Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Commerce

  • National Contribution:

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Industrijski odnosi,
  • Representativeness,
  • Socijalni dijalog,
  • Social partners,
  • Date of Publication: 10 svibnja 2011



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This study aims to provide the necessary information for encouraging sectoral social dialogue in the commerce sector. The study comprises three parts: a summary of the sector’s economic background; an analysis of the social partner organisations in all the EU Member States, with special emphasis on their membership; their role in collective bargaining and public policy, and their national and European affiliations; and finally, an analysis of the relevant European organisations,particularly their membership composition and their capacity to negotiate. The EIRO series of representativeness studies aims to identify the relevant national and supranational social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in selected sectors. The impetus for these studies arises from the goal of the European Commission to recognise the representative social partner organisations to be consulted under the EC Treaty provisions. Hence, this study is designed to provide the basic information required to establish sectoral social dialogue.

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

Download the full report (384KB PDF)

National contributions may be available


Objectives of study

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the relevant national and supranational associational actors – that is the trade unions and employer organisations – in the field of industrial relations in the commerce sector, and to show how these actors relate to the sector’s European interest associations of labour and business. The impetus for this study, and for similar studies in other sectors, arises from the aim of the European Commission to identify the representative social partner associations to be consulted under the provisions of the EC Treaty. Hence, this study seeks to provide basic information needed to set up sectoral social dialogue. The effectiveness of the 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 European associations which meet this precondition will be admitted to the European social dialogue.

Against this background, the study will first identify the relevant national social partner organisations in the commerce sector, subsequently analysing the structure of the sector’s relevant European organisations, in particular their membership composition. This involves clarifying the unit of analysis at both the national and European level of interest representation. The study includes only organisations whose membership domain is ‘sector-related’ (Table 1).

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

Scope

Question in the standardised questionnaire to all correspondents

Possible answers

Notes and Explanations

Domain of the organisation within the sector

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

Yes/No

This question has not been asked directly in the questionnaire, but is considered to be ‘yes’ if all of the five following sub-questions are ‘yes’. It is considered to be ‘no’, if at least one of the following sub-questions is answered with ‘no’.

   

.

...cover 'basically all' groups of employees (min.: blue collar, white collar) in the commerce sector?

Yes/No

This question refers to the organisation’s scope of the sector with regard to different types of employment contracts. As the contractual forms are rather heterogeneous, the minimum requirement to answer this question with ‘yes’ would be the fact that both blue-collar and white-collar workers are potentially covered by the organisation’s domain.

...cover the 'whole' commerce sectorin terms of economic activities, (i.e. including all sub-activities)

Yes/No

This question refers to the economic sub- activities of the NACE code chosen. In the spreadsheet part of the questionnaire, correspondents have been provided a detailed breakdown of sub-activities down to the four-digit level.

… cover employees in all types of companies (all types of ownership: private, public…) in the commerce sector?

Yes/No

This question refers to ownership. Some organisations might limit for instance their domain to domestically owned, or to public sector companies/employees only.

… cover employees in enterprises of all sizes in the commerce sector?

Yes/No

Often, organisations limit their domain to enterprises by size class (such as SMEs only).

...cover all occupations in the commerce sector?

Yes/No

Some organisations (notably trade unions) delimit their domain to certain occupations only. This sub-question intends to identify these occupational organisations.

Domain of the organisation outside the sector

Does the union also represent members outside the commerce sector?

Yes/No

This question is again being asked directly to the correspondents.

Source: Standardised Excel-based questionnaire, sent to EIRO National correspondents.

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

As regards the national-level associations, classification as a sector-related social partner organisation implies fulfilling one of two criteria. The association must be either:

  • a party to ‘sector-related’ collective bargaining;
  • or a member of a ‘sector-related’ European association of business or labour on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations consulted under Article 154 of the EC Treaty;
  • or it must participate in the sector-related European Social Dialogue.

Taking affiliation to a European social partner organisation as a sufficient criterion for determining a national association as a social partner, implies that such an association may not be involved at all in industrial relations in its own country. Hence, this selection criterion may seem odd at first glance. However, if a national association is a member of a European social partner organisation, it becomes involved in industrial relations matters through its membership in the European organisation.

Furthermore, it is important to assess whether the national affiliates to the European social partner organisations are engaged in industrial relations in their respective countries. Affiliation to a European social partner organisation and involvement in national collective bargaining are of utmost importance to the European social dialogue, since these are the two constituent mechanisms that can systematically connect the national and European levels.

In terms of the selection criteria for the European organisations, this report includes those sector-related European social partner organisations that are on the Commission’s list of consultation.

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

Thus, the aim of identifying the sector-related national and European social partner organisations applies both a ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approach.

Definitions

For the purpose of this study, the commerce 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. More specifically, the commerce sector is defined as embracing NACE (Rev. 2) 45, 46 and 47.

This includes the following activities:

NACE Rev. 2  
45

Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles  

46

Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

47

Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

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

Figure 1: Sector relatedness of social partner organisations: Domain patterns

Figure 1: Sector relatedness of social partner organisations: Domain patterns
Table 2: Pattern and scope of an organisation’s domain
Domain pattern Domain of organisation within the sector Domain of organisation outside the sector
 

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

Does the union/employer organisation also represent members outside the commerce sector?

Congruence (C)

Yes

No

Sectionalism (S)

No

No

Overlap (O)

Yes

Yes

Sectional overlap (SO)

No

Yes

Note: The domain pattern results from the answers to the questions on the scope of the domain derived in Table 1.

At European level, the European Commission established a sectoral social dialogue committee for the commerce sector in 1999. The Retail, Wholesale and International Trade Representation to the EU (EuroCommerce) on the employers’ side, as well as the UNI Global Union Europa-Section Commerce (UNI Europa-Commerce) on the employees’ side, participate in the sector’s European social dialogue. Thus, affiliation to one of these European organisations is a sufficient criterion for classifying a national association as a social partner organisation for the purpose of this study. However, it should be noted that the constituent criterion is one of sector-related membership. This is important, in particular, in the case of UNI Europa due to its multi-sectoral domain. Thus, the study will include only the organisations affiliated to UNI Europa-Commerce whose domain relates to the commerce sector.

Collection of data

The collection of quantitative data, such as those on membership, is essential for investigating the representativeness of the social partner organisations. Unless cited otherwise, this study draws on country studies provided by the EIRO national centres, based on a standard questionnaire in both Word and Excel format, which they complete through contacting the sector-related social partner organisations in their countries. The contact is generally made via telephone interviews in the first place, but might also be established via email. In case of non-availability of any representative, the national correspondents are asked to fill out the relevant questionnaires based on secondary sources, such as information given on the social partner’s website, or derived from previous research studies.

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

In principle, quantitative data may stem from three sources:

  • official statistics and representative survey studies;
  • administrative data, such as membership figures provided by the respective organisations, which are then used 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 figures cited in the report are generally statistics, 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 will not be considered in this overview report. However, these organisations can still be found in the national contributions, which will be published together with the overview report.

Quality assurance

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

  • First, staff of the European Foundation, together with the report’s author, check the figures provided for consistency, and make sure that the organisations listed correspond to the definition relevant for the scope of this study (see above).
  • Second, the European Foundation sends the national contributions to both their national members of governing board, as well as to the European-level sector-related social partners’ 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. The report then analyses the relevant social partner organisations in all EU Member States, with the exception of Finland and Latvia which have not been part of the EIRO network (and thus have not provided any data) since March 2010. The study therefore covers 25 European countries. In the cases of Finland and Latvia, only those sector-related social partner organisations are considered which could be identified by applying the ‘top-down’ approach (see above). The third part of the analysis considers the representative associations at European level.

Each section will contain a brief introduction explaining the concept of representativeness in greater detail, followed by the study findings. As representativeness is a complex issue, it requires separate consideration at national and European level for two reasons. Firstly, the method applied by national regulations and practices to capture representativeness has to be taken into account. Secondly, 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 criteria for adequate representativeness is a matter for political decision rather than an issue of research analysis.


Economic background

Commerce in Europe, covers – according to Eurostat’s Structural Business Statistics (2008) – more than six million companies and, according to Eurostat’s Labour Force Survey (LFS, 2010) employs about 24.5 million people in the EU-27. Part of the growth in jobs in 2000–2010 were however lost during the economic crisis, particularly in the Baltic countries, Ireland, Spain and Bulgaria. While one out of seven workers in the EU-27 is currently employed in commerce, the sector generates about 11% of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP). These figures suggest that commerce is a relatively labour-intensive but lower-than-average productive sector, which is also reflected in lower-than-average pay. In terms of company structure, the sector is characterised by a predominance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) – according to EuroCommerce, over 95% of these companies are SMEs.

Employment characteristics

The share of self-employed persons among all sectoral workers is supposed to amount to almost 25%. With regard to the employees, part of the sector’s growth is attributable to the increasing incidence of part-time work and other forms of atypical work. About half of the workers within EU commerce are women, although there are marked differences between the individual countries. In line with a relatively high proportion of (poorly skilled) women employees, young workers and the non-standard type of employment in this sector, the fluctuation of workers in commerce is high. The three subsectors of commerce differ, however, in their work-force composition, as well as in their contractual arrangements: Although there is a predominance of female workers and more atypical contractual forms of employment in the retail sector, in the wholesale sector as well as that of the sale, trade and repair of motor vehicles and cycles, there is a predominance of men, who generally, are more likely to have standard employment contracts, including full-time work. Countries often differ in this regard, as well as in the way the sector deals with working time arrangements. This can be seen, for instance, in the country reports on the commerce sector for Denmark, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania and the United Kingdom, which were conducted within Eurofound’s stakeholder enquiry service. The way the commerce sector organises working time (flexibility) is rather a matter of tradition within the country itself, rather than a ‘sector-specific’ pattern observable for Europe. This can be seen in the Eurofound report Industrial relations, social dialogue and working time: The commerce sector in Europe.

Long term trends

Over the past decades, EU commerce has undergone a process of increasing economic internationalisation, often accompanied by national deregulation initiatives (for instance regarding the liberalisation of the shop opening hours and the relaxation of working time regulations). Many large, multi-national chains, attracted by developing markets in the middle and east European countries, have established outlets there. This development, along with some technological innovations such as the introduction of self-scanning systems and the expansion of e-commerce, have further intensified competition and compelled the companies to advance new competitive management strategies. As a result, a considerable movement towards market concentration has been observed in many countries, often accompanied by pressures for restructuring and deregulation of employment. According to organised labour, all these developments have had a problematic impact on the sector’s working conditions, in particular in the retail segment, especially as regards job security, quality of work, working hours regulations and remuneration Indeed, in order to investigate this aspect further, Eurofound plans to launch a further comparative study on working conditions in the commerce sector in Europe through its European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO) in 2011.

Tables 3 and 4 give an overview of the development from the late 1990s to the late 2000s (before the economic crisis), presenting figures on companies, employment and employees in the sector and in relation to the national economy, mainly stemming from national sources. These figures have been collected through the national centres. In most Member States (12 out of 18), for which related data are available, the number of companies more or less increased, reflecting the general expansion of the sector in most countries. By contrast, in six countries, the number of companies slightly decreased. These decreases at least partially appear to be attributable to a general trend of market concentration, at the expense of SMEs, which can be observed in almost all EU Member States. Apart from that, the outstandingly high number of more than six million companies within the sector across the EU is attributable to the fact that many of these companies are just one-person establishments without any employee. In several countries, this category of enterprise – despite market concentration – still constitutes the majority of the sector’s companies.

Table 1: Total employers and employment in commerce, 1998 and 2008
Country Year Number of Companies Total Employment Female Employment Male Employment Total sectoral employment as % of total employment in economy

AT

1998

64.039

578.300

313.000

265.200

16

AT

2008

72.874

661.300

353.500

307.800

16

BE

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

2008

56.881

726.138

311.226

414.912

n.a.

BG

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BG

2008

128.702

530.000

283.100

246.900

16

CY

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

17

CY

2008

19.629

71.500

n.a.

n.a.

18

CZ

1998

575.682

598.880

337.620

261.260

12

CZ

2008

678.197

612.750

323.540

289.210

12

DE

1998

n.a.

5.155.000

2.719.000

2.433.000

14

DE

2007

733.772

5.289.000

2.778.000

2.511.000

13

DK

1998

48.668

410.363

164.751

245.612

15

DK

2009

48.529

449.851

196.207

253.644

16

EE

1998

10.704

83.200

47.600

35.600

14

EE

2008

13.635

92.500

54.800

37.700

14

ES

1998

786.384

2.276.800

956.500

1.320.200

16

ES

2008

843.212

3.211.600

1.562.500

1.649.100

16

FR

2000

625.349

3.013.546

1.808.128

1.205.418

12

FR

2007

656.616

3.451.600

1.587.736

1.863.270

13

GR

1998

74.797

674.827

254.522

420.305

17

GR

2008

106.983

886.783

363.150

503.633

19

HU

1998

167.742

476.100

254.000

222.100

13

HU

2008

150.006

576.400

303.800

272.600

15

IE

1998

n.a.

215.300

99.700

115.600

14

IE

2008

n.a.

303.200

156.800

146.500

14

IT

1996

1.227.679

2.979.637

1.223.494

1.756.143

14

IT

2007

1.233.709

3.512.353

1.442.237

2.070.116

15

LT

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

2008

22.583

270.100

148.800

121.300

18

LU

1998

7.392

21.900

9.700

12.200

10

LU

2007

7.113

18.800

8.200

10.500

10

MT

2001

11.392

20.653

6.511

14.142

14

MT

2008

16.030

24.700

8.100

16.600

15

NL

1998

166.925

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

NL

2008

159.830

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PL

1998

1.060.500

2.106.400

n.a.

n.a.

13

PL

2008

1.097.200

2.325.900

1.267.200

1.058.700

15

PT

1998

225.827

727.279

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PT

2008

266.231

830.006

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

RO

1998

222.017

925.894

504.464

421.430

9

RO

2008

216.290

1.166.400

634.400

532.000

12

SE

1998

68.338

472.574

205.724

266.850

12

SE

2008

70.854

551.919

247.533

304.386

12

SI

2000

30.254

111.000

56.000

55.000

12

SI

2007

22.980

117.000

63.000

54.000

12

SK

1999

23.993

265.400

152.400

113.100

12

SK

2008

40.083

292.300

172.800

119.400

12

UK

1998

n.a.

4.208.859

2.144.672

2.064.187

16

UK

2008

231.638

4.096.514

2.022.039

2.074.475

14

Source: EIRO national centres, national statistics. For detailed description of sources please refer to the national reports.

