Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Metal sector – Slovenia

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Dialogue social,
  • Employee representation,
  • Social partners,
  • Relations industrielles,
  • Published on: 22 Décembre 2010



About
Country:
Slovenia
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The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the metal sector in Slovenia. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.

  1. Sectoral properties

The metal sector in Slovenia employs almost 20% of workers and makes about 15% of Slovenian GDP. In 1996-2007 the number of employees decreased by 30%, however Slovenian companies were successful in finding market niches.

Slovenia has all the characteristics of an industrial country with 38% of all workers employed in industry, and industrial products accounting for more than 80 % of the total exports of goods and services. Companies pertaining to the metal industry employ over 100,000 people and the metal industry’s share of Slovenian exports amounts to around 70%.

Within the Slovenian metal industry some large and medium-sized companies are strengthening their markets by focusing on products and facilities, and even developing on an international level. A number of companies operate in market niches of special machinery and metal products, and their flexible production enables them to meet changing customer requirements and demands.

A large number of companies have strengthened their position as reliable and responsive suppliers to some of Europe’s leading automobile manufacturers, as well as machine-building, construction and other industrial production companies.

The economic crisis has posed a serious threat and has already led to job losses. In 2009 the industry extended an existing collective agreement with a coverage ratio of 100%. Social dialogue exists only at bipartite level.

Please provide the following data:

1996 2007**

Number of employers

(Note: if the number of employers is not available, please indicate the form of the unit [e.g. companies, establishments, etc.] the number refers to)

8,869

8,252

Aggregate employment*

145,403

102,996

Male employment*

n.a.

74,745

Female employment*

n.a.

28,251

Aggregate employees

125,568

92,731

Male employees

n.a.

65,744

Female employees

n.a.

26,987

Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy

18.9

12.3

Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy

19.8

13.1

*Employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers. **Or most recent data.

Sources: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS), Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES).

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

1. trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining; (In line with the conceptual remarks outlined in the accompanying briefing note, we understand sector-related collective bargaining as any kind of collective bargaining within the sector, i.e. single-employer bargaining as well as multi-employer bargaining. For the definition of single- and multi-employer bargaining, see 4.2)

2. trade unions which are a member of the sector-related European federation, namely the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF);

3. employer associations that are party to sector-related collective bargaining;

4. employer associations (business associations) that are members of the sector-related European business federation, namely the Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries (CEEMET).

Please see the list of EMF and CEEMET affiliates in the accompanying ANNEX. For the notion of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks in the accompanying background briefing note. Please be reminded that trade unions and employer associations should be excluded where their domain covers, for instance, only steel manufacturing activities according to NACE C24.10, but not any part of metal manufacturing activities according to NACE C24.40 to C30.99! 

2a Data on the trade unions

The sector-related trade unions include:

• Metal and Electro Industries Trade Union of Slovenia (SKEI)

• Metal, Electro and Metallurgy Industries Trade Union (SKEM)

• Independent Trade Union of Slovenia – Trade Union of the Metal Industry (NSS-SKI)

• Trade Union of the Metal, Electro and Electronic Industry (KS90- SKEIE)

• Workers' Trade Union of Slovenia-Solidarity for the activity of manufacturing motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (ZDSS-SDPMVPP)

2a.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Voluntary

2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. white-collar workers, private-sector workers, employees in the metal industry, etc.)

For all trade unions, members are formally demarcated as metal, metallurgy, foundry and electrical employees, as well as employees connected with the production and processing of metal, electrical and steel products.

For ZDSS-SDPMVPP members are demarcated as employees of sectors C29 – manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers and C30 – manufacture of other transport equipment.

2a.3 Number of trade union members (i.e. the total number of members of the trade union as a whole)

• SKEI: About 42,000

• SKEIE: No data available

• SKEM: About 10,000

• NSS-SKI: About 6,000

• ZDSS-SDPMVPP: About 2,300

2a.4 Number of trade union members in the sector

• SKEI: About 12,000

• SKEIE: No data available

• SKEM: About 3,000

• NSS-SKI: About 2,000

• ZDSS-SDPMVPP: About 2,300

2a.5 Female trade union members as a percentage of total union membership

• SKEI: About 40%

• SKEIE: No data available

• SKEM: About 50%

• NSS-SKI: About 30%

• ZDSS-SDPMVPP: About 20%

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the trade union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the trade union domain (see 2a.2)

  • SKEI has a domain density of 40%
  • SKEIE: No data available.
  • SKEM: About 15%
  • NSS-SKI: About 8%
  • ZDSS-SDPMVPP: About 5%

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

  • SKEI has a domain density of 30%
  • SKEIE: No data available
  • SKEM: About 10%
  • NSS-SKI: About 5%
  • ZDSS-SDPMVPP: About 5%

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the trade union domain

Note: 2a.7 and 2a.8 differ if the union organises only a particular part of the sector.

