of the International Monetary Fund ((IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC), the practice of extending multi-employer agreements was eliminated. Collective bargaining coverage in the sector is thought to having declined rapidly since 2012, but the actual rate is not available.

In Portugal, the rate of collective bargaining coverage is likely to have dropped somewhat in 2011 as a result of the reform of the collective bargaining regulation enacted under the regime of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Troika and the Portuguese government. Accordingly, the government stopped issuing extension decrees for the collective agreement in in the construction sector in 2011. Under the new regulation, collective agreements cover only those companies that are affiliated to the employers’ organisations that sign them.

Similarly, in Romania, the Social Dialogue Act of 2011 abolished the national unique collective agreement, which served as a reference point for collective bargaining at all levels, as well as the practice of extending multi-employer agreements. As a consequence, the collective bargaining coverage rate in the construction sector fell from 100% in 2011 to about 50% in 2012.

In Ireland, a key characteristic of the sector up until 2013 was the presence of two Registered Employment Agreements (REAs), one for construction and one for electrical contracting, which set out legally binding terms and conditions for certain grades in the sector. Under the REA system, employer and trade union groups in a particular sector could make an agreement on a wide range of pay and working conditions and have it applied as a legally binding minimum standard for the whole industry, provided that the employers and trade union parties to the agreement were sufficiently representative of the sector. Due to this REA system, collective bargaining coverage rates were deemed to be high in the construction sector. However, the REAs were struck down by the Supreme Court in May 2013 when it ruled that the sector’s REA was unconstitutional during an appeal against a High Court challenge by a group of electrical contractors against the constitutionality of the applicable REA. Collective bargaining coverage rates in Ireland thus dropped dramatically in the construction sector in 2013.

In most of the countries with available information, several factors, which sometimes interact with each other, account for higher coverage rates:

  • predominance of multi-employer bargaining (Table 10);
  • presence of strong sector-related trade unions and employers’ or business organisations;
  • existence of pervasive extension practices (Table 10).

Although coverage in countries with prevalent multi-employer bargaining and pervasive extension practices tends to be higher than in countries without them, coverage is not necessarily high even in such circumstances. In the case of Bulgaria, for instance, a prevalent multi-employer bargaining system does not prevent an extremely low coverage rate of about 2%.

Sector-related multi-employer bargaining is absent in five countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Poland). In all these countries, collective bargaining coverage within the construction sector tends to be either low or no information is available. All this group of countries joined the European Union in 2004.

However, there is another group of 20 countries with exclusive or prevailing multi-employer arrangements in the construction sector, though not all of them have high or even full collective bargaining coverage rates in the sector. In several countries (such as Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia), the multi-level bargaining system combines comprehensive multi-employer bargaining with single-employer agreements. In such cases, the single-employer settlements usually contain more favourable employment terms than the multi-employer agreements.

Due to the relative prevalence of multi-employer settlements in the construction sector, the use of extension practices is significant. Pervasive extension practices in the construction sector are reported for several countries (Table 10). As the aim of extension provisions is to make multi-employer agreements generally binding, the provisions for obligatory membership in the chamber system of Austria should also be noted. Obligatory membership creates an extension effect, since the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) and its subunits are parties to multi-employer bargaining. Another functional equivalent to statutory extension schemes can be found in Italy. According to the country’s constitution, minimum conditions of employment must apply to all employees. The country’s labour court rulings relate this principle to the multi-employer agreements to the extent that they are regarded as generally binding.

Participation in public policymaking

Interest associations may partake in public policy in one of two ways:

  • they may be consulted by the authorities on matters affecting their members;
  • they may be represented on ‘corporatist’ (in other words tripartite) committees and boards of policy concertation.

This study considers only cases of consultation and corporatist participation which explicitly relate to sector-specific matters. Consultation processes are not necessarily institutionalised and therefore the organisations consulted by the authorities may vary according to the issues to be addressed and also over time, depending on changes in government. Moreover, the authorities may initiate a consultation process on occasional rather than a regular basis. Given this variability, Tables 8 and Table 9 flag only those sector-related trade unions and employers’ organisations that are usually consulted.

Trade unions

At least some of the sector-related trade unions in the construction sector in all EU27 Member States are usually (that is, on a regular basis or on occasion) consulted by the authorities. In total, about 86% of the sector-related trade unions for which information is available are consulted through participation in existing tripartite structures and/or in the form of unilateral consultation by the authorities. Around 56% of those trade unions for which related information was provided, consultation is carried out on a regular basis (generally at least once a year), while about 44% are only consulted occasionally.

Since there is a multi-union system in 21 out of the 27 Member States with sector-related trade unions, one cannot rule out the possibility that the authorities may favour certain trade unions over others or that the unions compete for participation rights. In at least 11 (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK) of the 21 countries with a multi-union system, any of the existing trade unions may take part in the consultation process. In contrast, in five countries (Finland, France, Greece, Spain and Sweden), only some of the sector-related trade unions are usually consulted and at least one other union is not. (For a few countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy and Portugal, no conclusions on possible (un)equal consultation practices can be drawn due to a lack of related information for at least one trade union.) Nevertheless, there is no evidence of inter-union rivalry and/or conflicts over participation in public policy matters in the construction sector in any of the 21 countries with a multi-union system.

Employers’ and business organisations

The vast majority (almost 97%) of sector-related employers’ and business organisations for which related information is available are involved in consultation procedures. In terms of consultation frequency, almost two-thirds of the organisations for which information is available are consulted on a regular basis, while the rest are consulted on occasion.

No cases of conflict over the participation rights of sector-related employers’ organisations are reported from any of the 19 countries with a multi-organisation system. In the multi-organisation systems of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Slovenia, where related data on all employers’ and business organisations are available, all of the sector’s organisations are consulted. In the pluralist systems seen in Finland, Greece and the UK, at least one of the employers’ organisations is usually consulted but at least one other is not.