Table 2: Total employees in commerce, 1998 and 2008

Country

Year

Total Employees

Female Employees

Male Employees

Total sectoral employees as % of total employees in economy

AT

1998

508,200

286,900

221,200

16

AT

2008

592.700

332.100

260.600

17

BE

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

2008

482.029

231.847

250.182

14

BG

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BG

2008

419.100

192.311

226.789

14

CY

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CY

2008

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CZ

1998

439.910

275.370

164.540

11

CZ

2008

463.250

273.050

190.200

11

DE

1998

4.262.690

2.167.931

2.094.759

15

DE

2007

4.107.861

2.111.638

1.996.223

15

DK

1998

365.275

149.619

215.656

15

DK

2009

421.870

187.039

234.831

16

EE

1998

71.600

42.800

28.800

13

EE

2008

83.600

51.700

31.900

14

ES

1998

1.430.100

612.500

817.600

13

ES

2008

2.351.700

1.208.700

1.142.900

14

FR

2000

2.522.116

1.513.270

1.008.846

12

FR

2007

3.078.400

1.416.064

1.662.336

13

GR

1998

295.912

121.826

174.086

13

GR

2008

443.541

216.494

227.047

15

HU

1998

285.500

n.a.

n.a.

11

HU

2008

365.300

n.a.

n.a.

13

IE

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IE

2008

266.600

145.000

121.600

15

IT

1996

1.251.727

586.632

665.095

8

IT

2007

1.907.362

893.901

1.013.461

11

LT

1998

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

2008

235.200

133.400

101.800

17

LU

1998

18.900

9.000

9.900

10

LU

2007

17.500

7.600

9.900

10

MT

2001

13.102

4.811

8.291

11

MT

2008

17.800

6.900

10.900

13

NL

1998

1.137.000

531.000

606.000

15

NL

2008

1.286.000

612.000

674.000

15

PL

1998

1.321.100

n.a.

n.a.

13

PL

2008

1.782.600

n.a.

n.a.

15

PT

1998

443.380

195.114

248.266

n.a.

PT

2008

569.868

276.502

293.366

n.a.

RO

1998

737.834

445.969

291.865

11

RO

2008

1.000.100

582.500

417.600

16

SE

1998

472.574

205.724

266.850

12

SE

2008

551.919

247.533

304.386

12

SI

2000

85.658

45.946

39.712

13

SI

2007

99.995

53.535

46.460

14

SK

1999

220.700

137.000

83.600

11

SK

2008

241.100

155.000

86.100

12

UK

1998

3.653.965

1.976.728

1.677.237

16

UK

2008

3.675.605

1.856.018

1.819.587

15

Source: EIRO national centres, national statistics. For detailed description of sources please refer to the national reports.

All countries with available data but two (Luxembourg and the UK) record an increase in overall employment from the late 1990s to the late 2000s. The same holds true of sectors – with only Germany and Luxembourg recording a slight decline. Almost one million jobs were created in Spain within a decade, even though some were lost during the crisis. Excepting Sweden, in all countries for which comparable data are available, the number of employees clearly falls short of the total number workforce. This indicates that the sector is characterised by a relatively high incidence of non-standard or self-employment. Tables 3 and 4 also show that women represent the majority of workers in the sector in about half of the countries. In countries for which data are available (Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia) female employment clearly exceeds male employment. Conversely, higher male employment is recorded in Denmark, Italy, Malta and Sweden, while the relationship between the sexes is largely balanced in Greece, Portugal, Spain and the UK. The tables also indicate that – as outlined earlier – the sector is particularly large and continued to grow in most countriesup to the late 2000s. Its share in aggregate employment is 12% or higher in all countries studied except Luxembourg. In a few countries, such as Cyprus and Greece, employment shares of the sector are extraordinarily high, peaking at 18% or 19%.

Recent developments

Over the past decades, although most countries have recorded considerable business expansion within the commerce sector, the impact of the global economic downturn on the sector as of the late 2000s varies. In most countries, both turnover and employment within the sector declined in the period 2007–2010, while an upward trend, at least in terms of turnover, is observable from 2009. A decrease in private consumption has directly led to sales stagnating or even shrinking, – a manifestation of people’s declining purchasing power in most countries. In some countries, the economic slowdown has been somewhat averted by special government support measures – for instance the car scrappage premium schemes as reported by Eurofound in December 2009: ‘Greening the European Economy’. However, increased levels of unemployment and considerable austerity measures in most Member States are expected to depress the already moderate prospects for the commerce sector for years to come.

Figure 2 shows that, overall in the European union, commerce has been severely hit by the crisis: While total employment (for those aged 15–64) peaked above 31 million at the end of 2008, it stood at 29.1 million in the first quarter 2011. The last two quarters for which data are available, however, show a strong upward trend again. Yet, the pre-crisis levels of employment have not been reached in third quarter of 2010.

Figure 2 Development of employment (workforce aged 15-64) during the crisis in the commerce sector, percentage change to quarter two of the previous year.

Figure 2 Development of employment (workforce aged 15-64) during the crisis in the commerce sector, percentage change to quarter two of the previous year.

Figure 3: Development of employment (workforce aged 15–64) during the crisis in the commerce sector, percentage change from quarter two of the previous year.

Figure 3: Development of employment (workforce aged 15–64) during the crisis in the commerce sector, percentage change from quarter two of the previous year.

Source: Eurostat, Labour force survey

Figure 3 indicates that the commerce sector in most EU states has been badly affected by the crisis, with employment declining significantly within two years. In the Baltic states, Ireland, Spain and Romania, the employment growth of the decade to 2008 was absorbed within a two-year period. Only in a few countries, such as Malta, Belgium and Poland has this sector been relatively unaffected. This very unfavourable economic situation has also affected the sector’s industrial relations in some countries. For instance, in Ireland the recession has led to widespread calls for pay freezes and restructurings. The trade unions, argue that employers are using the crisis as pretext to drive down wages and terms of employment. In 2009, Ireland’s most important employer organisation in this sector, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), withdrew from the national pay agreement, with many employers refused to pay levels set by this agreement. Smaller-scale disputes among the sectoral industrial relations actors caused by the downturn have also been reported in Austria (over the set-up of an arbitration board dealing with enterprises ignoring the collective agreement) and Belgium (over restructuring and companies evading wage increases).

National level of interest representation

In many Member States, statutory regulations explicitly refer to the concept of representativeness when assigning certain rights of interest representation and public governance to trade unions and employer organisations. The most important rights addressed by such regulations include:

  • formal recognition as a party to collective bargaining;
  • extension of the scope of a multi-employer collective agreement to employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisation;
  • participation in public policy and tripartite bodies of social dialogue.

Under these circumstances, representativeness is normally measured by the membership strength of the organisations. For instance, statutory extension provisions usually allow for 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, 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 policy-making constitutes another important component of representativeness. The effectiveness of European social dialogue tends to increase with the growing ability of the national affiliates of the European organisations to regulate the employment terms and influence national public policies affecting the sector.

A cross-national comparative analysis shows a generally positive correlation between the bargaining role of the social partners and their involvement in public policy (see Traxler, F., ‘The metamorphoses of corporatism: From classical to lean patterns’, in European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 43, Issue No. 4, 2004, pp. 571-598). 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 macro-economic terms, setting an incentive for the governments persistently to seek the cooperation of the social partner organisations. If single-employer bargaining prevails in a country, none of the collective agreements will have a noticeable effect on the economy due to their limited scope. As a result, the basis for generalised tripartite policy concertation will be absent.

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

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

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 commerce 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 earlier. A more detailed description of how an organisation may relate to the sector can be found in Figure 1 above and in the annex.

Regarding membership strength, a differentiation exists 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.

Furthermore, a difference also arises between trade unions and employer organisations in relation to measuring membership strength. Trade union membership simply means the number of unionised persons. However, in this context a clarification of the concept of ‘member’ should be made. Whereas in most countries recorded membership includes both employees in jobs and members who are not in active employment (such as unemployed persons and retired workers) some countries provide information on employed membership only. Hence, two measures of trade union density have to be differentiated: gross union density (including inactive members) and net union density (referring to employed union members only). In addition to taking the total membership of a trade union as an indicator of its strength, it is also reasonable to break down this membership total according to sex. However, measuring the membership strength of employer organisations is more complex since they organise collective entities, namely companies that employ employees. In this case, therefore, two possible measures of membership strength may be used – one referring to the companies themselves, and the other to the employees working in the member companies of an employer organisation.

For a sector study such as this, measures of membership strength of both the trade unions and employer organisations have also to consider how the membership domains relate to the sector. If a domain is not congruent with the sector demarcation, the organisation’s total density, that is 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 will first present the data on the domains and membership strength of the trade unions and will then consider those of the employer organisations.

This report basically distinguishes between three types of organisational densities, as defined in the following table, which are – depending on data availability – also broken down into net and gross rates.

Table 5: Definition of organisational density figures

Type of density

Definition

Breakdown

Domain density

Total number of employees (companies) organised by the organisation divided by potential number of employees (companies) as demarcated by the organisation’s domain

Net and gross;

Employees (for trade unions)

Companies and employees (for employer organisations)

Sectoral density

Number of employees (companies) organised by the organisation in the commerce sector divided by total number of employees (companies) in the sector.

Net and gross;

Employees (for trade unions)

Companies and employees (for employer organisations)

Sectoral domain density

Number of employees (companies) organised by the organisation in the commerce sector divided by potential number of employees (companies) in the commerce sector as demarcated by the organisation’s domain

Net and gross;

Employees (for trade unions)

Companies and employees (for employer organisations)

Trade unions

Tables 6 and 7 present the trade union data on their domains and membership strength. The tables list all trade unions which meet at least one of the two criteria for classification of a sector-related social partner organisation, as defined earlier.

Table 3: Domain coverage and membership of trade unions in commerce, 2009/10

Coun-try

Trade Union

Type of mem-bership

Domain coveragea

Membership

Members total

Members active

Members sector

Members sector active

Female member-ship (%) of total member-ship

AT

GPA-djp*

voluntary

sectional overlap

260.000

180.000

n.a.

20.000

44%

AT

Vida*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

155.049

21.139

3.328

33%

AT

VAAÖ

voluntary

sectionalism

n.a.

3.100

n.a.

3.100

80%

BE

BBTK/SETca*

voluntary

sectional overlap

382.291

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

CNE/GNC*

voluntary

sectional overlap

148.201

115.000

n.a.

16.000

65%

BE

LBC/NVK*

voluntary

sectional overlap

304.622

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

60%

BE

ACLVB/CGSLB*

voluntary

sectional overlap

259.367

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

MWB-FGTB*

voluntary

sectional overlap

90.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

ABVV-METAAL*

voluntary

sectional overlap

90.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

ACV-CSC METEA*

voluntary

sectional overlap

233.887

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

ACV-Voeding en Diensten/CSC-Alimentations et Services*

voluntary

sectional overlap

232.403

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

56%

BE

ABVV/FGTB Horval*

voluntary

sectional overlap

109.391

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BG

ITUFECCTCS

voluntary

sectional overlap

5.340

2.850

1.890

1.890

65%

BG

Podkrepa Services Union

voluntary

sectional overlap

2.850

1.890

n.a.

1.600

64%

CY

OIYK/SEK*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

7.568

n.a.

596

n.a.

CY

SEVETTYK/PEO*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

13.885

n.a.

1.569

n.a.

CZ

OSPO

voluntary

congruence

8.876

6.657

8.876

6.657

75%

DE

ver.di*

voluntary

overlap

2.806.496

n.a.

320.000

270.000

50%

DE

DHV*

voluntary

sectional overlap

77.180

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

30%

DE

IG Metall

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

17%

DK

HK

voluntary

sectional overlap

311.815

226.981

55.000

55.000

77%

DK

Fødevareforbundet, NNF

voluntary

sectional overlap

24.963

23.934

n.a.

5.000

32%

DK

Dansk Metal

voluntary

sectional overlap

125.758

91.613

n.a.

20.000

4%

DK

Fagligt Fælles Forbund, 3F

voluntary

sectional overlap

319.423

275.224

n.a.

n.a.

32%

DK

MFD

voluntary

sectional overlap

12.155

8.424

1.057

864

28%

EE

ETKA*

voluntary

overlap

1.002

n.a.

898

n.a.

96%

EE

ESTAL*

voluntary

overlap

1.875

1.575

98

78

67%

ES

FETICO*

voluntary

sectional overlap

63.037

56.537

49.913

49.413

60%

ES

FASGA*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

CHTJ-UGT*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

38.964

35.910

57%

ES

FIA-UGT*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

FITEQA-CCOO*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

FECOHT-CCOO*

voluntary

sectional overlap

114.989

103.713

47.504

n.a.

57%

ES

FSC-CCOO*

voluntary

sectional overlap

257.635

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

ELA-ZERBITZUAK *

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

PAM

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

PRO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

SEFE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CGT*

voluntary

overlap

550.000

550.000

35.000

35.000

30%

FR

CFDT*

voluntary

overlap

500.000

500.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CGT-FO*

voluntary

overlap

500.000

450.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CFTC*

voluntary

overlap

70.000

70.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CFE-CGC*

voluntary

sectional overlap

80.000

80.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

UNSA*

voluntary

overlap

100.000

100.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CSNVA*

voluntary

sectionalism

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GR

OIYE

voluntary

overlap

n.a.

65.300

n.a.

46.580

35%

HU

KASZ

voluntary

sectionalism

19.000

18.000

19.000

18.000

80%

IE

MANDATE*

mixed system

sectional overlap

44.750

45.206

42.500

43.000

66%

IE

SIPTU*

voluntary

sectional overlap

217.000

209.881

5.450

5.450

37%

IE

UMTE*

voluntary

sectionalism

2.500

2.000

2.500

2.000

n.a.

IT

UILTuCS*

voluntary

sectional overlap

111.600

111.600

76.000

76.000

50%

IT

FILCAMS*

voluntary

overlap

372.268

372.268

162.000

162.000

58%

IT

FISASCAT*

voluntary

n.a.

222.000

222.000

n.a.

n.a.

60%

IT

MANAGERITALIA

voluntary

sectional overlap

34.750

26.589

29.012

24.309

17%

IT

FISALS*

voluntary

overlap

7.500

6.500

3.500

3.000

55%

IT

FESICA*

voluntary

sectional overlap

375.000

375.000

250.000

250.000

40%

IT

UGIFAI

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

39.000

31.200

n.a.

IT

FENASALC*

voluntary

sectional overlap

120.000

98.000

61.500

53.000

38%

IT

FEDERAGENTI*

voluntary

sectionalism

30.000

28.000

30.000

28.000

10%

IT

USARCI*

voluntary

sectional overlap

65.000

58.000

40.000

36.000

n.a.

IT

CIU*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFLAVO-RATORI

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FIARC*

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FNAARC*

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UGL TERZIARIO*

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFAIL*

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FIADEL

voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

SAMPRO*

voluntary

sectionalism

400

400

350

350

85%

LT

LPSDPS*

voluntary

sectional overlap

4.000

4.000

900

900

60%

LT

LKKDPS*

voluntary

overlap

2.000

2.000

1.800

1.800

85%

LU

OGB-L commerce*

voluntary

congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

56%

LU

LCGB commerce, food processing industry and restauration*

voluntary

overlap

n.a.

n.a.