SKEI has sectoral domain density of about 50%, with the remaining density shared among the SKEIE, SKEM and NSS-SKI.

  • has sectoral domain density of about 60%.

2a.9 Does the trade union conclude sector-related collective agreements?

For the notion of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks in the accompanying background briefing note.

Yes. All trade unions have entered into collective agreements, although only SKEI, SKEM and ZDSS-SDPMVPP are representative.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

Please document these data union by union.

SKEI is associated to the Union of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS).

SKEM is a member of Independence, Confederation of New Trade Unions of Slovenia (KNSS).

SKEIE is a member of the Confederation of Trade Unions ‘90 of Slovenia (KS90).

ZDSS-SDPMVPP is representative and is a member of the Confederation of Trade Unions Solidarity (SOLIDARNOST)

SKEI is a member of EMF.

2b Data on the employer associations

Most companies in the metal sector are members of two employer organisations: the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) and the Slovenian Employers’ Association (ZDS).

The biggest metal industry companies are members of the three metals associations within GZS – the Metal Processing Industry Association, the Electro Industry Association and the Association for Metal Materials.

ZDS is organised in accordance with the NACE classification of economic activities and has a section on metal that covers companies in the metal sector.

2b.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Voluntary

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. SMEs, small-scale crafts/industry, metalworking enterprises, etc.)

No formal demarcation of ZDS membership.

Members within GZS come from the following branches of economic activity, according to the NACE classification:

• Metal Processing Industry Association

• Electro Industry Association

• Association for Metal Materials

2b.3 Number of member companies (i.e. the total number of members of the association as a whole)

ZDS has about 1,500 members and their number is increasing.

According to the register of companies of GZS, there are 13,396 members, of whom 77 are members of the metal associations, 52 are members of the Association for Metal Materials and 183 are members of the Electro Industry Association.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

• Metal Processing Industry Association: 77 member companies

• Electro Industry Association: 52 member companies

• Association for Metal Materials: 183 member companies

• ZSD: 193 member companies

2b.5 Number of employees working in member companies (i.e. the total number of the association as a whole)

According to data from a GZS representative, the number of employees working in member companies amounts to about 290,000 workers.

The number of all employees working in all member companies of ZDS is about 205,000 workers.

2b.6 Number of employees working in member companies in the sector

According to GZS, about 55,000 employees work in member companies in the sector:

  • The Metal Association has 77 members employing about 10,000 workers;
  • The Association for Metal Materials has 52 members employing about 10,000 workers;
  • The Electro Industry Association has 183 members employing about 35,000 workers;
  • The ZDS metal section has 193 members employing about 52,000 workers.

2b.7 Domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in relation to the number of potential member companies as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

For GZS, the density ratio is about 3.5%:

• Metal Processing Industry Association: 1%

• Electro Industry Association: 9%

• Association for Metal Materials: 53%

For ZDS the density ratio is 2.3%.

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition2b.9 Sectoral domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Note: 2b.8 and 2b.9 differ if the employer association organises only a particular part of the sector.

2b.10 Domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in relation to the number of employees working in potential member companies, as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

GZS member companies represent 47.58% of all employees in the private sector, while ZDS member companies represent about 45%.

2b.11 Sectoral density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

For GZS, the density ratio is about 65%:

• Metal Processing Industry Association: 66%

• Electro Industry Association: 66%

• Association for Metal Materials: 60%

For ZDS the density ratio is 55%.

2b.12 Sectoral domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees working in companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Note: 2b.11 and 2b.12 differ if the employer association organises only a particular part of the sector.

For GZS, the density ratio is about 65%:

• Metal Processing Industry Association: 66%

• Electro Industry Association: 66%

• Association for Metal Materials: 60%

For ZDS the density ratio is 55%.

2b.13 Does the employer association conclude sector-related collective agreements?

For the notion of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks in the accompanying background briefing note.

Yes, both employer associations enter into collective agreements and they are signatories for the employer side to the sectoral collective agreements for the metal industry.

2b.14 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

Please document these data employer association by employer association.

ZDS is a member of the Confederation of European Business (BusinessEurope) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE).

Electro Industry Association and Association for Metal Materials under the name MPIA Slovenia is a member of ORGALIME.

GZS is an observer of CEEMET.

3. Inter-associational relationships

3.1. Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap.

The domains of all four trade unions overlap: SKEI, SKEM, NSS-SKI and SKEIE.

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

Initially, rivalry existed among the trade unions. However, for the past 10–12 years, the trade unions have preferred to cooperate closely to increase their effectiveness. Rules of cooperation – such as a code of conduct – have been drawn up between trade unions within companies. Common interests tend to be stronger and prevail over any particular interests of one trade union.

