Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Railways sector

  • National Contribution:

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Stosunki pracy,
  • Representativeness,
  • Date of Publication: 07 Grudzień 2008



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This report examines the operations of social partner organisations and collective bargaining in the railways sector. The first part, focusing on rail operations, was carried out in 2006, while the second part, on rail infrastructure, was completed in 2007. Each part consists of three main sections. The first section outlines the economic background of the railways sector. The second section analyses the social partner organisations in all Member States of the European Union, apart from Cyprus, Malta and (in the case of railway operations) Sweden, with particular emphasis on membership, role in collective bargaining and public policy, and national and European affiliations. The final section profiles the relevant European organisations, in particular their membership composition and capacity to negotiate. The aim of the EIRO representativeness studies is to identify the relevant national and supranational social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in selected sectors. The impetus for these studies arises from the goal of the European Commission to recognise the representative social partner associations to be consulted under the EC Treaty provisions. Hence, this study seeks to provide 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.

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National contributions may be available


Part 1: Railway transport operations

Objectives of study

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

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

As regards the national-level associations, classification as a sector-related social partner organisation implies fulfilling one of two criteria: the organisations must either be a party to ‘sector-related’ collective bargaining or a member of a sector-related European association of business or labour that is on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations consulted under Article 138 of the EC Treaty. The alternative criterion is being a party to collective bargaining. Affiliation to such a European association and involvement in national collective bargaining are of the utmost importance to the European social dialogue. In line with the criteria for the national associations, this study includes those sector-related European associations that are on the Commission’s list of consultation. In addition, the study includes any other sector-related European association which has sector-related national social partner organisations under its umbrella. Therefore, the objective to identify the sector-related national and European social partner organisations is both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’.

Definitions

For the purpose of this study, the railways sector is defined in terms of the classification of economic activities in the European Community ((Nomenclature générale des activités économiques dans les Communautés européennes, NACE), to ensure cross-national comparability of the research findings. More specifically, the railways sector is defined according to NACE 60.1. The domains of the trade unions and employer organisations, and similarly the scope of relevant collective agreements, are likely to vary from this precise NACE demarcation. Therefore, the study includes all trade unions, employer organisations and multi-employer collective agreements that are ‘sector related’ in terms of any of the following four patterns:

  • congruence – the domain of the organisation or scope of the collective agreement must be identical to the NACE demarcation, as specified above;
  • sectionalism – the domain or scope covers only a certain part of the sector, as defined by the aforementioned NACE demarcation, while no group outside the sector is covered;
  • overlap – the domain or 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.

At European level, two sector-related organisations are currently on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations: the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER). Thus, affiliation to either ETF or CER is a sufficient criterion for classifying a national association as a social partner organisation. However, it should be noted that the constituent criterion is one of sector-related membership domain. This is important in the case of ETF due to its multi-sectoral domain. This study will include only those sector-related organisations affiliated to ETF.

Collection of data

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

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

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

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

Report structure

The study consists of three main parts, beginning with a brief summary of the sector’s economic background. The report then analyses the relevant social partner organisations in 24 of the current 27 EU Member States following EU enlargement in May 2004 and January 2007, with the exception of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Sweden. The third part of the study looks at the representative social partner organisations at European level. Each section will contain a brief introduction, explaining the concept of representativeness in greater detail, followed by the study findings. As representativeness is a complex issue, it requires separate consideration of the national and European levels for two reasons. First, account has to be taken of how national regulations and practices capture representativeness. Secondly, the national and European organisations differ in their tasks and scope of activities. The concept of representativeness must thus be suited to this difference.

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

Economic background

The railways sector has undergone a process of restructuring across the EU Member States. Originally organised as a form of state-controlled infrastructure, railways is currently undergoing a process of transformation into a business sector as a result of ongoing deregulation of market entry and liberalisation of services, sometimes accompanied by full or partial privatisation of the former state-owned operator. Despite these reforms, however, the sector has maintained its monopoly-like structure in that one single principal operator, often still state-owned, dominates the product market and employs the majority of the sector’s employees. Depending on the stage of restructuring, the reforms have, nevertheless, affected labour relations mainly in two ways. Echoing the transfer of the state-owned operator from a public law undertaking into a private law company, the employment relationship is shifting from public sector regulations to private law status. Moreover, the sector has undergone a thoroughgoing process of labour shedding.