2.300

n.a.

n.a.

LV

LTDA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2.700

n.a.

n.a.

MT

GWU

voluntary

overlap

41.343

34.543

1.150

1.150

18%

NL

FNV Bondgenoten*

voluntary

overlap

477.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

35%

NL

De Unie (MHP)*

voluntary

sectional overlap

45.000

45.000

1.500

1.500

n.a.

NL

CNV Dienstenbond*

voluntary

overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PL

SKBHiU - SKH NSZZ Solidarnosc*

voluntary

congruence

9.800

n.a.

9.800

n.a.

n.a.

PL

FZZPSPHiU*

voluntary

sectional overlap

7.510

6.251

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PT

CESP*

voluntary

overlap

25.000

20.000

12.000

10.000

75%

PT

SITESE*

voluntary

overlap

10.000

8.000

5.000

4.000

68%

PT

SITESC*

voluntary

sectional overlap

5.000

4.000

2.500

2.000

70%

PT

SINDESCOM*

voluntary

sectional overlap

850

355

483

180

48%

RO

FSC

voluntary

overlap

11.500

11.500

10.800

10.800

70%

SE

Handels*

voluntary

sectional overlap

149.000

123.000

100.000

90.000

70%

SE

Sveriges farmacevtförbund*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SE

AHT*

voluntary

sectional overlap

380.000

n.a.

10.000

n.a.

60%

SE

Farmaciförbundet*

voluntary

sectional overlap

7.000

5.000

6.500

4.500

n.a.

SE

IF Metall*

voluntary

sectional overlap

370.000

280.000

n.a.

15.000

23%

SE

Unionen*

voluntary

sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SE

Ledarna*

voluntary

sectional overlap

95.000

80.000

n.a.

n.a.

20%

SI

SDTS*

voluntary

congruence

17.450

17.450

17.450

17.450

70%

SI

STS-KS 90*

voluntary

congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

70%

SK

OZPOCR

voluntary

overlap

12.765

10.969

12.355

10.611

87%

UK

GMB*

voluntary

overlap

601.131

601.131

50.000

50.000

46%

UK

USDAW*

voluntary

overlap

386.572

386.572

306.000

306.000

58%

UK

Unite*

voluntary

overlap

1.585.536

1.275.000

76.000

76.000

23%

a= Please find a more detailed description of the trade unions’ membership domain with regard to the sector in Table I in the ANNEX

* = Domain overlap with other sector-related trade unions.

n.a. = not available

Table 4: Density, collective bargaining, consultation and affiliations of trade unions in commerce, 2009/10

Country

Trade unions

Union densities (%)

Collective bargaining

Consultation

National and European affiliationsa

Domain total

Domain active

Sector

Sector active

Sectoral domain

Sectoral domain active

AT

GPA-djp

23%

16%

n.a.

4%

n.a.

7%

yes

yes

ÖGB; UNI Europa-Commerce, EPSU, EFFAT,

EFJ, EMCEF

AT

vida

n.a.

n.a.

4%

1%

16%

2%

yes

yes

ÖGB ; EFFAT, ETF, UNI Europa

AT

VAAÖ

n.a.

65%

1%

1%

n.a.

65%

yes

yes

n.a.

BE

BBTK/SETca

n.a.

27%

n.a.

20%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

FGTB/ABVV; UNI Europa, Eurocadres

BE

CNE/GNC

n.a.

n.a.

3%

4%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

ACV/CSC ; UNI

Europa, Eurocadres

BE

LBC/NVK

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

ACV/CSC ; UNI

Europa, Eurocadres

BE

ACLVB/CGSLB

8%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

UNI Europa

BE

MWB-FGTB

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

FGTB/ABVV; EMF

BE

ABVV-METAAL

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

FGTB/ABVV; EMF

BE

ACV-CSC METEA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

ACV/CSC; EMF

BE

ACV-Voeding en Diensten/CSC-Alimentations et Services

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

ACV/CSC; EFFAT

BE

ABVV/FGTB Horval

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

FGTB/ABVV, EFFAT

BG

ITUFECCTCS

1%

1%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

Uni Europa

BG

Podkrepa Services Union

n.a.

1%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

1%

yes

yes

PODKREPA CL; EPSU, EFFAT

CY

OIYK/SEK

n.a.

10%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

SEK, Uni Europa

CY

SEVETTYK/PEO

n.a.

11%

n.a.

3%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

PEO

CZ

OSPO

2%

1%

2%

1%

2%

1%

yes

yes

ČMKOS; UNI Europa-Commerce

DE

ver.di

n.a.

n.a.

7%

6%

7%

6%

yes

yes

DGB ; UNI Europa

DE

DHV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

CGB; (CESI)

DE

IG Metall

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

DGB; EMF

DK

HK

n.a.

40%

n.a.

13%

45%

45%

yes

yes

LO; UNI Europa-Commerce, ETF

DK

Fødevareforbundet, NNF

n.a.

75%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

49%

yes

yes

LO; EFFAT, UNI

Europa

DK

Dansk Metal

n.a.

73%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CO-industri, LO;

EMF

DK

Fagligt Fælles Forbund, 3F

n.a.

70%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CO-industri, LO;

EMF

DK

MFD

n.a.

70%

n.a.

0%

n.a.

70%

yes

yes

LO

EE

ETKA

1%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

yes

no

EAKL, AHL; UNI

Europa-Commerce

EE

ESTAL

2%

2%

0%

0%

0%

0%

yes

no

EAKL; UNI Europa-Commerce

ES

FETICO

3%

2%

2%

2%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

no

ES

FASGA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

CESI

ES

CHTJ-UGT

n.a.

n.a.

2%

2%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

UNI Europa-Commerce

ES

FIA-UGT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

ES

FITEQA-CCOO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

ES

FECOHT-CCOO

n.a.

n.a.

2%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CCOO; UNI Europa-Commerce

ES

FSC-CCOO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CCOO; EPSU

ES

ELA-ZERBITZUAK?

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

UNI Europa-Commerce

FI

PAM

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

UNI Europa-Commerce

FI

PRO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

UNI Europa-Commerce

FI

SEFE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

UNI Europa-Commerce

FR

CGT

n.a.

n.a.

1%

1%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

UNI Europa, UITA

FR

CFDT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

UNI Europa,

EFBWW

FR

CGT-FO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

UNI Europa

FR

CFTC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

no

FR

CFE-CGC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CEC European

Managers

FR

UNSA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

no

FR

CSNVA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

GR

OIYE

n.a.

15%

n.a.

13%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

GSEE; UNI Europa-Commerce

HU

KASZ

16%

15%

5%

4%

16%

15%

yes

yes

MSZOSZ; UNI

Europa-Commerce

IE

MANDATE

30%

30%

17%

17%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

ICTU; UNI Europa

IE

SIPTU

n.a.

n.a.

2%

2%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

ICTU

IE

UMTE

50%

40%

1%

1%

50%

40%

yes

yes

no

IT

UILTuCS

3%

3%

4%

4%

5%

5%

yes

no

UIL; UNI Europa,

EFFAT

IT

FILCAMS

22%

22%

9%

9%

9%

9%

yes

yes

CGIL; ETLC,

EFFAT, UNI Europa

IT

FISASCAT

13%

13%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CISL; UNI Europa, EFFAT

IT

MANAGERITALIA

12%

9%

2%

1%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CONFEDIR-MIT

IT

FISALS

75%

65%

0%

0%

0%

0%

yes

yes

CONFSAL; CESI

IT

FESICA

18%

19%

13%

13%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CONFSAL; CESI

IT

UGIFAI

n.a.

n.a.

2%

2%

12%

10%

yes

n.a.

CIDEC

IT

FENASALC

51%

54%

3%

3%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CISAL; CESI

IT

FEDERAGENTI

11%

10%

2%

2%

11%

10%

yes

yes

CISAL; CESI

IT

USARCI

16%

15%

2%

2%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

no

IT

CIU

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CGIE

IT

CONFLAVO-RATORI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

FIARC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CONFESER-CENTI

IT

FNAARC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CONF-COMMERCIO

IT

UGL TERZIARIO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

UGL

IT

CONFAIL

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

FIADEL

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

LT

SAMPRO

4%

4%

0%

0%

4%

4%

yes

no

LLF

LT

LPSDPS

n.a.

n.a.

0%

0%

1%

1%

yes

yes

LPSK; UNI Europa

LT

LKKDPS

n.a.

n.a.

1%

1%

1%

1%

no

no

LPSK; UNI Europa

LU

OGB-L Commerce

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

OGB-L; UNI Europa

LU

LCGB commerce, food processing industry and restauration

n.a.

n.a.

12%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

EFFAT

LV

LTDA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

UNI Europa-Commerce

MT

GWU

26%

26%

7%

7%

7%

7%

yes

no

EPSU, UNI Europa, EURO WEA, FERPA, Eurocadres, ETF, EFBWW, EMF, EFFAT

NL

FNV Bondgenoten

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

FNV; UNI Europa

NL

De Unie (MHP)

3%

3%

0%

0%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

MHP; UNI Europa-Commerce

NL

CNV Dienstenbond

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CNV; UNI Europa-Commerce

PL

SKBHiU - SKH NSZZ Solidarnosc

1%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

1%

n.a.

no

yes

NSZZ Solidarnosc; UNI Europa-Commerce

PL

FZZPSPHiU

15%

12%

0%

0%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

OPZZ

PT

CESP

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

yes

n.a.

CGTP

PT

SITESE

0%

0%

1%

0%

1%

0%

yes

n.a.

FETESE, UGT; UNI Europa-Commerce

PT

SITESC

0%

0%

1%

0%

1%

0%

yes

n.a.

UGT

PT

SINDESCOM

2%

2%

0%

0%

6%

2%

yes

n.a.

FETESE, UGT

RO

FSC

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

yes

no

CNSLR Frăţia; UNI Europa-Commerce

SE

Handels

60%

60%

20%

15%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

LO; UNI Europa-Commerce

SE

Sveriges farmacevtförbund

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

SACO, PTK

SE

AHT

70%

n.a.

4%

n.a.

10%

n.a.

yes

no

PTK, SACO; UNI

Europa-Commerce

SE

Farmaciförbundet

60%

40%

1%

1%

60%

35%

yes

no

SACO, PTK

SE

IF Metall

80%

80%

2%

2%

80%

80%

yes

no

LO; EMF, EMCEF, ETUF:TCL

SE

Unionen

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

SACO, PTK; UNI

Europa-Commerce, EMF, Eurocadres

SE

Ledarna

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

OFR; CEC

SI

SDTS

18%

18%

18%

18%

18%

18%

yes

yes

ZSSS; UNI Europa-Commerce

SI

STS-KS 90

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

KS 90

SK

OZPOCR

n.a.

n.a.

5%

4%

5%

4%

yes

yes

KOZ SR; UNI

Europa, EFFAT

UK

GMB

2%

2%

1%

1%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

TUC

UK

USDAW

10%

10%

8%

8%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

TUC; UNI Europa-Commerce

UK

Unite

6%

5%

2%

2%

2%

2%

yes

yes

TUC

a = National affiliations put in italics; for the national level, only cross-sectoral (peak-level) associations are listed; for the European level sectoral associations only; affiliation put in parenthesis means indirect affiliation via higher-order unit.

Note: The figures have rounded in all cases. Densities reported as 0% hence refer to a figure of 0.49% to more than 0%.

n.a. = not available

All of the 25 countries, plus Finland and Latvia (whose sector-related affiliates of UNI Europa-Commerce are also considered) record at least one sector-related trade union. In total, 97 sector-related trade unions could be identified. Of these 97 unions, 5.8% have demarcated their domain in a way which is congruent with the sector definition. This low proportion underscores the fact that statistical definitions of business activities rather differ from the lines along which employees identify common interests and band together in trade unions. Domain demarcations resulting in overlap in relation to the sector occur in 26.7% of the cases. Overlap by and large arises from two different modes of demarcation. The first one refers to general (for example, cross-sectoral) domains (CGT, CFDT, CGT-FO, CFTC and UNSA of France, GWU of Malta, FNV Bondgenoten of the Netherlands and GMB and Unite of the UK). The second and more frequent mode in the sector relates to various forms of multi-sector domains, covering contiguous sectors, frequently in the broader distribution or private services segments of the economy (such as Ver.di of Germany, ETKA and ESTAL of Estonia, OIYE of Greece, FILCAMS of Italy, LKKDPS of Lithuania, CNV Dienstenbond of the Netherlands, CESP and SITESE of Portugal, FSC of Romania, OZPOCR of Slovakia and USDAW of the UK). Sectional overlaps prevail in the commerce sector (up to. 60.5%). This mode usually emanates from domain demarcations which focus on certain categories of employees which are then organised across several or all sectors.

Employee categories are specified by various parameters. These can be:

  • distinct occupations such as managers and technicians (BBTK/SETCa of Belgium, MANAGERITALIA of Italy and Ledarna of Sweden, or pharmacists (VAAÖ of Austria and Sveriges Farmacevtförbund of Sweden);
  • employment status such as white-collar workers (GPA-DJP of Austria, Belgium’s LBC/NVK and Sweden’s Unionen) or blue-collar employees (vida of Austria, 3F of Denmark and IF Metall of Sweden);
  • geographic region such as SITESC and SINDESCOM of Portugal and ELA-ZERBITZUAK of Spain which are active only in certain regions or districts;
  • sectionalism, arising from the existence of sector-specific trade unions, such as pharmacy workers (VAAÖ, or motor trade employees in France’s CSNVA and Ireland’s UMTE), and do not organise employees outside the sector, can be found in 7.0% of the cases.

Figure 4: Commerce sector related trade unions and their domain patterns (N=93)

Figure 4: Commerce sector related trade unions and their domain patterns (N=93)

Source: EIRO national contributions

As the domains of the trade unions often overlap with the demarcation of the sector, so their domains overlap with one another in those countries with a pluralist trade union ‘landscape’ in the commerce sector. Table 6 also shows these inter-union domain overlaps. In all countries but two (Bulgaria and Denmark) with more than one sector-related trade union the domain of any of them overlaps with the domain of all or most of the others. Depending on the scale of mutual overlap, this results in competition for members. Noticeable inter-union competition is recorded in several countries, such as Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Looking at data on trade union membership data, it becomes apparent that female employees are the majority group in most of the unions (57.1%) for which membership figures by sex are available. This finding is quite remarkable, since the sector’s employment is dominated by neither of the sexes (see Table 3 and Table 4). However, as outlined earlier, the domain of most trade unions overlaps or sectionalistically overlaps with regard to the sector and often covers areas of the services sector, other than commerce, which are clearly dominated by women employees. Hence, the predominance of female members in these trade unions is likely to originate in areas of their domains other than the commerce sector. For instance, in Denmark’s white-collar HK union, which organises clerical employees, women on average constitute 77% of the membership while the share of female union members in the commerce sector is supposed to be significantly lower.