In all 27 Member States, at least one of the sector-related employers’ and business organisations is involved in consultation procedures. For some countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania which have a pluralist system of employer representation, no information about consultation practices is available for at least some of the organisations. It is therefore not clear whether consultation rights are being attributed to the national organisations for these countries in a selective manner or not.

In all EU27 Member States, consultation rights are attributed equally to the two sides of industry, in that at least one organisation on each side is consulted.

Tripartite participation

Genuine sector-specific tripartite bodies have been established in eight countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Poland, Spain and the UK). Table 11 lists a total of 11 bodies – two each in Denmark, Finland and the UK, and one each in the other five.

The legal basis of these tripartite bodies is either a statute or an agreement between the parties involved. The scope of their activities generally focuses on the following topics:

  • health and safety problems (such as one body each in Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland and Malta);
  • training issues (as is the case of one body each in Belgium, Denmark and Malta, and two bodies in the UK).

Other bodies listed in some national reports are not taken into account in this study because they are bipartite rather than tripartite in terms of composition or sector-unspecific (in other words cross-sectoral) or tripartite bodies for the concertation of economic and social policy. These bodies may also address the sector, depending on the particular circumstances and issues that may arise.

One particularity of the construction sector is the existence of so-called paritarian social funds which are funded and managed by the national sectoral social partners themselves. These paritarian funds frequently fulfil a role complementary to existing governmental structures and mainly deal with issues such as:

  • vocational training;
  • health and safety;
  • sectoral pensions;
  • paid holiday schemes.

However, since these paritarian social funds are usually bipartite rather than tripartite bodies, they are not considered in detail in this study.

Table 11: Tripartite sector-specific boards participating in public policymaking

 

Name of the body and scope of activity

Origin

Trade unions participating

Business associations participating

BE

Training Fund for the Construction Sector (FVB-FFP Constructiv)

Agreement

CGSLB/ACLVB, FGTB/ABVV, CSC Batiment/ACV Bouw

CC/ CB, Bouwunie

BG

Sectoral Council for Tripartite Cooperation – dealing with health and safety issues, anti-crisis measures and legislation affecting the sector

Statutory

FITUC, FCIW-Podkrepa

BCC

DK

Sectoral Working Environment Council in Building and Construction (BAR Bygge og Anlaeg)

Statutory

3F, Blik & Roer, Danks El-Forbund, Dansk Metal, Fag og Arbejde, FOA, HK, Malerforbundet, Lederne

Asfaltindustriens, Arbejdsgiverforening, Danks Byggeri, Dansk Industri, Danske Malermestre, DS H&I, Glarmesterlauget, Bygningsstyrelsen, Tekniq

Main Vocational Training Committee in Building and Construction (Byggeriets Udannelser)

Statutory

3F

Dansk Byggeri

ES

Industrial Observatory of the Construction Sector – conducting research and studies on various issues relevant to the sector

Agreement

MCA-UGT, FECOMA-CCOO

CNC

FI

Working Group on Safety at Work

n.a.

FCTU

CFCI RT

Working Group on the Prevention of the Black Economy in the Construction Sector

n.a.

FCTU

CFCI RT

MT

Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) – dealing with health and safety issues, private partnership projects and training issues

Statutory

GWU, UHM

General Retailers & Traders Union, Malta Insurance Association, Federation of Building & Civil Engineering Contractors, Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry

PL

Tripartite Team for Construction and Public Utilities

n.a.

SbiPD, ZZ Budowlani, FZZPGKiT, NSZZ Solidarnosc

BCC, KbiN, ZPPMdB, UNI-BUD, ZRP, PZPB, PZFD

UK

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – dealing with training issues

Statutory

n.a.

n.a.

Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) – dealing with training issues

Statutory

n.a.

n.a.

Note: Information for 2012–2013; n.a. = not available.

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014)

European level of interest representation

At European level, eligibility for consultation and participation in social dialogue is linked to three criteria as defined by Commission Decision on the establishment of Sectoral Dialogue Committees (98/500/EC). Accordingly, a social partner organisation must have the following attributes: It must

  1. (…) relate to specific sectors or categories and be organised at European level;
  2. (…) consist of organisations that are themselves an integral and recognised part of Member States’ social partner structures and have the capacity to negotiate agreements, and which are representative of several Member States;
  3. (…) have adequate structures to ensure their effective participation in the work of the Committees.

In terms of social dialogue, the constituent feature is the ability of such organisations to negotiate on behalf of their members and to conclude binding agreements.

This section analyses the membership domain, membership composition and ability to negotiate of European associations in the construction sector.

The study presents detailed data on one sector-related European association on the employees’ side (EFBWW) and two on the employers’ side (FIEC and EBC). EFBWW and FIEC are listed by the European Commission as a social partner organisation to be consulted under Article 154 of the TFEU, while EBC has asked to be consulted under the provisions of Article 154 TFEU. The following analysis concentrates on these three organisations, while providing supplementary information on others that are linked to the sector’s main national industrial relations actors.

Membership domain

EFBWW is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). It organises national workers’ organisations from the entire construction industry, the building materials industry, the wood and furniture industry, and the forestry industry. Its membership domain therefore overlaps relative to the sector under consideration.

On the employers’ side, FIEC represents European construction enterprises, irrespective of their size and specific business activities. Its membership domain is thus largely congruent relative to the construction sector as defined for the purpose of this study. FIEC is a partner organisation of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and a member/associate member of the European Council for Construction Research, Development and Innovation (ECCREDI), the Enterprise Europe Network run by the European Commission, the European Services Forum (ESF), the European Housing Forum (EHF) and WorldSkills Europe.