Tables 1 and 2 give an overview of the socioeconomic development in the railways sector from the early 1990s to the early 2000s, presenting a few indicators which are important to industrial relations and social dialogue. Despite the measures to open up the markets, the number of companies substantially increased only in some countries, such as Latvia and Poland. In six of the 24 countries looked at in this research, one single company continues to operate in the railways sector. The scale of employment, as well as the number of employees, decreased in all countries, apart from Bulgaria and Luxembourg, where both remained relatively constant. Likewise, the sector’s share of employment and employees as a proportion of a country’s total employment and employees generally declined. In the early 2000s, these shares were 2% or lower in all cases. Male employment clearly prevails in the sector in all 24 countries under examination.

Table 1: Total employment in railway operation, 1993 and 2004
  Number of companies Total employment Male employment Female employment
1993 2004 1993 2004 1993 2004 1993 2004
AT 13 18a ~68,000 ~45,800a 96–97 94a 3–4 6a
BE 2b 2c n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
BG 1 1a n.a. 17,910a n.a. 12,905a n.a. 5,005a
CZ n.a. 46d 118,600 78,900 78,800 53,900 39,800 25,000
DE n.a. 526a 248,000e 174,000a 202,000e 141,000a 46,000e 32,000a
DK 19 17h 17,173 12,285n 13,483 8,905n 3,690 3,251n
EE 7f 10a 7,109f 3,900a n.a. 2,600g n.a. 1,100g
EL 1 1h 11,830 7,637h 11,225 7,002h 605 635h
ES n.a. 180h n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
FI 4 4 17,945 6,339 15,200 5,388 2,745 951
FR 1b 2 183,000b 178,000 90b 82.9 10b 17.1
HUg n.a. 13 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
IE n.a. 1 n.a. 5,398 n.a. 4,653 n.a. 739
IT 105i 103j 204,667i 79,958j n.a. 73,195j n.a. 6,763j
LT n.a. 1 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LU 1k 1c 3,240k 3,249c 92.34f 92.26a 7.66f 7.74a
LV 2l 14a 18,828l 15,377a n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
NL 5 12o n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PL 1 51 261,000 133,000 174,000 n.a. 79,000 n.a.
PTg n.a. n.a. 19,227 16,465 16,319 13,449 2,908 3,016
RO 1 5 179,300 65,667 n.a. 50,150 n.a. 15,517
SIg,m 1 1a 10,568 8,098a 8,746 n.a. 1,822 n.a.
SK 1p 10a 51,495p 38,077a 37,344p n.a. 14,151p n.a.
UKm n.a. 697 130,008 54,141 116,790 47,657 13,218 6,484

Notes: n.a. = not available; a= 2005, b = 1994, c = 2002, d = 2003, e = 1999, f = 1998, g = the average of 2003–2005, h = 2006, i = 1991, j = 2001, k = 1995, l = 1997, m = years documented are not strictly comparable, n = 2005, o = 2004, p = 1996.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

Table 2: Total employees in railway operation, 1993 and 2004
  Total employees Male employees Female employees Total sectoral employment as % of total employment in economy Total sectoral employees as % of total employees in economy
1993 2004 1993 2004 1993 2004 1993 2004 1993 2004
AT 67,000–68,000 41,000a 96–97 94e 3.4 6a 1.90 1.20a 2.20 1.30a
BE 29,002b 25,444c 27,582b 22,834c 1,420b 2,610c n.a. n.a. 0.92b 0.73c
BG n.a. 17,910a n.a. 12,905a n.a. 5,005a n.a. 0.55a n.a. 0.82a
CZ 118,500 78,900 78,700 53,900 39,800 25,000 2.40 2.40 2.70 2.00
DE 150,841e 118,045a 116,964e 92,180a 33,877e 25,865a 0.70e 0.50a 0.50e 0.40a
DK 17,173 12,285n 13,483 8,905n 3,690 3,251n 0.66 0.47n 0.73 0.51n
EE n.a. 3,800a n.a. 2,600g n.a. 1,100g 1.17f 0.65a n.a. 0.87a
EL 11,830 7,637h 11,225 7,002h 605 635h 0.30 0.20h 0.50 0.20h
ES n.a. 37,235h n.a. 88.6h n.a. 11.4h n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.38h
FI 17,945 6,339 15,200 5,388 2,745 951 0.87 0.27 1.00 0.30
FR n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.70b 0.60 n.a. n.a.
HUg n.a. 46,855 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 1.20 n.a. 1.70
IE n.a. 4,537 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.27 n.a. 0.22
IT 204,429i 79,801j n.a. 73,060j n.a. 6,741j 1.50i 0.50j 2.20i 0.80j
LT n.a. 11,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LU 3,240k 3,249c 92.34f 92.26a 7.66f 7.74a 1.51k 1.12c 1.51k 1.12c
LV 18,828l 15,029a 11,875l 9,183a 6,953l 5,846a 2.55l 1.67a 2.55l 1.66a
NL n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PL 261,000 133,000 174,000 n.a. 79,000 n.a. 1.80 1.10 2.80 1.40
PTg 18,687 15,727 15,894 12,905 2,793 2,822 0.50 0.40 0.60 0.40
RO 179,300 65,667 n.a. 50,150 n.a. 15,517 1.70 0.80 2.70 1.50
SIg,m 10,568 8,098a 8,746 n.a. 1,822 n.a. 1.70 1.00a 1.70 1.10a
SK 51,495p 38,077a 37,344p 27,872a 14,151p 10,205a 2.30p 1.70a 2.50p 1.80a
UKm 130,008 53,524 116,790 47,657 13,218 5,867 0.50 0.20 0.60 0.20