3.3. If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights? For what reason?

Not relevant.

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

No rivalries or competition exist between the employer associations in the sector. However, some tensions have arisen as companies have started to question the reason for membership of both voluntary organisations.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

To date, the sector has been covered by both employer associations (GZS and ZDS) and there was no rivalry or competition. In the future, some competition is expected between them.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

No. Under the new Collective Agreements Act, only associations with voluntary membership have the right to conclude collective agreements. Both GZS and ZDS are signatories.

3.7. Are there companies and/ or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No, most large companies are members of an employer association and participate in collective bargaining.

4. The system of collective bargaining

Collective agreements are defined in line with national labour law regardless of whether they are negotiated under a peace obligation.

The metal sector is covered by three branch collective agreements signed in 2005 and 2006, with several annexes.

Representatives of employers and employees in the metal industries sign annexes to their respective collective agreement, agreeing to raise the minimum wage. The collective bargaining coverage is 100% due to the extended validity of all collective agreements. Moreover, according to information from a representative of the trade unions, most large companies have a company collective agreement containing further rights.

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

An important characteristic of collective agreements in Slovenia is that they apply to all employees regardless of whether the workers are members of a trade union. This advantage is guaranteed to them by the fact that collective agreements at national level (activities and general) are only concluded by representative organisations of trade unions. The effect of a representative trade union’s actions is valid for all employees.

The employer uses the general collective agreement which, together with the law, sets out guaranteed minimum rights. Coverage of the sectoral collective agreement is 100%, as trade unions requested the extension of the collective agreement and it was established.

4.2. Estimate the relative importance of multi-employer agreements and of single-employer agreements as a percentage of the total number of employees covered. (Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employer association on behalf of the employer side. In the case of single-employer bargaining, it is the company or its subunit(s) which is the party to the agreement. This includes the cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement.)

There are three multi-employer agreements covering the metal sector in Slovenia:

  • A collective Agreement for basic metals and foundries of Slovenia concluded on 29 December 2005 ;
  • A collective Agreement for Slovenia's Metal Industry concluded on 9 November 2005
  • A collective Agreement for Slovenia's Electrical Industry concluded on 9 November 2005

The agreements cover all employees in the metal industry as the Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs established the extended validity to all employers engaged in any activity for which the collective agreements have been concluded (June, 2009).

4.2.1. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations?

Yes

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

The new Collective Agreements Act (2006) stipulates that only signatories of collective agreements are covered by the agreements, although it also envisages general validity. This means that a collective agreement covers all workers employed by the employer or employers for whom a collective agreement is valid if the collective agreement has been concluded by one or more representative trade unions.

A collective agreement for one or more branches of activity – signed by one or more representative associations of trade unions and one or more representative associations of employers – can be extended by the Minister for Labour, Family and Social Affairs at the request of one of the parties to the collective agreement. The minister decides on the extension of the agreement or part of it if the signatories represent more than half of the workers employed in the companies that would be affected by the extension.

So far there are only four cases where collective agreements have been extended. The three listed above and the applicability of the entire collective agreement for Slovenia’s Trade Sector as well as its wage annex, concluded on 10 October 2006, which has been extended to all employers engaged in activity G – trade, repair of motor vehicles and household goods.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2007 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered.

* Only wage agreements which are (re)negotiated on a reiterated basis.

For the notion of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks in the accompanying briefing note. Please be reminded that agreements should be excluded where their purview covers, for instance, only steel manufacturing activities according to NACE C24.10, but not any part of metal manufacturing activities according to NACE C24.40 to C30.99! In case of regionally differentiated, parallel agreements, an aggregate answer explaining the pattern may be given.

There are no sector-related multi-employer wage agreements in Slovenia.

At national level, there is a collective agreement on the special wage adjustment for 2007 and a collective agreement on the wage adjustment method, reimbursement of work-related expenses and other personal income for the 2008–2009 period, signed in June 2008, which also covers employees in the metal sector.

All employees in the metal industry are covered by extended collective agreements:

  • Electrical Industry collective agreement, concluded on 9 November 2005;
  • For metal products and foundry industry concluded on 29 December 2005;
  • For Slovenia's metal industry concluded on 9 November 2005.

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2007 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered
Bargaining parties Purview of the agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial

GZS, ZDS

SKEI, SKEM, NSS-SKI, SKEIE

Collective Agreement for basic metals and foundries of Slovenia

C24 manufacture of basic metals

Slovenia

100

GZS, ZDS

SKEI, SKEM, NSS-SKI, SKEIE, ZDSS-SDPMVPP

Collective Agreement for Slovenia's Metal Industry

C25 –Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment;C29 – Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; C30 – Manufacture of other transport equipment.