Membership of the sector-related trade unions is, in principle, voluntary in all cases of the 25 Member States under consideration. However, in the case of Ireland’s MANDATE, which is a voluntary trade union as well, there may be also some element of compulsion in the event of closed-shop arrangements.

Numbers of trade union members differ widely, ranging from about 2.8 million (in the case of Germany’s Ver.di) to only a few hundreds. 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. Therefore, density is the measure of membership strength which is more appropriate to a comparative analysis. In this context it should be noted that density figures 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 (those in a job and those who are not) into account. This is mainly because research usually considers net union densities as more informative compared to gross densities, since the former measure tends to reflect unionisation trends among the active workforce more quickly and accurately than the latter (only the active workforce is capable of taking industrial action).

Statistics show:

  • domain density is over 50% in the case of about one-fifth (20.5%) of the trade unions which document figures on density;
  • 11.4% of the unions gather 70% or more of the active employees covered by their domain;
  • 50% and 31.8% of the trade unions, for which data are available, organise fewer than 15% and fewer than 5% of the active employees within their domain, respectively;
  • 29.5% of the trade unions record a density of between 15% – 50% of their potential active members.

These results indicate that overall domain density of the sector-related trade unions is relatively low. However, it should also be noted that domain density data are recorded for only 44 out of the 97 sector-related trade unions.

Compared with their rather low overall domain densities, the sector-related trade unions’ density in the commerce sector tends to be even lower. When looking at sector density (again referring only to active members), it is important to differentiate between the trade unions’ sectoral density and their sectoral domain density. The former measures the ratio of the total number of a trade union’s members in the sector to the number of employees in the sector (as defined by NACE). The latter indicates the total number of members of a trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain, (see Table 5). This means that the sectoral domain density must be higher than the sectoral density if a trade union organises only a particular part of the sector – that is where the trade union’s membership domain is either sectionalist or sectionalistically overlapping in relation to the sector. Even when taking the trade unions’ sectoral domain density into account (which tends to be higher than their sectoral density for the reasons outlined above), the trade unions’ density in the commerce sector tends to be lower compared with the density ratio referring to their domain on aggregate. Sectoral domain density is over 50% in the case of only 9.7% of the trade unions for which data are available. More than two-thirds (71.0%) of the trade unions record a sectoral domain density lower than 15%, and 19.4% of them record a sectoral domain density between 15%–50%. Again, it should be noted that, for the majority of the sector-related trade unions, no data on sectoral domain density are available. Of those trade unions which have figures for sectoral domain density and domain density on aggregate, no clear picture in terms of tendencies can be drawn. There are almost as many trade unions with a sectoral domain density higher than aggregate density as unions showing the reverse relationship between the two densities.

Relatively low unionisation rates in the commerce industry do not come as a surprise, given the small size of the vast majority of the establishments in the sector, which then often do not meet the criteria for setting up workplace representation. Moreover, the relatively high proportion of (low-skilled) female employees (who tend to be less inclined to unionise compared to men) as well as the high incidence of atypical work within the sector may serve as an explanation for low unionisation rates.

Employer organisations

Tables 8 and 9 present the membership data for the employer organisations in the commerce sector. As is the case of the trade union side, for all of the EU27 at least one sector-related employer organisation is documented (in the case of Finland and Latvia, only the EuroCommerce affiliates which could be identified by applying the top-down approach are considered).

Table 5: Domain coverage and membership of employer/ business organisations in commerce, 2009/10

Coun-try

Employer Organisation

Domain coveragea

Membership

Type

Companies

Companies in sector

Employees

Employees in sector

AT

WKO BSH

sectionalism

Compulsory

72.874

72.874

465.648

465.648

AT

WKO BGT

sectionalism

Compulsory

6.734

6.734

5.492

5.492

AT

WKO BGHADP

sectionalism

Compulsory

7.534

7.534

31.548

31.548

AT

WKO BGRE

sectionalism

Compulsory

10.016

10.016

20.771

20.771

AT

WKO BGVW

sectionalism

Compulsory

1.078

1.078

5.094

5.094

AT

WKO BGA

sectionalism

Compulsory

6.003

6.003

8.004

8.004

AT

WKO BIK

sectionalism

Compulsory

9.003

9.003

77.597

77.597

AT

ÖAV

sectionalism

Voluntary

1.523

1.523

n.a.

n.a.

AT

WKO FVAA

sectional overlap

Compulsory

3.707

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

UCM

sectional overlap

Voluntary

70.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

Federauto

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

Fedis

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BE

UNIZO

sectional overlap

Voluntary

85.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

BG

BTU

sectionalism

n.a.

43

43

1.000

1.000

CY

CCCI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

8.000

2.500

n.a.

n.a.

CY

OEB

sectional overlap

Voluntary

5.600

600

n.a.

n.a.

DE

HDE

sectionalism

Voluntary

100.000

100.000

n.a.

n.a.

DE

BGA

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DE

ZDK

sectionalism

Voluntary

38.300

38.300

456.000

456.000

DE

CDH

n.a.

Voluntary

60.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DK

Dansk Erhverv

sectional overlap

Voluntary

20.000

10.000

n.a.

150.000

DK

DI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

10.000

2.000

500.000

n.a.

DK

DM

sectionalism

Voluntary

144

144

3.300

3.300

DK

SKAD

sectionalism

Voluntary

95

95

600

600

DK

FAI

sectionalism

Voluntary

285

285

1.800

1.800

DK

ABAF

sectionalism

Voluntary

40

40

n.a.

n.a.

DK

BA

sectionalism

Voluntary

364

364

5.500

5.500

EE

EKL

overlap

Voluntary

47

41

11.000

10.800

ES

ACES

sectionalism

Voluntary

6

6

60.000

60.000

ES

FENADIHER

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

FEDOP

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

AGES

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

ES

AECJ

sectionalism

Voluntary

150

150

n.a.

n.a.

ES

INTERFLORA

sectionalism

Voluntary

1.700

1.700

n.a.

n.a.

ES

GANVAM

sectionalism

Voluntary

9.048

9.048

n.a.

n.a.

ES

CEC

sectionalism

Voluntary

440.000

440.000

1.300.000

1.300.000

ES

ASEDAS

sectionalism

Voluntary

20.215

20.215

220.000

220.000

ES

ANGED

sectionalism

Voluntary

16

16

236.275

236.275

ES

FANDE

sectionalism

Voluntary

190

190

12.000

12.000

ES

CEGAL

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

FFCT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CDCF

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FR

FEH

sectionalism

Voluntary

280

280

115.000

115.000

FR

CGI

n.a.

Voluntary

110.000

n.a.

1.000.000

n.a.

FR

FCD

sectional overlap

Voluntary

10.000

8.000

610.000

420.000

FR

FICIME

sectionalism

Voluntary

280

280

280.000

280.000

GR

ESEE

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GR

GSEVEE

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GR

SELPE

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GR

ACCI

overlap

Compulsory

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

HU

ÁFEOSZ

sectionalism

Voluntary

8.300

8.300

27.500

27.500

HU

KISOSZ

sectional overlap

n.a.

35.000

25.000

95.000

60.000

HU

OKSZ

sectional overlap

Voluntary

214

60

170.000

45.000

HU

VOSZ

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IE

IBEC Retail Ireland

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IE

SFA

sectional overlap

Voluntary

8.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IE

SIMI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

1.338

1.313

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFCOM-MERCIO

overlap

Voluntary

740.000

480.000

1.700.000

800.000

IT

FEDERDISTRIBUZIONE

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FEDERFARMA

sectionalism

Voluntary

16.540

16.540

55.000

55.000

IT

ASSIMPRESA

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANCC

sectionalism

Voluntary

119

119

56.450

56.450

IT

CONFIMPRESA

sectional overlap

Voluntary

32.000

20.000

150.000

82.000

IT

CASARTIGIANI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

150.000

11.500

35.587

7.596

IT

CONFARTIGIANATO

sectional overlap

Voluntary

521.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CLAAI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

115.976

n.a.

48.749

n.a.

IT

CNA

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFAPI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

120.000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANCD CONAD

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UNCI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

7.825

n.a.

129.301

n.a.

IT

CONFCO-OPERATIVE

sectional overlap

Voluntary

19.916

669

506.542

9.790

IT

ASSOFARM

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

AGCI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANCEF

sectionalism

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFAR

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FAPI

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CIDEC

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UCICT

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UNAPI

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFTER-ZIARIO

sectional overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FEDARCOM

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFEDIA

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANASFIM

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UNIMPRESA

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CIFA

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFIMEA

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IT

AECP

n.a.

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

LPIA

overlap

Voluntary

30

26

20.000

19.000

LU

CLC

overlap

Voluntary

n.a.

n.a.

60.000

n.a.

LV

LTA

n.a.

n.a.

468

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

MT

GRTU

sectional overlap

Voluntary

7.000

5.950

n.a.

n.a.

NL

VGL

sectionalism

Voluntary

15

15

140.000

140.000

NL

FGL

sectionalism

Voluntary

11

11

16.000

16.000

NL

Vakcentrum

sectionalism

Voluntary

1.800

1.800

60.000

60.000

PL

POHiD

sectionalism

Voluntary

12

12

148.000

148.000

PL

NRZHIU

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

PT

APED

sectionalism

Voluntary

98

n.a.

81.300

n.a.

PT

CCP

overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

RO

FPC

overlap

Voluntary

120

110

11.000

10.000

RO

AMRCR

sectionalism

Voluntary

23

23

30.000

30.000

SE

Svensk Handel

congruence

Voluntary

12.500

12.500

250.000

250.000

SE

MAF

sectionalism

Voluntary

2.100

2.100

41.000

41.000

SE

KFO

sectional overlap

Voluntary

3.600

221

90.000

22.600

SI

TZSLO

overlap

Voluntary

6.353

3.914

89.000

58.000

SI

ZDS

overlap

Voluntary

1.450

156

250.000

30.000

SI

PTZ

overlap

Voluntary

3.389

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SK

ZOCR SR

overlap

Voluntary

105

103

40.000

35.000

UK

BRC

congruence

Voluntary

147 Retail members and 17 Trade associations

147 Retail members and 17 Trade associations

1.837.802

1.837.802

a= Please find a more detailed description of the employer organisations’ membership domain with regard to the sector in Table II in the ANNEX

n.a. = not available

Table 6: Density, collective bargaining, consultation and affiliations of employer/ business organisations in commerce, 2009/10
Coun-try Employer organisation Density (%) Collec-tive bargai-ning Con-sul-ta-tion National and European affiliationsa
Companies Employees
Do-main Sec-tor Sec-toral do-main Do-main Sec-tor Sec-toral do-main

AT

WKO BSH

100%

100%

100%

100%

79%

100%

yes

yes

WKO; EuroCommerce

AT

WKO BGT

100%

9%

100%

100%

1%

100%

yes

yes

WKO

AT

WKO BGHADP

100%

10%

100%

100%

7%

100%

yes

yes

WKO

AT

WKO BGRE

100%

14%

100%

100%

5%

100%

yes

yes

WKO

AT

WKO BGVW

100%

2%

100%

100%

7%

100%

yes

yes

WKO

AT

WKO BGA

100%

8%

100%

100%

2%

100%

no

yes

WKO; EuroCommerce

AT

WKO BIK

100%

11%

100%

100%

13%

100%

yes

yes

WKO

AT

ÖAV

93%

2%

93%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

 

AT

WKO FVAA

100%

0 - 9%

100%

100%

0 - 9%

100%

yes

yes

WKO

BE

UCM

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

 

BE

Federauto

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CECRA

BE

Fedis

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

VBO/FEB; EuroCommerce, CIES, DES, FRUCOM

BE

UNIZO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

BG

BTU

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

yes

yes

BIA

CY

CCCI

26-50%

n.a.

n.a.

10-25%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

EuroCommerce

CY

OEB

10-25%

n.a.

n.a.

0 - 9%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

no

Table 6: Density, collective bargaining, consultation and affiliations of employer/ business organisations in commerce, 2009/10
 

DE

HDE

n.a.

14%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes, via lower-level units

yes

BDA; EuroCommerce

DE

BGA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes, via lower-level units

yes

BDA; EuroCommerce

DE

ZDK

90%

5%

90%

n.a.

10%

n.a.

yes, via lower-level units

yes

BDA, ZDH

DE

CDH

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

(EuroCommerce)

DK

Dansk Erhverv

n.a.

21%

n.a.

n.a.

24%

n.a.

yes

yes

DA; EuroCommerce

DK

DI

n.a.

4%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

DA

DK

DM

72%

0 - 9%

72%

89%

1%

89%

yes

yes

SALA, DCEAA

DK

SKAD

38%

0 - 9%

38%

40%

0%

40%

yes

yes

HVR

DK

FAI

85%

0 - 9%

76-90%

85%

0 - 9%

76-90%

yes

yes

SAMA (DA)

DK

ABAF

8%

0 - 9%

8%

n.a.

0 - 9%

0 - 9%

yes

yes

SAMA, DA

DK

BA

100%

1%

100%

100%

1%

100%

yes

yes

no

EE

EKL

0%

0%

0%

13%

13%

13%

no

yes

ETTK, EKT; EuroCommerce

ES

ACES

n.a.

0%

n.a.

n.a.

3%

n.a.

yes

yes

CEOE

ES

FENADIHER

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

ES

FEDOP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

ISPO, CEO

ES

AGES

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

ES

AECJ

n.a.

0%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

FEPEX, CEOE

ES

INTERFLORA

n.a.

0%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CEC, CEPYME, CEOE

ES

GANVAN

n.a.

1%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CEOE, COMFEMETAL, CEC; CECRA

ES

CEC

n.a.

52%

n.a.

n.a.

6%

n.a.

no

yes

CEPYME; EuroCommerce

ES

ASEDAS

n.a.

2%

n.a.

n.a.

9%

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CEOE; EuroCommerce

ES

ANGED

n.a.

0%

n.a.

n.a.

10%

n.a.

yes

yes

CEOE; EuroCommerce

ES

FANDE

n.a.

0%

n.a.

n.a.

1%

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

ES

CEGAL

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

FI

FFCT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

EuroCommerce

FR

CDCF

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes, via lower-level units

yes

MEDEF; EuroCommerce

FR

FEH

96%

0%

96%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CDCF, MEDEF, UCV; EuroCommerce

FR

CGI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes, via lower-level units

yes

CDCF, MEDEF; EuroCommerce

FR

FCD

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CDCF, MEDEF; EuroCommerce

FR

FICIME

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

CDCF, MEDEF; EuroCommerce

GR

ESEE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

EuroCommerce

GR

GSEVEE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

no

GR

SELPE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

EuroCommerce

GR

ACCI

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

no

n.a.