Notes: n.a. = not available; a= 2005, b = 1994, c = 2002, d = 2003, e = 1999, f = 1998, g = the average of 2003–2005, h = 2006, i = 1991, j = 2001, k = 1995, l = 1997, m = years documented are not strictly comparable, n = 2005, o = 2004, p = 1996.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

National level of interest representation

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

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

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

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

Membership domain and strength

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

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

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

Trade unions

The trade union data on both the domains and membership strength are shown in Table 3. This table lists all of the trade unions meeting the two criteria for classification as a sector-related social partner organisation, as outlined earlier. Notably, detailed data are not available on the trade unions’ bargaining practices in France. In this case, the nine trade unions are listed, because they are formally recognised as being representative (and therefore recognised for collective bargaining) of all staff of French National Railways (Société nationale des chemins de fer français, SNCF) or certain occupations of SNCF. Congruent and sectionalist domain demarcations are most frequent. The very large number of sectionalist domain demarcations is the main reason for the pronouncedly pluralist structure of most national trade union systems. In 10 of the 24 countries under consideration – the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia – six or more sector-related trade unions exist. In addition to the three trade unions documented for Slovakia, eight smaller local and occupational trade unions operate in the country. One single trade union represents the sector only in Austria, Greece and Latvia. Sectionalism usually means domain demarcation by such sector-specific occupations as conductors. Of these occupations, locomotive drivers most frequently have their own trade union. Overlapping domains result in most cases from the fact that the trade union covers broader areas of the transport sector. Sectionalist overlaps are usually caused by domain specialisation in terms of employee status and qualifications, such as white-collar employees, blue-collar employees and engineers – for example, Finland and Portugal. In Germany, two trade unions – namely Transport, Service and Networks (Transport, Service und Netze, Transnet) and the United Services Union (Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, ver.di) – concentrate on certain railway operators within broader sectoral domain demarcations.