Slovenia

100

GZS, ZDS

SKEI, SKEM, KS90-SKEIE

Collective Agreement for Slovenia's Electrical Industry

C26 Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products;

C27 Manufacture of electrical equipment;

C28 Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c.;

Slovenia

100

 

 

 

 

5. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

5.1. Are the sector’s employer associations and trade unions usually consulted by the authorities in sector-specific matters? If yes, which associations?

According to representatives of the trade unions and employer associations, they are rarely consulted by the authorities in sector-specific matters.

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

No

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6.1. In the case of the trade unions, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a trade union must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

The Collective Agreements Act defines general rules for concluding collective agreements and does not limit the right to conclude collective agreements only to representative trade unions. However, parties which are representative may be seen as more serious partners in the bargaining procedures, be more respected and have a greater influence.

The Law on Representative Trade Unions (LRTU) (SI0210102F), dating from 1993, stipulates that representative trade unions shall sign contracts with general validity. Furthermore, it defines representative trade unions as those that fulfil the following general requirements:

  • are democratic, have open membership, ensure the functional freedom of the union and put membership rights and obligations into effect;
  • have been operating without interruption for at least the last six months;
  • are independent of state bodies and employers;
  • finance themselves primarily through membership fees and their own sources;
  • have a certain number of members.

An association or confederation of trade unions – which covers the territory of the state and includes trade unions from different branches, activities or professions – has to represent at least 10% of the workers from individual branches, activities or professions. While those trade unions that are not members of an association or confederation can also be representative, they should represent at least 15% of the workers in individual branches, activities, professions, municipalities or wider local communities. The same applies to a trade union within an organisation.

6.2. In the case of the trade unions, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a trade union must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

In order for the social partners to participate in the tripartite Economic and Social Council of Slovenia (ESSS) (SI0207103F) and to be entitled to be consulted on matters of public policy, trade unions must meet the criteria of representativeness.

The representative trade union confederations are as follows: ZSSS, KNSS, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Slovenia Pergam (Pergam), KS 90, the Union of Workers’ Trade Unions of Slovenia – Solidarity (Solidarnost), the Slovenian Association of Trade Unions – Alternativa (SZS Alternativa) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions of Slovenia (KSJS) (SI0712029I).

6.3. Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

No

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

The Chambers of Commerce Act defines the criteria of representativeness of the Chambers of Commerce: a chamber of commerce is representative when it has members whose sales amount to at least 10% of the sales of the whole economy for the last fiscal year and when it has members which represent at least 5% of companies that could be members of the Chamber of Commerce. However, these representativeness criteria do not refer to collective bargaining and tripartite consultation.

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

In order for the social partners to participate in the ESSS and to be entitled to be consulted on matters of public policy, employer organisations must meet the criteria of representativeness. A regulation setting out the criteria of employer organisations’ representativeness for the purposes of concluding collective agreements and representation on tripartite bodies is therefore another urgent issue which the government must address (SI0807029I).

The representative employer associations are as follows: GZS, ZDS and the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia (OZS), the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (TZS) and the Slovenian Association of Employers in Craft and Small Business (ZDODS).

6.6. Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No

7. Commentary

Please give your views on the issue of representativeness in the sector, especially on jurisdictional disputes and recognition problems, and indicate any specificities or other problems which refer to representativeness in this sector in your country.

The social partners in the metal sector maintain constant communication and cooperation within the negotiation group. According to representatives of the trade unions and employer associations, social dialogue in the sector is proceeding as normal, although some smaller tensions have arisen in the form of strike threats. Negotiations are proceeding at both company and national levels and they are bringing satisfactory results for all parties.

The good position of the industry and its production output positively influences social dialogue. Most of the big companies have company collective agreements that substantially upgrade the rights of employees. However the picture is changing as the global economic downturn has taken its heaviest toll on metal and electronic industries in Slovenia.

Some major reorganisations have taken place in the industry. For instance, GZS has been transformed into a voluntary association and it is expected that membership of GZS will decline or that companies will question the rationality of being a member of both employer organisations (ZDS and GZS).

8. List of consulted organisations and individuals

Please list all organisations and individuals you have consulted in order to fill in the questionnaire.

PLEASE INDICATE AUTHOR, ORGANISATION AND FILL METADATA ACCORDINGLY 

Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije

Mr. Janez Renko, Združenje za elektroindustrijo

MS. Janja Petkovsek, Metal Processing Industry Association

Mr. Martin Debelak, Association for Metal Materials

Ms. Maja Kljucevsek, Združenje delodajalcev Slovenije, Sekcija za kovine

Ms. Lidija Jerkic, SKEI

Mr. Milan Skafar, SKEM

Mr.Vladimir Pajek, NSS-SKI

Mr.Ljubomir Ocvirk, KS90-SKEIE

Mr.Slavko Pungersic, ZDSS-SDPMVPP

Bogumila Plachtej, Faculty of Social Science, Centre for Organisational and Human Resources Research

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