EBC represents European construction crafts and SMEs, and thus has a membership domain sectionalist relative to the construction sector. According to its website, it is affiliated to both the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) and Small Business Standards (SBS).

Both FIEC and EBC organise national employers’ organisations rather than individual companies.

Membership composition

The countries covered by EFBWW and FIEC extend beyond the 27 Member States examined in this study. However, the report only considers the membership composition in of these 27 countries.

EFBWW

Table 12 lists the membership of sector-related trade unions drawn from the national reports. At least one direct affiliation is recorded in 24 countries, with only Estonia, Greece and Lithuania not having any affiliation to EFBWW. Multiple memberships occur in 13 countries.

On aggregate, EFBWW counts 50 direct sector-related affiliations from the countries under examination. EFBWW thus covers more than half of the 81 trade unions identified by this study (Table 8) through direct affiliation.

It should be noted that the list of sector-related affiliates to EFBWW as compiled on the basis of the national reports does not include all of the members as listed by EFBWW itself. This is because this study includes only those affiliates whose membership domain is related to the construction sector. Affiliates organising only woodworkers or forestry workers are therefore not taken into account in this report.

All of the direct members of EFBWW are directly involved in collective bargaining related to the construction sector. In so far as available data on sectoral membership of the national trade unions provide sufficient information on their relative strength, it may be concluded that EFBWW covers the sector’s most important labour representatives. Exceptional cases of uncovered major trade unions in the sector may involve only PRO-GE and GPA-djp of Austria.

Table 12: EFBWW membership, 2013

Country

Members

AT

GBH*

BE

FGTB-CG/ABVV-AC*, CGSLB/ACLVB*, CSC/ACV Building, Industry & Energy*

BG

FITUC*, FCIW-Podkrepa*

CY

OOIMSEK*

CZ

OS STAVBA*

DE

IG Bau*, IG Metall*

DK

DEF*, Blik & Roer*, 3F*, Malerforbundet*

EE

EL

ES

MCA-UGT*, FECOMA-CCOO*, ELA-HAINBAT*

FI

FCTU*, Pro*, FEWU*

FR

FO Construction*, FNCB-CFDT*, BATI-MAT-TP CFTC*, FNS Construction*

HU

EFEDOSZSZ*

IE

SIPTU*

IT

FILLEA CGIL*, FILCA CISL*, FENEAL UIL*

LT

LU

SB-OGBL*, LCGB-CA*

LV

LCA*

MT

GWU*

NL

FNV Bouw*, CNV Vakmensen*

PL

Budowlani*, SbiPD*

PT

SETTACOP*

RO

FGS Familia*

SE

Elektrikerna*, Byggnads*, GS*, SPU*, SEKO*, Unionen*

SI

SDGD*

SK

IOZ*

UK

GMB*, UCATT*, UNITE*

Notes: Membership list is confined to the sector-related associations of the countries under consideration. * Involved in sector-related collective bargaining

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national centres (2013–2014)

FIEC

FIEC members are listed in Table 13. Of the 27 countries under consideration, FIEC has 25 under its umbrella through direct and indirect associational members from these countries. Latvia and the UK are not covered, although NFB in the UK is not a member but is tied to FIEC through a cooperation agreement.

Multiple memberships of FIEC occur in only five countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal).

On aggregate FIEC has 32 associational members from the EU27, three of which are indirect members affiliated via higher order units. Deducting these three indirect members gives the number that corresponds to the membership list as provided by FIEC.

Associations affiliated to FIEC and unaffiliated associations co-exist in a number of countries (Table 7). Sectoral membership data of the respective organisations of these countries do not provide a clear indication of whether the most important associations are affiliated. In several countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK, some important employers’ organisations that conduct bargaining are not affiliated to FIEC.

There are also countries such as Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Malta and Portugal where an affiliate of FIEC is not engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. Employers’ and business organisations which are not involved in collective bargaining may regard themselves as trade associations rather than as industrial relations actors.

Of the 32 affiliates of FIEC, at least 25 are involved in sector-related collective bargaining (for two affiliates, namely FEDIL of Luxembourg and KPB UNI-BUD of Poland, no information on collective bargaining involvement was provided). The proportion of FIEC member organisations that are involved in sector-related collective bargaining is lower than in its counterpart on the labour side, EFBWW, whose national affiliates are all involved in sector-related collective bargaining, The 32 FIEC members cover collective bargaining in at least 20 of the 25 Member States that record affiliations to FIEC. Nevertheless, there are at least 67 sector-related employers’ organisations across the EU that are not affiliated to FIEC which are involved in sector-related collective bargaining and thus have to be regarded as relevant national actors within the sector (table 7).

Table 13: FIEC and EBC membership, 2013

Country

FIEC

EBC

AT

BIB*, FVBI*

BE

CC/CB*

Bouwunie*

BG

BCC*

CY

OSEOK*

CZ

SPS v ČR*

SDMSZS

DE

ZDB*, HDB*

DK

Dansk Byggeri*

EE

EEEL

EL

PEDMEDE*

ES

CNC*

CNC*

FI

CFCI RT*

FR

FFB*, FNTP*, (FFIE*)

CAPEB*, SNSO

HU

EVOSZ*

IPOSZ*

IE

CIF*

IT

ANCE*, AGI

ANAEPA*, CNA UNIONE COSTRUZIONI*

LT

LSA

LU

FEDIL**

FDA*

LV

LBA

MT

FOBC

-–

NL

Bouwend Nederland*

AN*

PL

KPB UNI-BUD**

ZRP*

PT

FEPICOP, (AECOPS*), (AICCOPN*)

RO

ARACO*

UNPR**

SE

BI*

SI

ZGIGM*

SG-OZS*

SK

ZSPS*

UK

[NFB*]a

FMB*

Notes: Membership list confined to the sector-related associations of the countries under consideration; affiliation in parenthesis means indirect affiliation via higher-order unit. * Involved in sector-related collective bargaining; ** No information available on collective bargaining involvement; a NFB is not a direct member but is tied to FIEC by a cooperation agreement.