Table 3: Interest representation of trade unions in railway operation, 2004–2005
Country Domain cover-age Membership Density (%) Collec-tive bargain-ing Consulta-tion National and European affiliations*
Members Female member-ship (% of total member-ship) Dom-ain Sector      
AT                
GdE (now vida) C 47,000b 6%b 95%b 95%b Yes No ÖGB, ETF
BE                
CGSP/ACODa C 19,522 8% 50% 50% Yes Yes FGTB/ABVV, ETF
‘Transcom’ section of CSC/ACVa O 90,000 8% 41% 41% Yes Yes CSC/ACV, ETF
SLFP-C/VSOA-Sa C n.a. 8% 10% 10% No Yes CGSLB/ACLVB, (ETF)c
BG                
TURWBa C 10,500 28% 58.6% 58.6% Yes No CITUB
UTTUBa O 1,200 0 6.7% 6.7% Yes No CITUB, ETF
FTWa O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No CL Podkrepa, ETF
NRTUa C 11,000 24.2% 6.1% 6.1% Yes No CL Podkrepa, FTW
CZ                
OSŽa C 48,000 31% n.a. 60.8% Yes Yes ASO ČR, ETF
FS ČRa S 7,000 n.a. n.a. 8.9% Yes Yes ALE
FVČa S 600 20%–30% n.a. 0.8% Yes Yes -
UZZa C 370 n.a. n.a. 0.5% Yes Yes -
FV CTa S 330 n.a. n.a. 0.4% Yes Yes -
FŽ ČRa C 220 n.a. n.a. 0.3% Yes Yes -
DE                
Transneta SO 259,955 20.8% 50%–60% 50%–60% Yes Yes DGB, ETF
GDBAa S 50,000 10.8% 10.7% 10,7% Yes Yes DGB, ETF
GDLa S 35,000 n.a. 75% 75% Yes Yes DGB, ALE
ver.dia SO 2,359,392 20% n.a. 50% Yes Yes DGB, ETF
DK                
DJa O 5,607 13% 92% 92% Yes No SEK, DKK, LO, ETF
HK Trafika and Dansk Jernbane O 3,145 52% 70% 67% Yes No HK, StK, DKK, LO, ETF
Dansk Metala O 138,948 5% 80% 80%–85% Yes No StK, DKK, LO, ETF
3Fa O 350,444 32% 75% 95% Yes No StK, DKK, LO, ETF
DEFa SO 30,016 1% 75% 80% Yes No StK, DKK, LO, EMCEF
TLa SO 30,413 41% n.a. n.a. Yes No StK, DKK, LO, UNI-Europa, EPSU
TIBa SO 68,194 9% 80% 95% Yes No StK, DKK, LO, EFBWW
Malerforbundeta SO 13,475 25% 70% 95% Yes No StK, DKK, LO, EFBWW
AC SO 165,905 41% 65% n.a. Yes No Eurocadres
LH SO 73,897 21% 35% n.a. Yes No StK, KTO, CEC
EE                
ERAÜa C 1,970 61% 51% 51% Yes Yes EAKL, ETF
Edelaraudtee TUa S 183 63% 26%–30.5% 4.7% Yes No ERAÜ, EAKL, (ETF)c
Koostöö TUa S 189 54%–57% 26%–31.5% 4.8% Yes No -
EVAa C 225 0 5.8% 5.8% Yes No EAKL
Elektriraudtee TUa S 60 60% 60% 1.5% Yes No ERAÜ
EVKLa S 163 0 27.2% 4.2% Yes No -
EL                
POS C n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes GSEE, ETF
ES                
FETCM-UGT/ Railwaysa C 15,059 18.9% 40.4% 40.4% Yes No UGT, ETF
FCT-CC.OO/Railwaysa C 9,449 7.4% 24.6% 24.6% Yes No CC.OO, ETF
CGT/ Railwaysa C n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SEMAFa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No ALE
ELA Hainbat S 659 5.6% 22.3% 0.02% Yes No ELA/STV, ETF
FI                
RAUTLa SO 6,961 22% 96% 96% Yes Yes SAK, ETF
RVLa S 1,654 61% 95% 95% Yes Yes SAK, KAF
VMLa SO 1,948 0.3% 100% 100% Yes Yes SAK, ETF
Pardiaa SO 70,000 53% 60% 97% Yes Yes EPSU
VR-AKAVA RYa SO 270 10% 87% 87% Yes Yes AKAVA, YTN
FR                
FNTCTC-CGTa O 29,000–30,000 10%–13% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.e CGT, ETF
FSTR-SUDa C 4,000 10%–13% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.e SUD
FC-CFDTa C 4,000 10%–13% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.e CFDT, (ETF)c
FSC-CGT-FOa C 1,000–1,200 10%–13% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.e CGT-FO, ETF
FC-UNSAa C n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.e UNSA, ETF
FC-CFTCa C 600–700 10%–13% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.e CFTC, (ETF)c
SNPCC-CFE-CGCa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.f CFE-CGC
FGAACa S 600–700 10%–13% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.f ETF
SNCSa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.f -
HU                
VSZa C 12,000 n.a. 25% 25% Yes Yes MSZOSZ, ETF
VDSZSZa C 10,000 n.a. 21% 21% Yes Yes LIGA, ETF
PVDSZa S 5,000 n.a. n.a. 10% Yes Yes ASZSZ
MOSZa S 4,300 n.a. 85% 9% Yes Yes ASZSZ, ALE
MTSZSZa SO 6,700 n.a. n.a. 6% Yes Yes ESZT
IE                
SIPTUa O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU, ETF
NBRUa O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes -
ATGWU O n.a. n.a. 65% 65% Yes Yes ICTU
TSSAa O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
GMB O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
NUSMWI O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
UCATT O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
TEEU O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
BATU O n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