EuroCommerce

HU

ÁFEOSZ

91-100%

10-25%

91-100%

91-100%

0 - 9%

91-100%

yes

yes

OÉT

HU

KISOSZ

91-100%

10-25%

91-100%

91-100%

0 - 9%

91-100%

yes

yes

OÉT

HU

OKSZ

91-100%

10-25%

91-100%

91-100%

0 - 9%

91-100%

yes

yes

MGYOSZ; EuroCommerce

HU

VOSZ

91-100%

10-25%

91-100%

91-100%

0 - 9%

91-100%

no

yes

OÉT; EuroCommerce

IE

IBEC Retail Ireland

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

IBEC; EuroCommerce

IE

SFA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

no

IE

SIMI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

yes

IBEC; ACEA, CECRA, AIRC, CITA

IT

CONFCOM-MERCIO

n.a.

39%

39%

n.a.

42%

42%

yes

yes

EuroCommerce, EEN, EURO-MED TDS

IT

FEDER-DISTRIBUZIONE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

no

n.a.

EuroCommerce

IT

FEDERFARMA

98%

4%

98%

98%

3%

98%

yes

yes

PGEU

IT

ASSIMPRESA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

ANCC

n.a.

5%

n.a.

n.a.

3%

n.a.

yes

yes

LEGACOOP; EUROCOOP

IT

CONFIMPRESA

5%

7%

13%

8%

4%

14%

yes

yes

no

IT

CASARTIGIANI

10%

1%

12%

6%

0%

n.a.

yes

yes

n.a.

IT

CONFARTI-GIANATO

36%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

CLAAI

8%

n.a.

n.a.

8%

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

CNA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

CONFAPI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

ANCD CONAD

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

LEGACOOP

IT

UNCI

10%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

CONFCO-OPERATIVE

24%

1%

n.a.

n.a.

1%

n.a.

yes

n.a.

no

IT

ASSOFARM

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

FEDERSALUTE; EUSP

IT

AGCI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANCEF

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFAR

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FAPI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CIDEC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UCICT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CNAI

IT

UNAPI

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CNAI

IT

CONFTER-ZIARIO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FEDARCOM

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFEDIA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANASFIM

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UNIMPRESA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CIFA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFIMEA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

IT

AECP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

n.a.

LT

LPIA

0%

0%

0%

8%

8%

8%

no

yes

ICC Lithuania; EuroCommerce

LU

CLC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

no

yes

UEL; EuroCommerce

LV

LTA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

EuroCommerce

MT

GRTU

10-25%

37%

26-50%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

no

yes

EuroCommerce

NL

VGL

100%

0%

100%

100%

11%

100%

yes

yes

RND, CBL; (EuroCommerce)

NL

FGL

100%

0%

100%

100%

1%

100%

yes

yes

VNO-NCW, Detailhandel Nederland, CBL; (EuroCommerce)

NL

Vakcentrum

64%

1%

64%

71%

5%

71%

yes

yes

VNO-NCW, Detailhandel Nederland, CBL; (EuroCommerce)

PL

POHiD

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

40%

8%

n.a.

no

yes

PKPP Leviathan; EuroCommerce

PL

NRZHIU

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

EuroCommerce

PT

APED

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

n.a.

CIP; EuroCommerce

PT

CCP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes, via lower-level units

n.a.

EuroCommerce

RO

FPC

0%

0%

0%

1%

1%

1%

yes

yes

UGIR 1903

RO

AMRCR

92%

0%

92%

43%

3%

43%

no

yes

EuroCommerce

SE

Svensk Handel

17%

17%

17%

50%

50%

50%

yes

yes

Svenskt Näringsliv, SHA; EuroCommerce

SE

MAF

40%

3%

40%

70%

8%

70%

yes

yes

Transportgruppen; CECRA

SE

KFO

26-50%

0%

90%

n.a.

4%

95%

yes

no

EUROCOOP

SI

TZSLO

6%

17%

17%

19%

58%

83%

yes

yes

EuroCommerce, EFF, GIRP, FEDSA, ACEA

SI

ZDS

1%

1%

1%

51-75%

30%

30%

yes

no

n.a.

SI

PTZ

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

yes

no

GZS

SK

ZOCR SR

0%

0%

0%

16%

15%

15%

yes

yes

RUZ SR; EuroCommerce

UK

BRC

0 - 9%

0 - 9%

0 - 9%

48%

48%

48%

no

yes

CBI, EuroCommerce

a= National affiliations put in italics; for the national level, only cross-sectoral (i.e. peak-level) associations are listed; for the European level sectoral associations only; affiliation put in parenthesis means indirect affiliation via higher-order unit.

Note: The figures have rounded in all cases. Densities reported as 0% hence refer to a figure of 0.49% to more than 0%.

n.a. = not available

In at least 12 of these countries, at least a proportion of the listed employer/ business organisations are not a party to collective bargaining (see Table 9). They are classified here as social partner organisations only due to their European-level affiliation to EuroCommerce. Of the 25 countries for which related data are available 19 have one or more employer organisations engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. Generally, business interest organisations may also deal with interests other than those related to industrial relations. Organisations specialised in matters other than industrial relations are commonly defined as ‘trade associations’ (see TN0311101S). Such sector-related trade associations also exist in the commerce sector. In terms of their national scope of activities, all the associations not involved in collective bargaining, according to Table 9, either primarily or exclusively act as trade associations in their country. It is only the conceptual decision to include all associational affiliates to EuroCommerce, regardless of whether they have a role in national bargaining, which gives them the status of a social partner organisation within the framework of this study. Of the 109 employer/ business organisations listed in Tables 8 and 9, at least 12 organisations belong to this group. In eight of the 25 countries for which full information on the sector-related associational landscape is given, only one single employer organisation (in the meaning of a social partner organisation as defined before) has been established. Pluralist associational systems thus prevail on the trade union and the employer side, (although to a greater extent on the former). This is despite the fact that the number of sector-related employer/ business organisations, in particular, in Italy (with as many as 30 employer organisations), exceeds the number of sector-related trade unions.

Moreover, the employer organisations’ domains tend to be narrower than those of the trade unions. Of the associations, for which related information is available, 13.3% have overlapping and 33.3% have sectionalistically overlapping domains. Only relatively few of these organisations, such as CCCI and OEB of Cypus, Denmark’s DI, Greece’s ACCI and Slovenia’s ZDS have a cross-sectoral domain. Most cases of domain overlaps ensue from coverage of the broader trades and commerce sector (often including transport services and tourism) and part of the automobile industry. Overlaps of this kind can be found, in particular, in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Sectionalism or sectionalist overlaps (in case of broader domain demarcation in terms of sector) are mainly caused by domain demarcations which focus on company size (mostly SMEs) or the kind of service they specialise in. For instance, in Austria there are several distinct employer organisations – all of them under the umbrella of the chamber system – each specialising in narrowly defined business activities, such as tobacco, pharmaceuticals, electronics, mail order, foreign trade, and repair of motor vehicles. A similar or even more pronounced fragmentation of the associational ‘landscape’ on the employer side can be observed in countries such as Denmark, Spain and, particularly Italy with its 30 sector-related employer organisations. The latter may serve as an example of a country with a noticeable number of consumer co-operatives, which are represented by specific employer organisations (such as ANCC, a sub-unit of CONFCOOPERATIVE and AGCI). In line with this fragmentation, more than half (51.1%) of the associations have a membership domain which is sectionalist with regard to the sector. Only two associations (2.2 %) show a domain more or less congruent with the sector definition. This means that the domain of these organisations largely focuses on the commerce sector as defined earlier. Although one cannot rule out the possibility that these associations may also organise companies of contiguous sectors, or do not really organise the entire commerce and repair of vehicles sector. The clear predominance of membership domains which are sectionalist with regard to the sector indicates that the technocratic definition of the sector is broader than the lines along which most sector-related employers identify common interests and band together in associations. Eight of the nine existing sector-related employer organisations of Austria, as well as ACCI of Greece, can rely on obligatory membership. This is due to their public-law status as chamber units.

Figure 5: Commerce sector related employer’s organisations/business associations and their domain patterns (N=106)

Figure 5: Commerce sector related employer’s organisations/business associations and their domain patterns (N=106)

Source: EIRO national contributions

In those countries with a pluralist structure in relation to employer organisations, these associations have usually – with the exception of Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Spain – managed to arrive at non-competing relationships. Their activities are complementary to each other as a result of inter-associational differentiation by either membership demarcation (as is the case of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden) or functions and tasks (as is – at least partially – the case of Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Slovenia).

As the figures on density show (Table 9), membership strength in terms of companies widely varies with regard to both the membership domain in general and the sector-related densities. The same holds true of the densities in terms of employees. Except for a few associations of Cyprus and Romania, where a reverse relationship exists, both the domain and the sectoral domain densities of companies tend to be equal to or – where they differ – lower than the densities of employees. This indicates a slightly higher propensity of the larger companies to associate, as compared to their smaller counterparts. In general, overall densities of the employer/ business organisations in the sector tend to be higher compared to trade union densities (see above). Of the associations for which related data are available, 48.5% show a sectoral domain density higher than 50% in terms of companies, and 50% show a sectoral domain density higher than 50% in terms of employees. Some of them record densities in terms of both companies and employees higher than 90%. This indicates that in several countries the sector-related employer/ business organisations manage to gather not only the sector’s most significant (measured in terms of employment) companies, but also their smaller counterparts. In some countries, one or more employer organisations exist which exclusively organise and represent SMEs. This reflects the sector’s company structure, which is characterised by a high proportion of SMEs – despite the market concentration processes over the recent one or two decades which has particularly affected the food retailer segment of commerce. In general, the findings suggest that in the commerce sector the employers are quite well organised in terms of both companies and employees represented. However, it should be noted that for only a minority of the employer/ business associations density data are available. Therefore the data set should again be treated cautiously.

Collective bargaining and its actors

Table 7 lists all of the trade unions engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. In line with numerous cases of inter-union domain overlap and of unclear domain demarcation, in several countries (Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK) inter-union rivalry and competition for bargaining capacities have been identified. In the case of the sector-related employer organisations, competition over collective bargaining capacities has been reported from Estonia, Hungary, Portugal and Spain. In the latter case, a jurisdictional dispute over bargaining capacities within the sector had to be settled by the courts.

The data presented in Table 10 provide an overview of the system of sector-related collective bargaining in the 25 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 (see Traxler, F., Blaschke, S. and Kittel, B., National labour relations in internationalised markets, Oxford University Press, 2001). Accordingly, the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage is defined as the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector.

Table 7: The system of sectoral collective bargaining (2009/10)
Country

CBC (%)

(estimates)

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

AT

100

100

(2)

BE

99

100b

2

BG

1-2

100

0

CY

3

0

n/a

CZ

52-65

Almost 100b

0c

DE

n.a. (<50)

MEB prevailing

1

DK

45-50

70-75

0

EE

n.a.

0

n/a

ES

90

90

2

FR

90

MEB prevailing

2

GR

100

Almost 100

2

HU

6-7d

SEB prevailing

0

IE

<20

MEB prevailing

0

IT

100

100b

(2)

LT

2

0

n/a

LU

38

0

n/a

MT

<10

0

n/a

NL

>95

80

2

PL

3

0

n/a

PT

97

99-100

2

RO

100

100

2

SE

90

98

1

SI

100

100

2

SK

n.a.

MEB prevailing

0

UK

15

0

n/a

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

SEB = single-employer bargaining

Extension practices (including functional equivalents to extension provisions, i.e. obligatory membership and labour court rulings):

a= 0 = no practice, 1 = limited/exceptional, 2 = pervasive. Cases of functional equivalents are put in parentheses.

b= supplemented/complemented by single-employer agreements

c= extension practices were used only until 2004

d= 2006

n.a. = not available

n/a = not applicable

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 employer organisation on behalf of the employer 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 employer 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 employer 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.

  • Extending a collective agreement to employees who are not unionised in a company covered by the collective agreement is a standard rule of the International Labour Organization, aside from any national legislation.
  • If employers did not extend a collective agreement concluded by them, even when not formally obliged to do so; they would set an incentive for their workforce to unionise.

In comparison 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 employer 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 employer 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 (see Traxler, Blaschke and Kittel, 2001).

Collective bargaining coverage

In terms of the sector’s collective bargaining coverage, 11 of the 22 countries for which related data are available record a very high coverage rate of 90% or higher ; with eight of them recording coverage rates of more than 95%. However, there are four countries where collective bargaining is almost absent, with collective bargaining coverage rates of less than 5%. A third group of countries records sector-related collective bargaining at a rather low or medium level, with bargaining coverage rates between about 6%-7% (in Hungary) to more than 50% (the Czech Republic). One can infer from these findings that the sector’s industrial relations structures are well-established in about half of the 25 countries under consideration, while they appear to be underdeveloped in at least one-third of the countries. Closer consideration regarding the different countries reveals that collective bargaining coverage rates tend to be (relatively) high in the ‘old’ EU-15 (with the notable exception of Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK), while sectoral bargaining standards widely vary in the 2004–2007 accession countries. In Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland sector-related bargaining is rarely conducted, although there are sector-related representative social partner organisations on two sides of the industry in each of these countries (see Tables 7 and 9). By contrast, collective bargaining arrangements cover (almost) the entire sector in Romania and Slovenia, while a significant part of the sector is covered in the Czech Republic.

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

  • the predominance of multi-employer bargaining (see Table 10);
  • high density rates of the trade unions and/or employer organisations (Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden);
  • the existence of pervasive extension practices, such as in Belgium, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

While (with the exceptions of Bulgaria and Ireland) coverage in countries with prevalent multi-employer bargaining is generally high, single-employer bargaining arrangements in the sector are the exclusive type of bargaining in Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and the UK. In the latter group of countries, collective bargaining coverage tends to be rather low.

Due to the prevalence of multi-employer settlements in the sector, the use of extension practices is significant. Extension practices in the commerce sector are widely reported for several countries (see Table 10). In Slovenia, new legislation on extension of collective agreements has recently been introduced, with the effect of complete coverage at least in the commerce sector. Referring to the aim of extension provisions, that is, making 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 (WKO) and its sub-units 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 influence public policy in 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 can be wide-ranging and, therefore, the organisations consulted by the authorities may vary according to the issues and also depend on changes in government. Moreover, the consultation may be occasional rather than a regular. Given this variability, Tables 7 and 9 flag only those sector-related trade unions and employer organisations that are usually consulted.