Source: EIRO/EurWork national correspondents (2013–2014)

EBC

EBC members are listed in Table 13. It covers 13 of the 27 Member States under consideration via its 15 direct member associations (according to the list of affiliates provided by EBC in 2012). The other 14 countries are not covered, including Germany – the largest Member State in terms of the number of inhabitants.

Multiple memberships can be found in two countries (France and Italy), which each have two EBC affiliates. Of the numerous sector-related employers’ organisations not affiliated to EBC, many can be found which have high sectoral membership data and thus have to be considered as highly important national actors in the sector. The fact that many strong employers’ organisations representing member companies which employ a high proportion of sectoral workers are not under the umbrella of EBC is reflected its relatively narrow membership domain, covering only the construction crafts and SMEs rather than the large (multinational) enterprises.

At least 11 of the 15 EBC affiliates are engaged in sector-related collective bargaining, covering bargaining activities in at least 10 of the 27 Member States under consideration (no information on collective bargaining involvement was provided for one affiliated organisation, UNPR of Romania).

Comparison of membership composition of FIEC and EBC

Table 14 uses a number of indicators for measuring representativeness to summarise the main features of FIEC’s and EBC’s membership structure in relation to the total number of the sector-related national employers’ associations.

 

Table 14: Main features of FIEC and EBC national affiliates, EU27

 

FIEC*

EBC*

Total no. of employers’ associations**

Number of employers’ organisations

32***

15

104

Coverage of countries through affiliations

25

13

27

Domain: covers all business activities in sector

23 (N = 30)

8 (N = 14)

40 (N = 97)

Domain: covers all types of companies in sector

22 (N = 30)

4 (N = 14)

50 (N = 98)

% companies gathered by members****

28.8 (N = 23)

48.8 (N = 12)

100.0 (N = 79)

% employees employed by companies gathered by members****

56.1 (N = 18)

16.1 (N = 12)

100.0 (N = 65)

Collective bargaining involvement

25 (N = 30)

11 (N = 14)

92 (N = 101)

Consultation

29 (N = 29)

14 (N = 14)

84 (N = 87)

Notes: * Identified by applying the top-down approach; ** Identified by applying both the top-down and bottom-up approach; *** Includes three indirect members affiliated through higher-level units; the UK’s NFB (tied to FIEC by a cooperation agreement) is not considered; **** BIS of Austria is not considered due to unclear data; figures should be treated with caution due to lack of data and the dubiousness of some membership data; N = sample size (that is, total of members or total of employers’ associations minus cases for which no data are available).

Source: EIRO/EurWORK national correspondents (2013–2014); own calculations

FIEC has more than twice as many national members in the construction sector than EBC and covers almost twice as many countries through affiliates from them (Table 14). In terms of absolute numbers, far more employers’ organisations which are involved in collective bargaining affecting the sector and consulted by the authorities are affiliated to FIEC than to EBC. However, in relative terms, the percentage (as the share of the respective total number of affiliates) of the members of the respective European social partner organisations which are engaged in collective bargaining and being consulted is almost equal.

The higher organisational strength (in terms of the absolute numbers of members) of FIEC compared with EBC mirrors the fact that FIEC claims to represent construction companies of any kind and size, and thus has an encompassing membership domain with regard to the sector, while EBC’s domain is clearly sectionalist with regard to the sector. Correspondingly, the membership domain of the vast majority of the national affiliates of FIEC covers all business activities and all types of companies in the sector. In contrast, the domain of the EBC members tends to be relatively narrow in that, in particular, construction crafts and SMEs are affiliated. In terms of the domain coverage pattern, this means that the domains of employers’ organisations affiliated to FIEC are far more often congruent or overlapping with regard to the construction sector than those of organisations affiliated to EBC.

Table 14 also shows the organisational strength of FIEC and EBC measured as the ratio of companies (and employees employed by these companies) gathered by FIEC and EBC members to the total number of companies (and employees employed by them) gathered by all employers’ organisations identified in the study. The substantial lack of data means the figures that can be derived from Table 14 are very tentative and should be treated with caution, but they nevertheless reveal a clear tendency. While only 12 EBC members organise and represent almost half of all the companies gathered by 79 sector-related employers’ organisations with available data identified for the purpose of this study, 18 FIEC members organise and represent companies which employ more than half of the total employees employed by all companies gathered by 65 employers’ organisations with available data. The higher densities of FIEC members in terms of employees compared with those in terms of companies indicate that FIEC tends to organise – through its national affiliates – the larger companies. In contrast, EBC’s stronghold can be found among the sector’s numerous crafts and SMEs with usually only small workforces.

 

Capacity to negotiate

The third criterion of representativeness at the European level refers to the organisations’ capacity to negotiate on behalf of their own members.

On the side of organised labour, EFBWW appears to have an implicit rather than explicit permanent mandate to negotiate on behalf of its members in matters of the European social dialogue. Article 11 of the EFBWW statutes stipulates that:

with respect to the mandates and procedures for European negotiations, the Executive Committee, acting on a proposal of the EFBH-FETBB Management Committee, shall adopt internal regulations by a simple majority.

Likewise, on the employers’ side, the FIEC statutes do not explicitly grant this organisation a general mandate to negotiate on behalf of its members. However, as indicated by the Director General, the FIEC General Assembly unanimously re-confirmed on 8 June 2012 the mandate given to FIEC in 1998 to negotiate on behalf of its members within the framework of the European sectoral social dialogue. The FIEC General Assembly decision of 1998 stipulates that the Steering Committee has to ask the Council for a specific mandate prior to commencing any negotiation.