IT                
FILT-CGILa O 140,651 11% 22% 32% Yes Yes CGIL, ETF
FIT-CISLa O >100,000 10.5% n.a. 24% Yes Yes CISL, ETF
UILT-UILa O 103,000 15% 10% 11% Yes Yes UIL, ETF
UGL AFa O 3,800 17% 18% 4% Yes Yes -
ORSAa O 26,660 25% 75% 15% Yes Yes -
FASTa O 2,900 2% 25% 3% Yes Yes CONFSAL, ALE
LT                
LGPFa C 2,560 50% 23% 23% Yes Yes LPSK, ETF
LGPSSa C 1,500 40% 14% 14% Yes Yes LDF
LGPS n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. ETF
LU                
FNCTTFELa O 6,000 27.5% 30% 55.4% Yes Yes CGT-L, ETF
FCPT-SYPROLUXa O 860 n.a. n.a. 24.5% Yes Yes ETF
LV                
LDzSA O 15,793 33.5% 78% 100% Yes Yes LBAS, ETF
NL                
FNV Bondgenotena O 470,000 n.a. n.a. 36.9% Yes No FNV, ETF
CNV Bedrijvenbonda O 90,000 n.a. n.a. 10.1% Yes No CNV, ETF
VVMCa SO 4,000 n.a. n.a. 9.6% Yes No ALE
VHSa SO 500 n.a. n.a. 1.4% Yes No CHMF
PL                
SKK-NSZZ Solidarnośća C 34,340 30% 27% 27% Yes Yes NSZZ Solidarność, ETF
FZZP PKPa C n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes ETF
ZZMa S 10,000 n.a. 60% 6% Yes Yes ALE
ZZDR PKPa S 9,864 45% 19%d 8% Yes Yes -
FZZPATa O 3,240 n.a. 38% 2.5% Yes Yes OPZZ
FZZMKa S 2,500 n.a. 20% 2% Yes Yes FZZ
AZZTKa C 1,619 n.a. 1.3% 1.3% Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZDKRPa S 1,350 20% 8% n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZA PKPa S 500 50% n.a. 0.5% Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZDRa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
SKK-NSZZ Solidarność 80a n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes FZZ
ZZPWa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes FZZ
OMZZSOKa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
MZZRTa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZDPKPa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
NSZZ PSD PKPa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
NSZZ SW PKP S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
KZZP FMIS-PKPa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
KSKFRKZS 80a n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
MWZZKa n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
PT                
SNSTFa C 4,200 13% 18.9% 5.1% Yes No CGTP
SINDEFERa C 980 10% 4.4% 1.6% Yes No UGT, ETF
SINAFEa C 1,450 n.a. 6.5% 3.7% Yes No UGT
SINFAa C 700 n.a. 3.1% 1.8% Yes No UGT
SINFESEa C 350 n.a. 1.6% 0.9% Yes No UGT
ASCEFa S 250 n.a. 1.5% 0.8% Yes No -
SINFBa S 400 0 2% 0.5% Yes No -
SITRENSa S 300 n.a. n.a. 1.9% Yes No -
SFRCIa S 400 n.a. n.a. 2.5% Yes No -
SIFOCTAa S 50 n.a. n.a. 0.3% Yes No -
ASSIFECOa S 50 n.a. n.a. 0.1% Yes No -
SENSIQa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SNETa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SETNa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SNAQa SO 1,400 n.a. 100% 8.9% Yes No -
SETAAa O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SERSa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SEa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SQTDa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SICONTa SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No -
SMAQa S 1,400 n.a. 100% 8.9% Yes No ALE
RO                
CSNTRa O 125,000 10% 63% 91% Yes Yes -
FNDFa C 13,707 14.7% 48.6% 20.9% Yes Yes CNSLR Frăţia, ETF
Elcatela O 5,793 37% 7.6% 7.6% Yes Yes CSNTR, BNS
FMLRa S 14,970 8% 22.8% 22.8% Yes Yes Cartel Alfa, CSNTR, ALE
FISMCa C 31,820b 15% 48.5% 48.5% Yes Yes CSN Meridian
FSRVa C 6,600b 4.5% 14.7% 14.7% Yes Yes CNSLR Frăţia
SI                
SSSLOa S 1,590 7.2% 86% 19.7% Yes Yes SSZ, Alternativa, ETF
SDZDSa C 1,650 27.3% 20.4% 20.4% Yes Yes SSZ
SZTSa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SSZ, Alternativa, ETF
SZSa C n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SSZ, Solidarity, ETF
SVPSa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SSZ
SVZVSSa n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SSZ
SVLMa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SSZ
SZPSa C 1,500 13.3% n.a. 18.6% Yes Yes SSZ, KNSS, ETF
SVZISa S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes SSZ, KNSS
SK                
OZŽa O 32,143 21.7% 78% 84% Yes Yes KOZ SR, ETF
FSSRa S 2,700 0 7.1% 7.1% Yes Yes ALE
OAVDa S 870 n.a. 2.3% 2.3% Yes Yes -
UK                
ASLEFa SO 18,274 3.2% 96%–98% 14.1% Yes Yes TUC, ETF
RMTa O 67,476 10.9% n.a. 33.8% Yes Yes TUC, ETF
TSSAa SO 32,426 30% >50% 13.8% Yes Yes TUC, ETF