Trade unions

Authorities regularly consult unions in at least 21 of the 25 countries where sector-related trade unions are recorded. However unions are not regularly consulted in. Estonia, Malta or Romania. No information is available for any of Portugal’s sector-related trade unions.. Since a multi-union system has been established in 19 out of the 25 countries with sector-related trade unions, one cannot rule out the possibility that the authorities favour certain trade unions over others, or that the unions compete for participation rights. In most countries with a multi-union system where a noticeable practice of consultation is observed, any existing trade unions may take part in the consultation process. By contrast, in Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden only part of the sector-related trade unions are consulted. Nevertheless, evidence of inter-union conflicts over participation in public policy matters in the commerce sector can be found only in Estonia and – to a lesser degree – in France and the UK.

Employer organisations

Almost all of the sector-related employer/ business organisations for which related data are available are involved in consultation procedures. In countries with multi-organisation systems, no cases of conflicts over participation rights of employer organisations are reported. In the multi-organisation systems of Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands and Romania, where related data of all employer organisations are available, all of the sector’s organisations are consulted. In the pluralist systems of Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden at least one of the employer organisations is regularly consulted, while others are not (or no information is available for them). In all 25 countries with available information on each side but three (Estonia, Malta and Romania) consultation rights are given equally to the two sides of industry, with at least one organisation on each side being consulted. There is no case of a country where representatives of only one side are consulted. For Portugal, however, no related data are available.

Tripartite participation

The findings reveal that a genuinely sector-specific tripartite body has been established in only one of the 25 countries under consideration – that is Skillsmart Retail in the UK (Table 11). Skillsmart Retail, set up by statutory provisions. addresses the issue of skills and lifelong learning of the UK commercial workforce. Other tripartite bodies listed in some country reports are not taken into account in this study, since they all cover broader industry segments such as the entire private services sector and thus do not specifically target commerce. However, Eurocommerce indicated that it had communicated regularly with a number of bodies in charge of skills anticipation, in Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Some of these bodies are bipartite (Italy) others tripartite (Spain).

Table 8: Tripartite sector-specific boards of public policy (200/10)
Country Name of the body and scope of activity Origin Trade unions participating Business associations participating

UK

Skillsmart Retail – addresses the issue of skills and lifelong learning within the commerce sector

statutory

USDAW

Firms are represented on an individual basis


European level of interest representation

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

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

Regarding social dialogue, the constituent feature is the ability of such organisations to negotiate on behalf of their members and to conclude binding agreements. Accordingly, this section on European associations of the commerce sector will analyse these organisations’ membership domain, the composition of their membership and their ability to negotiate.

As outlined in greater detail below, one sector-related European association on the employee side – namely, UNI Europa-Commerce – and one on the employer side – namely, EuroCommerce – are particularly significant in the commerce sector; both of them are listed by the European Commission as a social partner organisation consulted under Article 154 of the EC Treaty. Hence, the following analysis will concentrate on these two organisations, while providing supplementary information on others which are linked to the sector’s national industrial relations actors.

Membership domain

As indicated by its name, UNI Europa-Commerce, which is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), organises the entire commerce segment of the economy. Therefore its membership domain largely coincides with the commerce sector. The same holds true of EuroCommerce, even though several of its members also cover business areas outside the commerce sector (Table 8). EuroCommerce organises both employer/ business organisations and individual companies (in particular, large retail chains).

Membership composition

As has been said, this report studies only 25 countries of the EU 27, although the number of countries covered by UNI Europa-Commerce and EuroCommerce is much greater. For UNI Europa-Commerce Table 12 documents a list of membership of sector-related trade unions drawn from the country reports.

Table 9: UNI Europa-Commerce Membership (2009/10)+
Country Members

AT

GPA-djp*, Vida*

BE

BBTK/SETCa*, CNE/GNC*, LBC/NVK*, ACLVB/CGSLB*

BG

---

CY

---

CZ

OSPO*

DE

Ver.di*

DK

HK*, Fødevareforbundet*

EE

ETKA*, ESTAL*

ES

FECOHT-CCOO*, CHTJ-UGT*, ELALA ZERBITZUAK*

FI

PAM**, PRO**, SEFE**

FR

CGT*, CFDT*, CGT-FO*

GR

OIYE*

HU

KASZ*

IE

MANDATE*

IT

UILTuCS*, FILCAMS*, FISASCAT*

LT

LPSDPS*, LKKDPS

LU

OGB-L Commerce*

LV

LTDA**

MT

GWU*

NL

FNV Bondgenoten*, De Unie (MHP)*, CNV Dienstenbond*

PL

SKBHiU – SKH NSZZ Solidarnosc

PT

SITESE*

RO

FSC*

SE

Handels*, AHT*, Unionen*

SI

SDTS*

SK

OZPOCR*

UK

USDAW*

+ Membership list confined to the sector-related associations of the countries under consideration

Involved in sector-related collective bargaining

** No information available on collective bargaining involvement

Accordingly, at least one affiliation in each country under consideration is recorded, except for Bulgaria and Cyprus. Multiple memberships occur in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. On aggregate, UNI Europa-Commerce counts 44 direct affiliations from the countries under examination. Almost half the trade unions listed in Tables 9 and 10 are directly affiliated to UNI Europa-Commerce. From available data on sectoral membership of the national trade unions, one can conclude that UNI Europa-Commerce covers the sector’s most important labour representatives. Exceptional cases of uncovered major trade unions in the sector can be found only in Italy (FESICA) and Portugal (CESP). Of the 40 direct members of UNI Europa-Commerce, for which information is available, 38 are involved in collective bargaining related to the commerce sector.

Table 13 lists the members of EuroCommerce. Of the 27 countries under consideration, EuroCommerce has all but one (Bulgaria) under its umbrella through associational members from these countries. Multiple memberships can be found in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Table 9 indicates that affiliated and unaffiliated associations co-exist in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. One can infer from the available sectoral membership data of these countries’ organisations that the most important associations are affiliated. However, taking into account also the role in collective bargaining as an indicator of an association’s significance does not show a clear trend in this respect. In several countries some important, or even all employer organisations that conduct bargaining are not members. There are also several countries (Austria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK) where affiliates of EuroCommerce are not engaged in bargaining. Employer and business organisations not involved in collective bargaining may regard themselves as trade associations rather than as industrial relations actors. Of the 43 direct and indirect affiliates of EuroCommerce, at least 27 are directly or indirectly (via lower-order units) involved in sector-related collective bargaining. This means that EuroCommerce’s proportion of member organisations involved in sector-related collective bargaining is lower that of UNI Europa-Commerce,. EuroCommerce members cover collective bargaining in 17 of the 26 countries with affiliations to EuroCommerce, which accounts for slightly fewer countries (21) where sector-related collective bargaining is conducted by affiliates of its European-level counterpart – i.e. UNI Europa-Commerce. As can be seen from Table 9, there is quite a number of sector-related employer organisations across the EU not affiliated to EuroCommerce which are involved in sector-related collective bargaining.

Table 10: EuroCommerce Membership (2009/10)+
Country Members

AT

WKO BSH*, WKO BGA

BE

FEDIS*

BG

---

CY

CCCI*

CZ

SOCR CR*

DE

HDE**, BGA**, (CDH***)

DK

Dansk Erhverv*

EE

EKL

ES

CEC, ASEDAS*, ANGED*

FI

FFCT***

FR

CDCF**, FEH*, CGI**, FCD*, FICIME*

GR

ESEE*, SELPE*, ACCI

HU

OKSZ*, VOSZ

IE

IBEC Retail Ireland*

IT

CONFCOMMERCIO*, FEDERDISTRIBUZIONE

LT

LPIA

LU

CLC

LV

LTA***

MT

GRTU

NL

(VGL*), (FGL*), (Vakcentrum*)

PL

POHiD, NRZHIU***

PT

APED*, CCP**

RO

AMRCR

SE

Svensk Handel*

SI

TZSLO*

SK

ZOCR SR*

UK

BRC

+ Membership list confined to the sector-related associations of the countries under consideration; associations in parentheses are indirectly affiliated to EuroCommerce via higher-order units

* Involved in sector-related collective bargaining

** Collective bargaining involvement via lower-level unit(s)

*** No information available on collective bargaining involvement

Capacity to negotiate

The third criterion of representativeness at the European level refers to the organisations’ capacity to negotiate on behalf of their members. UNI-Europa says it has been given a permanent mandate by its members to negotiate on matters of European social dialogue.

On the employer side, EuroCommerce, via its Social Affairs Committee, represents its members in matters of the European sectoral social dialogue. According to the Social Affairs Manager of EuroCommerce, the Social Affairs Committee decides, on a case-by-case basis whether to engage in negotiations at European level and on the scope of the negotiating mandate. The respective affiliates eventually either approve the committee’s decisions or, in case of disagreement, can take the issue to the Steering Committee for a final decision.

As a final proof of the weight of both UNI Europa-Commerce and EuroCommerce, it is useful to look at other European organisations to which the sector-related trade unions and employer associations are affiliated.

For the trade unions, these affiliations are listed in Table 7. Accordingly, European organisations other than UNI Europa-Commerce represent a relatively large proportion of both sector-related trade unions and countries. For reasons of brevity, only those European organisations are mentioned here which cover at least three countries. This involves the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors and Allied Branches (EFFAT), with 10 affiliations covering six countries; the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF), with nine affiliations and five countries; the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI), with six affiliations and three countries; the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), with four affiliations and four countries; the Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff (Eurocadres), with four affiliations and two countries; and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), with three affiliations and three countries. It should be noted that the affiliations listed in Table 7 may not necessarily be exhaustive. Nevertheless, despite the large number of affiliations to European organisations other than UNI Europa-Commerce, this overview underlines the principal status of the latter association as the sector’s labour representative. This is mainly because many of the aforementioned affiliations to other European organisations reflect the overlapping domains of the affiliates rather than a real reference of the affiliations as such to the commerce sector.

An analogous review of the membership of the national employer/ business associations can be derived from Table 9. Most of them have few affiliations to European associations other than EuroCommerce. There is only one European association which covers at least three countries. This involves the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairers ( CECRA), with four affiliations covering four countries. In terms of both the number of affiliations as well as territorial coverage, however, CECRA remains far behind EuroCommerce.

In conclusion, UNI Europa-Commerce and EuroCommerce are obviously the by far most important sector-related European organisations.


Commentary

Industrial relations in commerce, as with many other private services sectors, tend to be organised at a relatively low level. This is shown by relatively low unionisation rates. Densities in terms of employer representation tend to be significantly higher. Moreover, collective bargaining coverage is highly polarised. Whereas in about half of the countries for which related data are available collective bargaining is high, at least one-third of the countries under examination record very low coverage rates. In this respect, there is a pattern. In the ‘old’ EU-15, the sector’s industrial relations structures – with only a few exceptions – are generally well-established, with prevalent multi-employer bargaining settlements and (very) high collective bargaining coverage rates. The only exceptions in this group of countries are Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK, where bargaining is rarely conducted. By contrast, in the 2004/7 accession countries the robustness and effectiveness of the industrial relations structures within commerce widely vary.

However, despite high collective bargaining coverage rates in most of the EU-15 countries, unionisation rates within the sector tend to be low also in these countries. The trade unions’ difficulties in recruiting workers in the sector may result from different factors, such as:

  • the high incidence of non-standard work;
  • a relatively high proportion of female employment;
  • the small size of the vast majority of the establishments;
  • high staff turnover;
  • the limited capacity of the trade unions involved to set incentives for potential members.

This relative weakness of organised labour in the sector translates into relatively poor pay in many countries and – according to organised labour – problematic working conditions, in particular in terms of working time, work-life balance and occupational advancement.

In order to tackle at least part of these problems, in particular with regard to the promotion of skilled employment, integration of disabled persons, age diversity, and corporate social responsibility, the sector’s social partners at European level, (EuroCommerce on the employers’ side and UNI Europa-Commerce at the employees’ side), have launched some joint initiatives in the framework of social dialogue. In this context, a series of joint declarations and guidelines have been drawn up and delivered since 2000. Overall, EuroCommerce and UNI Europa-Commerce have to be regarded as by far the most important, if not the only EU-wide representatives of the sector’s employers and employees.

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


Annex

Table A1: Domain description of trade unions with regard to the commerce sector, 2009/2010
Country Trade Union Domain coverage Domain description
AT

GPA-djp

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in the entire commerce sector

AT

Vida

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in the entire commerce sector

AT

VAAÖ

sectionalism

White-collar workers in pharmacies (retail)

BE

BBTK/SETca

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in retail and wholesale trade and blue-collar workers in larger retailers

BE

CNE/GNC

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in the entire commerce sector of the French-speaking community and blue-collar workers in larger retailers

BE

LBC/NVK

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in the entire commerce sector of the Dutch-speaking community and blue-collar workers in larger retailers

BE

ACLVB/CGSLB

sectional overlap

All categories of employees in part of the commerce sector

BE

MWB-FGTB

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in motor trade and repair in the Walloon and Brussels regions

BE

ABVV-METAAL

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in motor trade and repair in the Flanders region

BE

ACV-CSC METEA

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in motor trade and repair as well as in textile commerce

BE

ACV-Voeding en Diensten/CSC-Alimentations et Services

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in food trade

BE

ABVV/FGTB Horval

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in food trade

BG

ITUFECCTCS

sectional overlap

All categories of employees in part of the commerce sector

BG

Podkrepa Services Union

sectional overlap

All employees in retail and wholesale trade

CY

OIYK/SEK

sectional overlap

All categories of employees in part of the commerce sector (not all types of companies)

CY

SEVETTYK/PEO

sectional overlap

All categories of employees in part of the commerce sector (not all types of companies)

CZ

OSPO

congruence

All employees in the entire commerce sector

DE

ver.di

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

DE

DHV

sectional overlap

All employees in private retail trade

DE

IG Metall

sectional overlap

All employees in motor trade and repair

DK

HK

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in retail and wholesale trade

DK

Fødevareforbundet, NNF

sectional overlap

Bakers’ and butchers’ employees in retail trade (supermarkets)

DK

Dansk Metal

sectional overlap

Employees in motor repair

DK

Fagligt Fælles Forbund, 3F

sectional overlap

Blue-collar workers in retail and wholesale trade

DK

MFD

sectional overlap

Employees in motor repair

EE

ETKA

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

EE

ESTAL

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

ES

FETICO

sectional overlap

All employees in retail trade

ES

FASGA

sectional overlap

All employees in wholesale trade

ES

CHTJ-UGT

sectional overlap

All categories of employees in part of the commerce sector

ES

FIA-UGT

sectional overlap

n.a.

ES

FITEQA-CCOO

sectional overlap

All employees in chemical and drugstore goods trade

ES

FECOHT-CCOO

sectional overlap

All categories of employees in part of the commerce sector

ES

FSC-CCOO

sectional overlap

Public services workers in retail and wholesale trade

ES

ELALA-ZERBITZUAK

sectional overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector of Basque

FI

PAM

n.a.

n.a.

FI

PRO

n.a.

n.a.