EBC adopted a General Assembly motion on 29 June 2012 in order to set the framework conditions for giving ad hoc mandates to negotiate social dialogue agreements. This motion stipulates that:

the national affiliates are ready and willing to give ad hoc mandates to the EBC to discuss, negotiate and sign all sorts of written agreements engaging politically and legally the national affiliates.

As a final proof of the weight of these three organisations, it is useful to look at other European organisations which may be important representatives of the sector. This can be done by reviewing the other European organisations to which the sector-related trade unions and employers’ associations are affiliated.

The affiliations of the trade unions are listed in Table 8. European organisations other than EFBWW represent a relatively high proportion of both sector-related trade unions and countries. For reasons of brevity, only the European organisations which cover at least three countries are mentioned here. This involves five organisations:

  • European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT);
  • European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU);
  • European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF);
  • IndustriAll;
  • UNI Europa.

Although the affiliations listed in Table 8 are unlikely to be exhaustive, this overview underlines the principal status of EFBWW as the sector’s labour representative. The presence of the other organisations in the list is in response to the overlapping domains of many trade unions (Table 5) because these organisations do not claim to attract unions from the construction sector.

A similar review of the membership of the national employers’ and business organisations can be derived from Table 7. Most of the organisations have none or few affiliations to European associations other than FIEC and EBC. Overall, three alternative European associations can be identified that cover at least three countries. This involves:

  • European Federation of Associations of Insulation Contractors (FESI);
  • European International Contractors (EIC);
  • European Union of Developers and House Builders (UEPC).

In terms of both the number of affiliations and territorial coverage, all three lag far behind both FIEC and EBC.

Commentary

The main features of the very large construction sector in the EU identified in the research are summarised below.

First, at national level, pronounced pluralism characterises the associational systems of both labour and business. This high associational fragmentation, in particular on the side of organised business, arises from a pronounced differentiation in terms of the labour market along numerous well-demarcated occupations (which affects the associational ‘landscape’ on the side of organised labour) and business activities (which affects primarily the business side) within the sector. Moreover, the large size of the sector in terms of both the number of companies and employment also tends to foster proliferation tendencies with regard to the associational ‘landscape’.

Second, the associations on both sides of industry, albeit more pronounced on the side of organised business, are characterised by often narrow membership domains, which are well tailored to their constituency. In principle, this tends to foster densities since smaller interest organisations can set selective incentives to potential members more easily than larger, general organisations. However, the study reveals that densities do not tend to be high – at least on the part of the national trade unions. This may be explained by a number of employment characteristics in the sector such as:

  • high labour turnover, in particular among the lower-skilled ranks;
  • high presence of non-standard (fixed-term, part-time) as well as undeclared work;
  • high incidence of migrant work.

Third, collective bargaining coverage is highly polarised. Although 12 of the 23 countries with available data record high rates of collective bargaining coverage of 80–100%, five countries record rates well below 10%. High collective bargaining coverage can be found almost exclusively among the ‘old’ Member States (with the notable exceptions of Hungary and Slovenia), whereas extremely low rates are found among the Baltic countries, Bulgaria and Poland. Comparing the figures on cross-sectoral collective bargaining coverage in the EU27, as presented in EurWORK’s industrial relations profiles for each Member State, with the construction sector’s bargaining coverage of each Member State does not produce a clear trend regarding the relationship between the two measures. (The data in the national industrial relations profiles have not been subjected to a thorough validation procedure, but this report uses these data because more reliable information on national cross-sectoral collective bargaining coverage rates tends to be out-of-date.) Overall, collective bargaining coverage rates in the construction sector tend to increase with the predominance of multi-employer arrangements and a significant use of extension practices.

The recent recession hit the construction sector severely, with a significant reduction in employment, drops in turnover and output across the Member States and, in at least in some countries, major effects on the national industrial relations systems within the sector. To cope with the challenges facing the sector, its recognised social partners at European level (EFBWW on the employees’ side and FIEC on the employers’ side) had set up a formal joint sectoral social dialogue committee in 1999. This committee has met regularly and launched various initiatives. FIEC concluded a working arrangement with EBC in 2007 to allow representatives from EBC to participate in the social dialogue meetings within its delegation. Recent outcomes from the committee include joint statements, declarations, positions and recommendations on issues such as intra-corporate transfers, third-country contractors and workers in the EU, bogus self-employment, measures to mitigate against the crisis, posted workers and work-related stress. In addition, EFBWW and FIEC have managed joint projects on various occupational health and safety issues, youth employment, posting of workers and undeclared work.

Finally, with regard to the representativeness status of the three sectoral European-level social partner organisations examined in this study, EFBWW appears to be the main EU-wide representative of the sector’s workforce on the employees’ side. On the employers’ side, FIEC with its encompassing membership domain with regard to the construction sector and its relative organisational strength with regard to the whole sector can be regarded as the main representative of the sector’s businesses as a whole. With its limited and clearly demarcated membership domain, which focuses on construction crafts and SMEs (not in relation to the whole construction sector), EBC appears to be a significant industrial relations actor and brings a specific sectional supplement of representativeness on the employers’ side.