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

n.a. = not available; * National affiliations are in italics. For the European level, only affiliations to sectoral European organisations are listed.

a= Inter-union domain overlap, b = 2006, c = Indirect affiliation via national higher-order organisation, d = PLK SA only, e = Formal recognition as being representative of all staff of SNCF, f = Formal recognition as being representative of certain occupations of SNCF.

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

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

As the trade unions’ domains often overlap with the sector demarcation, so too do their domains with one another in the case of most countries. The results presented in Table 3 also give an insight into these inter-union domain overlaps. The latter are endemic despite the relatively high degree of domain specialisation by sectionalist demarcations. This is mainly because at least one trade union’s domain relates to the sector in either congruent or overlapping terms, such that its domain intersects with the domains of the more specialised trade unions. However, even when congruent or overlapping trade union domains are not established in countries like Germany, certain unions share subgroups of employees as their constituency. Depending on the scale of mutual overlap, this can result in competition between the unions for members.

Looking at the membership data of the trade unions, it emerges that the women constitute the minority of members in most of the unions. Only a few trade unions in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Lithuania deviate from this pattern. This predominance of male trade union members echoes the gender-related structure of the employees.

Trade union membership is voluntary. In the Irish example, Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) employees, in the case of operative grades involving the majority of employees, have a choice between being members of the Services, Industrial, Professional, and Technical Union (SIPTU) or the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU). However, industrial agreements stipulate that workers must be members of one union or the other. For the other grades, closed-shop arrangements are in place, some with SIPTU and some with other trade unions, such as Amicus or the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA). Only senior management grades are not subject to some form of closed-shop arrangement. However, compliance with a closed-shop arrangement can be averted, and trade union sources estimate that, at any one time, several hundred workers (5%–10% of those subject to compulsory trade union membership) are not union members.

The absolute numbers of the unions’ members differ considerably, ranging from more than one million members to fewer than one hundred members. This considerable variation reflects the differences in the size of the economy and the comprehensiveness of the membership domain, rather than the trade unions’ ability to attract members. Therefore, density is a more appropriate measure of membership strength for drawing a comparative analysis. Domain density is 50% or higher in almost half of the trade unions which document figures on density. The vast majority of trade unions register very high densities, with 75% and more. Almost a third of all trade unions report a density of 15%–49%. About a quarter of the trade unions record a density of less than 15%. Compared with the density ratio referring to the trade unions’ total domain, the unions’ density in railways tends to be lower. Sectoral density is 50% or higher in the case of almost a third of the trade unions for which data are available. More than two thirds of the trade unions record a sectoral density of more than 75%. Sectoral density of more than half of the trade unions is lower than 15%. Less than 20% of trade unions register a density of between 15% and 49%. In contrast to this first glance, these figures do not indicate that the trade unions have specific problems with organising employees in the sector.