FI

SEFE

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CGT

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

FR

CFDT

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

FR

CGT-FO

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

FR

CFTC

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

FR

CFE-CGC

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in the entire commerce sector

FR

UNSA

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

FR

CSNVA

sectionalism

All employees in motor trade and repair

GR

OIYE

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

HU

KASZ

sectionalism

Employees in retail trade

IE

MANDATE

sectional overlap

All employees in retail trade

IE

SIPTU

sectional overlap

Unspecified part of employees in part of retail and wholesale trade as well as motor trade and repair

IE

UMTE

sectionalism

All employees in motor trade and repair

IT

UILTuCS

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

FILCAMS

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

IT

FISASCAT

n.a.

n.a.

IT

MANAGERITALIA

sectional overlap

Managers in the entire commerce sector

IT

FISALS

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

IT

FESICA

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

UGIFAI

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

FENASALC

sectional overlap

All employees but commerce agents in part of the commerce sector

IT

FEDERAGENTI

sectionalism

n.a.

IT

USARCI

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CIU

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CONFLAVO-RATORI

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FIARC

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FNAARC

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UGL TERZIARIO

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFAIL

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FIADEL

n.a.

n.a.

LT

SAMPRO

sectionalism

White-collar workers in retail trade

LT

LPSDPS

sectional overlap

Employees in retail trade

LT

LKKDPS

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

LU

OGB-L Commerce

congruence

All employees in the entire commerce sector

LU

LCGB commerce, food processing industry and restauration

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

LV

LTDA

n.a.

n.a.

MT

GWU

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

NL

FNV Bondgenoten

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

NL

De Unie (MHP)

sectional overlap

n.a.

NL

CNV Dienstenbond

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

PL

SKBHiU - SKH NSZZ Solidarnosc

congruence

All employees in the entire commerce sector

PL

FZZPSPHiU

sectional overlap

n.a.

PT

CESP

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

PT

SITESE

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

PT

SITESC

sectional overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector in the southern regions of Portugal

PT

SINDESCOM

sectional overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector in the southern regions of Portugal

RO

FSC

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

SE

Handels

sectional overlap

Employees in retail and wholesale trade

SE

Sveriges farmacevtförbund

sectional overlap

Employees in pharmacies (retail)

SE

AHT

sectional overlap

Academics in the entire commerce sector

SE

Farmaciförbundet

sectional overlap

Employees in pharmacies (retail)

SE

IF Metall

sectional overlap

Employees in motor trade and repair

SE

Unionen

sectional overlap

White-collar workers in retail and wholesale trade

SE

Ledarna

sectional overlap

Executives and supervisors in the entire commerce sector

SI

SDTS

congruence

All employees in the entire commerce sector

SI

STS-KS 90

congruence

All employees in the entire commerce sector

SK

OZPOCR

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

UK

GMB

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

UK

USDAW

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

UK

Unite

overlap

All employees in the entire commerce sector

n.a. = not available

Table A2: Domain description of employer/ business organisations with regard to the commerce sector, 2009/2010
Coun-try Employer Organisation Domain coverage  


Domain description

n.a. = not available

Table A3: Abbreviations of organisation names

AT

WKO BSH

sectionalism

Entire commerce sector but pharmacies

AT

WKO BGT

sectionalism

Tobacconists

AT

WKO BGHADP

sectionalism

Companies trading with pharmaceuticals, chemist and perfumery goods

AT

WKO BGRE

sectionalism

Companies trading with electronics goods

AT

WKO BGVW

sectionalism

Companies operating mail order trade and warehouses

AT

WKO BGA

sectionalism

Companies operating in foreign trade

AT

WKO BIK

sectionalism

Companies operating in the repair of motor vehicles

AT

ÖAV

sectionalism

Pharmacies

AT

WKO FVAA

sectional overlap

Companies operating in retail sale of second-hand goods in stores

BE

UCM

sectional overlap

Self-employed and SMEs operating in retail and wholesale trade

BE

Federauto

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor trade and repair

BE

Fedis

sectionalism

Companies operating in retail and wholesale trade

BE

UNIZO

sectional overlap

Self-employed and SMEs operating in retail and wholesale trade

BG

BTU

sectionalism

Companies operating in retail trade

CY

CCCI

sectional overlap

n.a.

CY

OEB

sectional overlap

n.a.

CZ

SOCR ČR

overlap

Entire commerce sector

DE

HDE

sectionalism

Companies operating in retail trade

DE

BGA

sectional overlap

Almost the entire commerce sector

DE

ZDK

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor trade and repair

DE

CDH

n.a.

n.a.

DK

Dansk Erhverv

sectional overlap

Companies operating in retail and wholesale trade

DK

DI

sectional overlap

Companies operating in retail and wholesale trade

DK

DM

sectionalism

Companies operating in trade of agricultural machinery

DK

SKAD

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor trade and repair

DK

FAI

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor repair

DK

ABAF

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor trade

DK

BA

sectionalism

Consumer co-operatives

EE

EKL

overlap

Entire commerce sector

ES

ACES

sectionalism

Supermarket chains

ES

FENADIHER

sectionalism

Companies operating in herbs trade

ES

FEDOP

sectional overlap

Companies operating in prosthesis and orthopedics activities

ES

AGES

sectionalism

Petrol stations

ES

AECJ

sectionalism

Companies operating in gardening trade

ES

INTERFLORA

sectionalism

Companies operating in flower and plant retail trade

ES

GANVAN

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor trade and repair

ES

CEC

sectionalism

Companies operating in retail trade

ES

ASEDAS

sectionalism

Companies operating in retail and wholesale trade

ES

ANGED

sectionalism

Companies operating in wholesale trade

ES

FANDE

sectionalism

Companies operating in book wholesale trade

ES

CEGAL

sectionalism

Companies operating in book retail trade

FI

FFCT

n.a.

n.a.

FR

CDCF

n.a.

n.a.

FR

FEH

sectionalism

n.a.

FR

CGI

n.a.

n.a.

FR

FCD

sectional overlap

SMEs operating in food retail trade

FR

FICIME

sectionalism

n.a.

GR

ESEE

sectionalism

Small traders, traditional commercial shops, outlets

GR

GSEVEE

sectional overlap

Small retailers

GR

SELPE

sectionalism

Large retailers

GR

ACCI

overlap

Entire commerce sector

HU

ÁFEOSZ

sectionalism

Consumer co-operatives

HU

KISOSZ

sectional overlap

SMEs operating in retail and wholesale trade

HU

OKSZ

sectional overlap

Companies operating in retail and wholesale trade

HU

VOSZ

sectional overlap

Companies operating in retail and wholesale trade

IE

IBEC Retail Ireland

sectionalism

Companies operating in retail trade

IE

SFA

sectional overlap

Small enterprises in the entire commerce sector

IE

SIMI

sectional overlap

Companies operating in motor trade and repair

IT

CONFCOM-MERCIO

overlap

Entire commerce sector

IT

FEDER-DISTRIBUZIONE

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FEDERFARMA

sectionalism

Pharmacies

IT

ASSIMPRESA

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANCC

sectionalism

Consumer co-operatives

IT

CONFIMPRESA

sectional overlap

SMEs operating in retail trade

IT

CASARTIGIANI

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CONFARTI-GIANATO

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CLAAI

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CNA

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CONFAPI

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

ANCD CONAD

sectional overlap

Co-operatives within the commerce sector

IT

UNCI

sectional overlap

Co-operatives within the commerce sector

IT

CONFCO-OPERATIVE

sectional overlap

Co-operatives within the commerce sector

IT

ASSOFARM

sectionalism

Public pharmacies

IT

AGCI

sectional overlap

Co-operatives within the commerce sector

IT

ANCEF

sectionalism

Companies operating in flower trade

IT

CONFAR

n.a.

n.a.

IT

FAPI

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CIDEC

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UCICT

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UNAPI

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

CONFTER-ZIARIO

sectional overlap

n.a.

IT

FEDARCOM

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFEDIA

n.a.

n.a.

IT

ANASFIM

n.a.

n.a.

IT

UNIMPRESA

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CIFA

n.a.

n.a.

IT

CONFIMEA

n.a.

n.a.

IT

AECP

n.a.

n.a.

LT

LPIA

overlap

Entire commerce sector

LU

CLC

overlap

Entire commerce sector

LV

LTA

n.a.

n.a.

MT

GRTU

sectional overlap

SMEs operating in the entire commerce sector

NL

VGL

sectionalism

Food retailers

NL

FGL

sectionalism

Companies operating in food wholesale trade

NL

Vakcentrum

sectionalism

n.a.

PL

POHiD

sectionalism

n.a.

PL

NRZHIU

n.a.

n.a.

PT

APED

sectionalism

Medium and large companies operating in retail trade

PT

CCP

overlap

Entire commerce sector

RO

FPC

overlap

Entire commerce sector

RO

AMRCR

sectionalism

Large companies operating in retail trade

SE

Svensk Handel

congruence

Entire commerce sector

SE

MAF

sectionalism

Companies operating in motor trade and repair

SE

KFO

sectional overlap

Co-operatives within the commerce sector

SI

TZSLO

overlap

Entire commerce sector

SI

ZDS

overlap

Entire commerce sector

SI

PTZ

overlap

Entire commerce sector

SK

ZOCR SR

overlap

Entire commerce sector

UK

BRC

congruence

Entire commerce sector

 
Country Abbreviation Full Name
AT

GPA-DJP

Union of Salaried Employees, Graphical Workers and Journalists

 

ÖAV

Austrian Pharmaceutical Association

 

ÖGB

Austrian Trade Union Federation

 

VAAÖ

Austrian Association of Salaried Pharmacists

 

VIDA

VIDA Trade Union

 

WKO

Austrian Federal Economic Chamber

 

WKO BGA

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of foreign trade

 

WKO BGHADP

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of commerce with pharmaceuticals, chemist and perfumery goods, chemicals and colours

 

WKO BGRE

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of radio and electronics trade

 

WKO BGT

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of tobacconists

 

WKO BGVW

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of mail order trade and warehouses

 

WKO BIK

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of automobile engineering

 

WKO BSH

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral section commerce

 

WKO FVAA

Federal Economic Chamber, sectoral subunit of refuse and wastewater disposal

BE

ABVV/FGTB Horval

Belgian General Federation - Food, Horeca and Services

 

ABVV-METAAL

Belgian General Federation of Metal

 

ACLVB/CGSLB

Federation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium

 

ACV-CSC METEA

Confederation of Christian Trade Unions – Metal

 

ACV-Voeding en Diensten/CSC-Alimentations et Services

Confederation of Christian Trade Unions- Food and Services

 

BBTK/SETca

Belgian Union of White-Collar Staff, Technicians and Managers

 

CNE/GNC

National Employee Federation

 

Federauto

Confederation of trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles and related sectors

 

Fedis

Federation of Distribution in Belgium

 

LBC/NVK

National Federation of White-collar Workers

 

MWB-FGTB

Metalworkers’ Walloon-Brussels – Belgian General Federation of Labour

 

UCM

Union of Small Firms and Traders

 

UNIZO

Organisation for the Self-Employed and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

 

VBO/FEB

Belgian Federation of Employers

BG

BIA

Bulgarian Industrial Association

 

BTU

Bulgarian Traders Union

 

CL Podkrepa

Confederation of Labour ‘Podkrepa’

 

ITUFECCTCS

Independent Trade Union Federation of Employees in Commerce, Cooperatives, Tourism, Credit and Social Services

 

PODKREPA Services Union

Podkrepa Services Union

CY

CCCI

Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

OEB

Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation

 

OIYK/SEK

Cyprus Federation of Private Employees

 

PEO

Pancyprian Federation of Labour

 

SEVETTYK/PEO

Cyprus Union of Workers in Industry, Trade, Press and Printing and General Services

 

SEK

Cyprus Workers’ Federation

CZ

AHR

Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic

 

CMKOS

Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions

 

OSPO

Trade Union of Workers in Commerce

 

SOCR ČR

Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism

DE

BDA

German Confederation of Employers’ Associations

 

BGA

Bundesverband Großhandel, Außenhandel, Dienstleistungen

 

CDH

Centralvereinigung Deutscher Wirtschaftsverbände für Handelsvermittlung und Vertrieb

 

CGB

Christian Trade Union Federation

 

DGB

German Trade Union Federation

 

DHV

DHV-Die Berufsgewerkschaft

 

HDE

Handelsverband Deutschland

 

IG Metall

Industriegewerkschaft Metall

 

ver.di

Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft

 

ZDH

German Confederation of Skilled Crafts

 

ZDK

Zentralverband des Deutschen Kraftfahrzeugsgewerbes

DK

Autobranchens Arbejdsgiverforening, ABAF

Association of Employers in Auto Industry

 

Brugsforeningernes Arbejdsgiverforening, BA

Employers Association of Consumer Cooperatives

 

Co-industri

Central Organisation of Industrial Workers

 

DA

Confederation of Danish Employers

 

Dansk Erhverv

Danish Chamber of Commerce

 

Dansk Metal

Danish Metalworkers Union

 

DCEAA

 
 

DI

Confederation of Danish Industry

 

Dansk Maskinhandlerforening, DM

Association of Danish Agricultural Machinery Dealers

 

Fagligt Fælles Forbund, 3F

United Federation of Danish Workers

 

LO

Danish Confederation of Trade Unions

 

Foreningen af Auto- og Industrilakerere, FAI

Association of Automotive and Industrial painters

 

HK

The Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees in Denmark

 

HVR

Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

 

Malerforbundet i Danmark, MFD

Danish Painters' Union

 

Fødevareforbundet, NNF

The Danish Food and Allied Workers' Union

 

SALA

Danish Confederation of Employers’ Associations in Agriculture

 

Sammenslutningen af Køretøjsbyggere og Autooprettere i Danmark, SKAD

Association of Vehicle Builders and Auto Planers in Denmark

 

SAMA

Federation of Small Employers’ Associations

EE

AHL

Open Education Union

 

EAKL

Estonian Trade Union Federation

 

EKL

Estonian Traders Association, Eesti Kaupmeeste Liit

 

EKT

Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

ESTAL

Estonian Communication and Service Workers´ Trade Union, Eesti Side- ja Teenindustöötajate Ametiühingute Liit

 

ETKA

Estonian Trade Union of Commercial and Servicing Employees, Eesti Teenindus- ja Kaubandustöötajate Ametiühing

 

ETTK

Estonian Employers Confederation

ES

ACES

Spanish Association of Supermarket Chains

 

AECJ

Spanish Asociation of Gardering Centres

 

AGES

Spanish Confederation of Petrol Stations

 

ANGED

National Association of Big Entreprises of Distribution

 

ASEDAS

Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-Services and Supermarkets

 

CCOO

Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions

 

CEC

Spanish Confederation of Commerce

 

CEGAL

Spanish Confederation of Trades and Booksellers Associations

 

CEHAT

Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accomodation Establishments

 