Georg Adam, Vienna, in cooperation with the Università degli Studi di Milano

 

 

Annex 1: Individual organisations in the construction sector, EU27

Country

Abbreviation

Full name of association*

AT

BIB

Building Trades Association

BIBHG

Federal Association of Construction Support Activities

BIDGS

Federal Association of Roofers, Glaziers, Tinsmiths

BIEGAK

Federal Association of Electrical, Buildings, Alarm and Communications Technicians

BIHB

Federal Association Timber Construction

BIHPFK

Federal Association of Stove-Fitters, Pavers and Tilers and Ceramists

BIM

Federal Association of Metal Engineers

BIMT

Federal Association of Painters and Upholsterers

BIS

Federal Association of Stonemasons

BISHL

Federal Association of Sanitary, Heating and Ventilation Engineers

BITHG

Federal Association of Carpenters and Wood-shaping Trades

FEEI

Federal Association of the Electrical and Electronics Industry

FVBI

Construction Industry Association

GBH

Union of Construction and Wood Workers

GPA-djp

Union of Salaried Employees, Graphical Workers and Journalists

ÖGB

Austrian Trade Union Federation

PRO-GE

Manufacturing Union

WKÖ

Austrian Federal Economic Chamber

BE

Bouwunie

Construction Federation

CC/CB

Construction Confederation

CGSLB/ACLVB

Federation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium

CSC/ACV

Confederation of Christian Trade Unions

CSC/ACV Building, Industry & Energy

Confederation of Christian Trade Unions – Building, Industry & Energy

FEB

Federation of Belgian Enterprises

FGTB/ABVV

Belgian General Federation of Labour

FGTB-CG/ABVV-AC

Socialist Trade Union – General Federation

UNIZO

UNIZO

BG

BCC

Bulgarian Construction Chamber

BIA

Bulgarian Industrial Association

CITUB

Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria

FCIW-Podkrepa

Federation Construction, Industry and Water Supply – Podkrepa

FITUC

Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Construction

Podkrepa

Confederation of Labour Podkrepa

CWU

Construction Workers Union

CY

DEOK

Democratic Labour Federation of Cyprus

DWUBC

Democratic Workers’ Union of Builders and Carpenters

OEB

Employers and Industrialists’ Federation of Cyprus

OOIMSEK

Federation of Builders and Minders and Relevant Professions

OSEOK

Federation of Building Contractors Associations of Cyprus

PEO

Pancyprian Federation of Labour

SEK

Cyprus Workers’ Federation

ČMKOS

Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions

CZ

HK ČR

Czech Chamber of Commerce

KZPS ČR

Confederation of the Employers’ and Entrepreneurs’ Associations of the Czech Republic

OS STAVBA

Trade Union of Building Workers of the Czech Republic

SDMSZS

Association of Small- and Medium-size Employers in the Construction Industry of the Czech Republic

SPS v ČR

Association of Building Entrepreneurs of the Czech Republic

UZS ČR

Union of Employers’ Associations of the Czech Republic

BDA

German Confederation of Employers’ Associations

DE

BDI

Federation of German Industries

BI Gerüstbau

Federal Guild of the Scaffolding Trade

BV Farbe

Federal Association for the Painting Trade and the Preservation of Monuments and Structures

BV Gerüstbau

Federal Association of the Scaffolding Trade

BV Steinmetze

Federal Association of German Stonemasons

CGB

Christian Federation of Trade Unions

CGM

Christian Metalworkers’ Union

DA

German Association of the Demolition Industry

DGB

German Trade Union Federation

HDB

Federation of the German Construction Industry

IG Bau

Trade Union for Building, Forestry, Agriculture and the Environment

IG Metall

Metalworkers’ Union

UDH

German Association of the Skilled Crafts Confederations

ZDB

German Construction Federation

ZVDH

Federal Association of the Roofing Trade

ZVSHK

German Sanitary, Heating and Air Conditioning Association

3F

United Federation of Danish Workers

DK

Blik & Roer

Danish Plumbers’ Union

DA

Confederation of Danish Employers

Dansk Byggeri

Danish Construction Association

Dansk Metal

Danish Metalworkers’ Union

Danske Malermestre

Danish Master Painters

DEF

Danish Union of Electricians

DHV

Danish Trade

DS H&I

DS Trade & Industry

HK Privat

Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees in Denmark

HVR

Federation of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

LO

Danish Confederation of Trade Unions

Malerforbundet

Danish Painters’ Union

Tekniq

Danish Mechanical and Electrical Contractors’ Association

EAKL

Estonian Trade Union Confederation

EE

EEAÜL

Association of Estonian Energy Workers’ Trade Unions

EEEL

Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs

EKT

Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

ETTA

Estonian Transport and Road Workers’ Trade Union

ETTK

Estonian Employers’ Confederation

GFBRP

Greek Federation of Builders and Related Professions

EL

GSEE

Greek General Confederation of Labour

HFOMD

Hellenic Federation of Operators of Machines and Drillers

PEDMEDE

Pan-Hellenic Association of Engineers Contractors of Public Works

SATE

Association of Greek Contracting Companies and Limited Liability Companies

STEAT

Association of Technical Companies of Higher Classes

CCOO

Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions

ES

CEOE

Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organisations

CEPYME

Spanish Confederation of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

CIG

Galician Inter-union Confederation

CNC

National Confederation of Construction

ELA-HAINBAT

Solidarity Confederation of Basque Workers’, Hainbat Federation

FCM-CIG

Federation of Construction and Wood of the Galician Inter-union Confederation

FECOMA-CCOO

Federation of Construction, Wood and Related Activities of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions

MCA-UGT

Federation of Metal, Construction and Related Activities of the General Workers’ Confederation

UGT-ES

General Workers’ Confederation

AKAVA

Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff

FI

CFCI RT

Confederation of Finish Construction Industries – Rakennusteollisuus

EK

Confederation of Finnish Industries

FCTU

Finnish Construction Trade Union

FEWU

Finish Electrical Workers’ Union

JHL

Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors

PALTA

Service Sector Employers PALTA

Pardia

Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia

Pro

Trade Union Pro

SAK

Confederation of Finnish Trade Unions

STTA

Electrical Employers Association

STTK

Finnish Confederation of Professionals

YTN

Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff

BATI-MAT-TP-CFTC

BATI-MAT-TP CFTC Federation

FR

CAPEB

Confederation of Craft and Small Firms in Construction

CFDT

French Democratic Confederation of Labour

CFE-CGC

French Confederation of Management – General Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff

CFE-CGC BTP

National Union of Managers and Technicians of the Building Construction, Civil Engineering and Related Activities Sectors

CFTC

French Christian Workers’ Confederation

CG SCOP

General Confederation of SCOP

CGPME

Confederation of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

CGT

General Confederation of Labour

FFB

French Building Federation

FFIE

French Electrical Contractors Association

FNCB-CFDT

National Federation of Construction and Wood – French Democratic Confederation of Labour

FNS Construction

National Federation of Employees of Construction, Wood and Furniture

FNTB

National Federation of Civil Engineering

FO

Force Ouvrière

FO Construction

FO Construction

FSCOP

Construction’s Cooperative Federation

MEDEF

Movement of the Enterprises of France

SNSO

National Association of Enterprises of Sub-trade

UPA

Union Professionnelle Artisanale

HU

EVOSZ

National Federation of Hungarian Contractors

IPOSZ

National Association of Craftsmen Boards

MSZOSZ

National Association of Hungarian Trade Unions

AECI

Association of Electrical Contractors of Ireland

IE

BATU

Building and Allied Trades’ Union

CIF

Construction Industry Federation

ECA

Electrical Contractors’ Association

IBEC

Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation

ICTU

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

OPATSI

Operative Plasterers and Allied Trades Society of Ireland

SIPTU

Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union

TEEU

Technical Engineering and Electrical Union

UCATT

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

AGCI

General Association of Italian Cooperatives

IT

AGCI SPL

General Association of Italian Cooperatives – Production and Work Sector

AGI

Association of General Enterprises

ANAEPA

National Association of Construction Artisans, Painters and Decorators and Related Activities

ANCE

National Association of Private Construction

ANIEM

National Association of Construction Enterprises

ANCPL

National Association of Production and Work Cooperatives

Casartigiani

Autonomous Confederation of Artisan Unions

CGIL

General Confederation of Italian Workers

CISL

Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions

CLAAI

Confederation of Free Associations Italian Artisans

CNA

National Confederation for the Craft Sector and SMEs

CNA UNIONE COSTRUZIONI

National Confederation Artisans Union Construction

Confartigianato Imprese

General Confederation of Artisans

Confcooperative

Confederation of Italian Cooperatives

CONFIMI IMPRESA

Confederation of Manufacturing Industries and Private Enterprises

Confindustria

General Confederation of Italian Industry

CONFSAL

General Trade Union Confederation of Autonomous Unions

FEDERLAVORO E SERVIZI

Federation of Production and Work Cooperatives

FENEAL

National Federation of Construction and Wood Workers

FESICA

Federation of Industrial, Commercial and Artisan Trade Unions

FIAE

Italian Federation of Construction Artisans

FILCA

Italian Federation of Construction Workers

FILLEA

Italian Federation of Wood and Construction

LEGACOOP

National League of Cooperatives

UGL

General Union of Work

UGL Costruzioni

General Union of Work – National Federation Construction

UIL

Italian Union of Workers

LPK

Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists

LT

LPSK

Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation

LSA

Lithuanian Builders’ Association

LSPS

Lithuanian Building Workers Trade Union

FDA

Federation of Craftsmen

LU

FEDIL

Business Federation Luxembourg

LCGB

Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Unions

LCGB-CA

Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Unions – Construction and Crafts

OGBL

Independent Luxembourg Union Federation

SB-OGBL

Trade Union of Construction, Crafts and Mechanic Construction of the Independent Luxembourg Union Federation