CEOE

Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organisations

 

CEPYME

Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

 

CHTJ-UGT

Federation of Commerce, Catering trade,Tourism and Gimbling of the General Workers Confederation

 

COMFEMETAL

Spanish Confederation of Organisations of Metal Companies

 

ELA

Basque Workers’ Solidarity

 

ELALA-ZERBITZUAK

Basque Workers’ Solidarity

 

FANDE

Federation of National Distributors Associations

 

FASGA

Federation of Unions Associations

 

FECOHT-CCOO

Federation of Commerce, Catering Trade and Tourism of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions

 

FEDOP

Spanish Federation of Prosthesis and Orthopedics Professionals

 

FENADIHER

Spanish Federation of Herbalist's Associations

 

FEPEX

Spanish Federation of Associations of Producers and Exporters of Fruits

 

FETICO

Federation of independent workers of the commerce sector

 

FIA-UGT

Industry Federation of the General Workers Confederation

 

FITEQA-CCOO

Federation of textile, Chemical and Leather Industry of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions

 

FSC-CCOO

Federation of Citizen Services of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions

 

GANVAN

National Association of Sellers and Fixers of Motor Vehicles, Spares and Accessories

 

INTERFLORA

Spanish Association of Florists INTERFLORA

 

UGT

General Workers’ Confederation

 

USO

Workers’ Trade Union Federation

FI

FFCT

Federation of Finnish Trade and Commerce

 

PAM

Service Union United

 

PRO

PRO Unions

 

SEFE

Finnish Association of Graduates in Economics and Business

FR

CDCF

Commerce Federation for France (Conseil du Commerce de France)

 

CFDT

French Democratic Confederation of Labour

 

CFE-CGC

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

 

CFTC

French Christian Workers’ Confederation

 

CGI

Confédération Francaise du Commerce et de Gros Inter-Entreprises et du Commerce International

 

CGPME

Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

 

CGT

General Confederation of Labour

 

CGT-FO

General Confederation of Labour – Force ouvrière

 

CSNVA

National Council for Employees, Salesmen, Technicians, Admninistrative staff, of the automobile the motoculture & related industries

 

FCD

Fédération des Entreprises du Commerce et de la Distribution

 

FEH

Fédération des Enseignes de l'Habillement

 

FICIME

Fédération des Entreprises Internationales de la Mécanique et de l'Electronique

 

MEDEF

Movement of French Enterprises

 

UCV

 
 

UNSA

National Union of autonomous trade union

GR

ACCI

Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

ESEE

National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce

 

GSEE

Greek General Confederation of Labour

 

GSEVEE

General Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants of Greece

 

OIYE

Greek Federation of Private Employees

 

SELPE

Hellenic Retail Business Association

HU

ÁFEOSZ

National Federation of General Consumption Employees

 

KASZ

Trade Union of Commerce Workers - Kereskedelmi Alkalmazottak Szakszervezete

 

KISOSZ

Federation for the Representation of Interest of Commerce and Catering

 

MGYOSZ

Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists

 

MSZOSZ

National Association of Hungarian Trade Unions

 

OÈT

National Interest Reconciliation Council

 

OKSZ

Hungarian Trade Association

 

VOSZ

National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Commercial and Services Section

IE

AICC

Association of Irish Contract Caterers

 

IBEC

Irish Business and Employers Confederation

 

IBEC Retail Ireland

Retail Ireland - Irish Business and Employers Confederation

 

ICTU

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

 

MANDATE

MANDATE

 

SFA

Small Firms Association

 

SIMI

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry

 

SIPTU

Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union

 

UMTE

Union of Motor Trade Employees

IT

AECP

Associazione Italiana degli Esercenti e Commercianti delle Attività del Terziario del Turismo e dei Servizi

 

AGCI

Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane

 

ANASFIM

Associazione Nazionale agenzie di Servizi e Field Marketing

 

ANCC

Associazione Nazionale Cooperative Consumatori

 

ANCD CONAD

Associazione Nazionale Cooperative Dettaglianti

 

ANCEF

Associazione Nazionale Commercianti Esportatori Fiori

 

ASSIMPRESA

 
 

ASSOFARM

Associazione delle Aziende e Servizi Socio-Farmaceutici

 

CASARTIGIANI

Confederazione Autonoma Sindacati Artigiani

 

CGIE

 
 

CGIL

General Confederation of Italian Workers

 

CIDEC

Confederazione Italiana degli Esercenti Commercianti ed Artigiani e delle Attività del Terziario del Turismo e dei Servizi

 

CIFA

Confederazione Italiana delle Federazioni Autonome

 

CISAL

Italian Confederation of Autonomous Workers’ Trade Unions

 

CISL

Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions

 

CIU

Confederazione Italiana di Unione delle Professioni Intellettuali

 

CLAAI

Confederazione delle Libere Associazioni Artigiane Italiane

 

CNA

Confederazione Nazionale dell'Artigianato e delle Piccola e Media Impresa

 

CNAI

National Coordination of Employer Associations

 

CONFAIL

Confederazione Autonoma Italiana del Lavoro

 

CONFAPI

Confederazione Italiana della Piccole e Media Industria Privata

 

CONFAR

Confederazione delle Associazioni Regionali

 

CONFARTIGIANATO

Confedeazione Generale Italiana dell'Artigianato

 

CONFCOMMERCIO

General Confederation of Italian Commerce and Tourism

 

CONFCOMMERCIO

Confederazione Generale Italiana delle Imprese, della Attività Professionali e del Lavoro Autonomo

 

CONFCOOPERATIVE

Confederazione Cooperative Italiane

 

CONFEDIA

Confederazione Nazionale Datoriale Imprese Autonome

 

CONFEDIR MIT

 
 

CONFESERCENTI

 
 

CONFIMEA

Confederazione Italiana delle Imrpese e dell'Artigianato

 

CONFIMPRESA

Confederazione Italiana della Piccola Media Impresa e dell'Artigianato

 

CONFLAVORATORI

Confederazione dei Lavoratori

 

CONFSAL

 
 

CONFTERZIARIO

Confederazione Nazionale del Terizario e della Piccola Impresa

 

FAPI

Federazione Artigiani Pensionati Italiani

 

FEDARCOM

Federazione Autonoma Commercianti, Rappresentanti, Operatori del Turismo e Artigiani

 

FEDERAGENTI

 
 

FEDERDISTRIBUZIONE

Federazione Associazioni delle Imprese di Distribuzione

 

FEDERFARMA

Federazione Nazionale dei Titolari di Farmacia Italiani

 

FENASALC

Federazione Nazionale Autonoma Sindacati lavoratori Commercio, terziario e turismo

 

FEDERSALUTE

 
 

FESICA

Federazione Sindacati Industria, Commercio e Artigianato

 

FIADEL

Federazione Italiana Autonoma Dipendenti Enti Locali

 

FIARC

Federazione Italiana Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio

 

FILCAMS

Federazione Italiana Lavoratori Commercio Turismo e Servizi

 

FISALS

Federazione Italiana Sindacati Autonomi Lavoratori Stranieri

 

FISASCAT

Federazione Italiana Sindacati Addetti Servizi Commerciali Affini e del Turismo

 

FNAARC

Federazione Nazionale Associazioni Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio

 

LEGACOOP

 
 

MANAGERITALIA

Federazione nazionale dei dirigenti, quadri e professional del commercio, trasporti, turismo, servizi, terziario avanzato

 

UCICT

Unione Cristiana Italiana Commercio e Turismo

 

UGIFAI

Unione Generale Italiana delle Federazioni degli Agenti Intermediari

 

UGL

General Union of Work

 

UGL TERZIARIO

Unione Generale del Lavoro Federazione Nazionale Terziario

 

UIL

Union of Italian Workers

 

UNAPI

Unione Nazionale Artigianato e Piccola Impresa

 

UNCI

Unione Nazionale Cooperative Italiane

 

UNIMPRESA

Unione Nazionale di Imprese

 

USARCI

Unione Sindacati Agenti e Rappresentanti di Commercio Italiani

LT

ICC Lithuania

Business Confederation ICC Lithuania

 

LKKDPS

Lithuanian Trade Union of Commerce and Cooperation Workers

 

LLF

Lithuanian Labour Federation

 

LPIA

Lithuanian Association of Trade Companies

 

LPSDPS

Lithuanian Service Workers Trade Union

 

LPSK

Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation

 

SAMPRO

Trade Union of Hired Employees

LU

CGT-L

General Confederation of Labour of Luxembourg

 

CLC

Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce

 

LCGB

Luxembourg Christian Union Federation

 

LCGB commerce, food processing industry and restauration

Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtleche Gewerkschaftsbond

 

OGB-L

Independent Luxembourg Union Federation - Commerce

 

OGB-L Commerce

Onhofhangege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg - Commerce

 

UEL

Union of Luxembourg Companies

LV

LTA

Latvian Traders Association

 

LTDA

Latvian Commercial Workers’ Trade Union

MT

GRTU

Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises

 

GWU

General Workers’ Union

NL

CBL

Central Council Wholesale Goods

 

CNV

Christian Trade Union Federation

 

CNV Dienstenbond

CNV Dienstenbond

 

Detailhandel Nederland

Detailhandel Nederland

 

De Unie

De Unie – Trade Union for Industry and Services

 

FGL

Federatie voor de Groothandel in Levensmiddelen

 

FNV

Federation of Dutch Trade Unions

 

FNV Bondgenoten

Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging Bondgenoten

 

RND

Council for Dutch Retail

 

VGL

Vereniging Grootwinkelbedrijf Levensmiddelen

 

Vakcentrum

Vakcentrum

 

VNO-NCW

Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers

PL

FZZPSPHiU

Federation of Trade Unions of Employees in Co-operatives, Production, Commerce and Services in Poland (Federacja Związków Zawodowych Pracowników Spółdzielczości Produkcji, Handlu i Usług w Polsce)

 

NRZHIU

National Association of Trade and Services

 

NSZZ Solidarnosc

Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarnosc

 

OPZZ

All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions

 

POHiD

Name of EO Polish Organisation of Commerce and Distribution (Polska Organizacja Handlu i Dystrybucji)

 

PKPP Leviathan

Polish Confederation of Private Employers ‘Leviathan’

 

SKBHiU - SKH NSZZ Solidarnosc

National Secretariat of Banks, Commerce and Insurance – the National Section of Commerce, ‘Solidarność’ (Sekretariat Krajowy Banków, Handlu i Ubezpieczeń – Sekcja Krajowa Handlu NSZZ „Solidarność’)

PT

APED

Portuguese Association of Retail Companies

 

CCP

Confederation of Commerce and Services of Portugal

 

CESP

Union of Commerce, Office and Service Workers of Portugal

 

CGTP

General Portuguese Workers’ Confederation

 

FETESE

Technical and Services Workers’ Trade Union

 

SINDESCOM

Union of Workers in Administration, Commerce, Manufacturing, Tourism and related Services on the Islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria

 

SITESC

Union of Workers in Administration, Informatics and Services of Southern Portugal

 

SITESE

Union of Workers in Administration, Commerce, Hotels and Services

 

UGT

General Workers’ Confederation

RO

AMRCR

Big Retailers Association from Romania (Asociaţia Marilor Reţele Comerciale din România)

 

CNSLR Fratia

National Confederatoin of Free Trade Unions from Romania Fratia

 

FSC

Trade Union Federation of Commerce (Federaţia Sindicatelor din Comerţ)

 

FPC

Employers Federation of Commerce from Romania (Federaţia Patronatelor de Comerţ din România)

SE

AHT

Academics Union in Trade and Service

 

Farmaciförbundet

Union of Chemist’s Employees

 

Handels

Commercial Employees’ Union

 

IF Metall

Union of Metalworkers

 

KFO

The Cooperative Movement Bargaining Organization (free translated) Kooperationens förhandlingsorganisation), KFO

 

Ledarna

The Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff

 

LO

Swedish Trade Union Confederation

 

MAF

Swedish Motor Trade Employers' Association, (Motorbranschens Arbetsgivarförbund, MAF)

 

OFR

Public Employees’ Negotiation Council

 

PTK

Council for Negotiation and Cooperation

 

SACO

Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations

 

SHA

Employers Unemployment Fund

 

Svensk Handel

The Swedish Trade Federation - Svensk Handel

 

Svensk Näringsliv

Confederation of Swedish Enterprise

 

Sveriges farmacevtförbund

The Swedish Pharmaceutical Association

 

Unionen

Trade union for professionals in the private sector

 

Transportgruppen

Transport Group

SI

KS90

Association of Trade Union Confederation 90

 

PTZ

Chamber of Small Business and Trade

 

SDTS

Slovenian Trade Union of Workers in Commerce

 

STS-KS 90

Slovenian Trade Union of Commerce

 

TZSLO

Slovenian Chamber of Commerce

 

ZDS

Association of Employers of Slovenia, Trade Section

 

ZSSS

Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia

SK

OZPOCR

Trade Union of Employees in Commerce and Tourism

 

RUZ SR

National Union of Employers

 

ZOCR SR

Slovak Association of Commerce and Tourism

UK

BRC

British Retail Consortium

 

CBI

Confederation of British Industry

 

GMB

General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union

 

TUC

Trades Union Congress

 

UNITE

Unite the Union

 

USDAW

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

EUROPE

ACEA

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association

 

CEC

CEC European Managers

 

CECRA

European Council for Motor Trades and Repairers

 

CEMR

Council of European Municipalities and Regions

 

CESI

European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions

 

CIES

Consumer Goods Forum

 

DSE

Direct Selling Europe

 

EEN

Enterprise Europe Network

 

EFBWW

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers

 

EFF

European Franchise Federation

 

EFFAT

European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

 

EFJ

European Federation of Journalists

 

EMCEF

European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation

 

EMF

European Metalworkers’ Federation

 

EPSU

European Federation of Public Service Unions

 

ESBA

European Small Business Alliance

 

ETF

European Transport Workers’ Federation

 

ETLC

European Trade Union Liaison Committee on Tourism

 

ETUC

European Trade Union Confederation

 

ETUF: TCL

European Trade Union Federation: Textile, Clothing and Leather

 

EUROCADRES

Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff

 

EUROCOMMERCE

European Retail, Wholesale and International Trade Association

 

EUROCOOP

Eurocoop

 

EuroHandelsinstitut

Euro Handelsinstitut

 

EURO-MED

Euro-Mediterranian Partnership

 

EUROWEA

European Workers’ Education Association

 

EUSP

European Union of Social Pharmacies

 

FEDSA

Federation of European Direct Selling Associations

 

FERPA

European Federation of Retired and Older Persons

 

FRUCOM

FRUCOM

 

GIRP

European Association of Pharmaceutical Full-line Wholesalers

 

PGEU

Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union

 

UGAL

Union of Groups of Independent Retailers of Europe

 

UNI-Europa

Union Network International - Europe

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