LBA

Latvian Construction Contractors’ Association

LV

LBAS

Free Trade Union Federation of Latvia

LCA

Latvian Builders Trade Union

LCDAA

Latvian Road Workers Trade Union

LDDK

Latvian Employers’ Confederation

LTRK

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

CMTU

Confederation of Malta Trade Unions

MT

FOBC

Federation of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors

GWU

General Workers’ Union

UHM

Malta Workers’ Union

AN

Builders’ Federation of the Netherlands

NL

Bouwend Nederland

Construction – Netherlands

CNV

Christian Federation of Trade Unions

CNV Vakmensen

Christian Federation of Trade Unions – Craftsmen

FNV

Federation of Dutch Trade Unions

FNV Bouw

Federation of Dutch Trade Unions – Construction

MKB-Nederland

Dutch Federation of SMEs

VNO-NCW

Confederation of Netherlands Industries and Employers

Budowlani

Budowlani

PL

KPB Uni-BUD

Korporacja Przedsiebiorcow Budowlanych

NSZZ Solidarnosc

Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity

OPZZ

All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions

SBiPD

National Secretariat of the Construction and Lumber Industry of NSZZ Solidarnosc

ZRP

Polish Crafts Association

AECOPS

Association of Companies in Construction, Public Works and Services

PT

AEP

Entrepreneurial Association of Portugal

AICCOPN

Association of Construction and Public Works Industries

AICE

Association of Construction Industries

CGTP-IN

General Confederation of Portuguese Workers – Intersindical Nacional

FEPICOP

Portuguese Federation of Construction and Public Works Industry

FEVICCOM

Portuguese Federation of Construction, Ceramics and Glass Unions

SETACCOP

Union of Construction, Public Works and Services

SQTD

Union of Structural Draftsmen

UGT-PT

General Union of Workers

ACPR

Alliance of Employer Confederations of Romania

RO

ARACO

Romanian Association of Building Entrepreneurs

CNS Cartel Alfa

National Trade Union Confederation Cartel Alfa

FGS Familia

General Trade Unions Federation Familia – Anghel Saligny

UNPR

Romanian Employer Association, Construction Branch

Almega T

Almega Service Union

SE

BI

Swedish Construction Federation

Byggnads

Swedish Building Workers’ Union

EIO

Electrical Installers’ Organisation

Elektrikerna

The Electricians

Företagarna

Swedish Federation of Business Owners

GBF

Glass Industry Employers’ Association

GS

Swedish Union for Forestry, Wood and Graphical Workers

Ledarna

Sweden’s Organisation for Managers

LO

Swedish Trade Union Confederation

Malaremästarna

Employers’ Association for Swedish Painting Contractors

PE

Painting Enterprises

PLR

Employers’ Association of Swedish Plate Works

SACO

Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations

SAGE

Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers

SEKO

Union of Service and Communication Employees

SPU

Swedish Painters’ Union

ST

Union of Civil Servants

Svenskt Näringsliv

Confederation of Swedish Enterprises

TCO

Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees

TJ

Association for Traffic and Railway

TMF

Employers’ Association of the Woodprocessing and Furniture Industry

VVS Företagen

Swedish Association of Plumbing and HVAC Contractors

Unionen

Trade Union for Professionals in the Private Sector

GZS

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

SI

GZS-ZGIGM

Chamber of Construction and Building Materials Industry of Slovenia within the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

OZS

Chamber of Craft of Slovenia

SDGD

Trade Union of Workers of the Construction Sector of Slovenia

SG-OZS

Chamber of Craft of Slovenia – Construction Workers’ Section

ZDS

Association of Employers of Slovenia

ZGIGM

Chamber of Construction and Building Materials Industry of Slovenia

ZSSS

Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia

IOZ

Integrated Trade Union Association

SK

KOZ SR

Confederation of Trade Unions

RUZ SR

National Union of Employers

ZSPS

Association of Construction Entrepreneurs of Slovakia

CBI

Confederation of British Industry

UK

CECA

Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association

CSEU

Confederation of Engineering and Ship Building Unions

ECA

Electrical Contracting Association

ECIA

Engineering Construction Industry Association

FMB

Federation of Master Builders

GMB

General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union

HBF

Home Builders Federation

LGA

Local Government Association

NASC

National Access & Scaffolding Confederation

NFB

National Federation of Builders

NFRC

National Federation of Roofing Contractors

PDA

Painting & Decorating Association

SBF

Scottish Building Federation

SELECT

Select Trade Union

TICA

Thermal Insulation Contractors Association

TUC

Trades Union Congress

UCATT

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

UKCG

UK Contractors Group

UNITE

Unite Trade Union

Europe

AIE

European Association of Electrical Contractors

CEC

European Managers

CECOP

European Confederation of Workers’ Co-operatives, Social Cooperatives and Social & Participative Enterprises

CEEP

European Centre of Employers and Enterprises Providing Public Services

CEI-Bois

European Confederation of Woodworking Industries

CENELEC

European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation

CESI

European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions

EACD

European Association of Building Crafts and Design

EBC

European Builders Confederation

EBTS

European Breakdown Tyre and Technical Services

EDA

European Demolition Association

EFBWW

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers

EFFAT

European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

EFFC

European Federation of Foundation Contractors

EFIC

European Furniture Industries Confederation

EFJ

European Federation of Journalists

EFTC

European Federation of Timber Construction

EIC

European International Contractors

EiiF

European Industrial Insulation Foundation

EPSU

European Federation of Public Service Unions

ERMCO

European Ready Mixed Concrete Organisation

ETF

European Transport Workers’ Federation

EUF

Federation of European Tile-fixers’ associations

EUFA P+F

Association for the Promotion of Professional Training for Parquet Laying and other Floor Covering Techniques in Europe

Eurocadres

Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff

Eurociett

European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies

Eurofedop

European Federation of Public Service Employees

EUROFM

European Facility Management Network

EURO WEA

European Workers' Education Associations

EuroWindoor

EuroWindoor – umbrella of fenestration and door sector associations

FAECF

Federation of the European Window and Curtain Walling Manufacturers’ Associations

FEANI

European Federation of National Engineering Associations

FECC

European Association of Chemical Distributors

FEMIB

Federation of the European Building Joinery Associations

FERPA

European Confederation of Retired and Older Persons

FESI

European Federation of Associations of Insulation Contractors

FIEC

European Construction Industry Federation

GCI-UICP

European Technical Contractors Committee for the Construction Industry

IFD

International Federation of the Roofing Trade

IndustriAll Europe

IndustriAll European Trade Union

SCECBU

Standing Committee of European Central Bank Unions

UEAPME

European Association of Craft, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

UEEP

European Confederation of National Plastering Drywall Installation Associations

UEG

Association of Scaffolding Enterprises in Europe

UEPC

European Union of Developers and House Builders

UEMV

European Glass and Glazing Association

UNI Europa

Union Network International – Europe

UNIEP

International Association of Painting Contractors

VEUKO

European Confederation of Associations of Tiled Stove Manufacturing and Stove Setting Craft

 

Annex 2: Country groups and codes

Country groups

EU15     15 EU Member States prior to enlargement in 2004

EU27     Current 28 EU Member States except for Croatia

Country codes

The order of the countries follows the EU protocol based on the alphabetical order of the geographical names of countries in the original language.

BE

Belgium

BG

Bulgaria

CZ

Czech Republic

DK

Denmark

DE

Germany

EE

Estonia

IE

Ireland

EL

Greece

ES

Spain

FR

France

IT

Italy

CY

Cyprus

LV

Latvia

LT

Lithuania

LU

Luxembourg

HU

Hungary

MT

Malta

NL

Netherlands

AT

Austria

PL

Poland

PT

Portugal

RO

Romania

SI

Slovenia

SK

Slovakia

FI

Finland

SE

Sweden

UK

United Kingdom

 

 

EF/15/35

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Añadir nuevo comentario