The lower sector-specific densities relative to domain density mainly emanate from the sectionalist domain, which characterises numerous trade unions. If a trade union organises a small group of workers within the railways sector, such as locomotive drivers, domain density is usually higher than sectoral density. Overall, the figures indicate that the railways sector is a highly unionised sector in almost all of the countries under examination. In Slovakia, for instance, total trade union membership accounts for a sector-wide density of more than 95%. Several sector-specific factors contribute to this high level of unionisation. Above all, employment in the sector in generally concentrated in one single and usually state-owned operator. Since railways are a key transport system in the economy, strikes are more effective in this sector than in most other sectors of the economy. As a result, this has strengthened the solidarity of the sector’s employees and the level of self-confidence of their representative trade unions.

Employer organisations

Tables 4 and 5 present the membership data on employer organisations. Only 12 of the 24 EU countries under consideration register employer organisations in the railways sector. In the other countries, no association meets the definition of a social partner organisation, as previously introduced. The UK Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) qualifies as social partner organisation only through its affiliation to the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER). In functional terms, ATOC does not have any industrial relations remit. Business interest organisations which specialise in matters other than those relating to industrial relations are commonly designated as trade associations (see TN0311101S). The associations from the 11 other countries operate as employer organisations which are all engaged in collective bargaining. In contrast to the trade union system, the employer side shows a high degree of concentration. More than one employer organisation exists only in Denmark, Germany and Italy.

Table 4: Domain coverage, membership and density of employer organisations in railway operation, 2004–2005
Country Domain cover-age Membership Density
Type Companies Employees Companies Employees
Domain Sector Domain Sector
AT                
FVS O oblig. 79 62,000 100% 100% 100% 100%
BE n.e.
BG n.e.
CZ n.e.
DE                
AGVDEa S vol. 120 12,000–13,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Agv MoVea O vol. 67 n.a. n.a. 80% 85%–90% n.a.
DK                
Perst SO vol. n.a. 156,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. 86%
Danish Regions SO vol. n.a. 160,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. 3%
JA SO vol. 17 1,350 100% 100% 90% 11%
EE n.e.
EL n.e.
ES                
AGESFER O vol. 6 1,500 n.a. n.a. 68.4% 4%
FI                
LTY O vol. 15 18,680 90% 100% 95% 100%
FR n.e.
HU n.e.
IE n.e.
IT                
AGENS O vol. 80 n.a. n.a. 90% n.a. 95%
ASSTRA SO vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LT n.e.
LU n.e.
LV                
LDzDDO C vol. 6 n.a. 43% 43% >60% >60%
NL                
KNV O vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. 16% n.a. 76%
PL                
ZPK C vol. 29 133,163 n.a. n.a. 100% 95%
PT n.e.
RO                
APTF O vol. 5 65,000 100% 95% 98% 98%
SI n.e.
SK                
ZZDPT O vol. 25 67,400 50% 30% 55% 99%
UK                
ATOC C vol. 22 n.a. 100% 3% 100% n.a.

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

C = Congruence, O = Overlap, SO = Sectional overlap, S = Sectionalism; vol. = voluntary membership; oblig. = obligatory membership; n.a. = not available; n.e. = non-existent; a = Inter-associational domain overlap.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

Table 5: Collective bargaining, consultation and national/European affiliations of employer organisations in railway operation, 2004–2005
Country Collective bargaining Consultation National and European affiliations*
AT      
FVS Voluntary Voluntary WKO, ERFA
BE n.e.
BG n.e.
CZ n.e.
DE      
AGVDEa Voluntary Voluntary BDA
Agv MoVea Voluntary Voluntary BDA
DK      
Perst Voluntary Obligatory CEEP
Danish Regions Voluntary Obligatory CEEP
JA Voluntary Obligatory CEMR
EE n.e.
EL n.e.
ES      
AGESFER Voluntary Obligatory -
FI      
LTY Voluntary Voluntary EK, CEEP
FR n.e.
HU n.e.
IE n.e.
IT      
AGENS Voluntary Voluntary Confindustria, Federtrasporto
ASSTRA Voluntary Voluntary -
LT n.e.
LU n.e.
LV      
LDzDDO Voluntary n.a. -
NL      
KNV Voluntary Obligatory VNO-NCW
PL      
ZPK Voluntary Voluntary KPP
PT n.e.
RO      
APTF Voluntary Voluntary -
SI n.e.
SK      
ZZDPT Voluntary Voluntary RUZ SR, CEEP
UK      
ATOC Obligatory Obligatory CER

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

* National affiliations are in italics; only affiliations to sectoral European associations are listed; n.a. = not available; n.e. = non-existent; a = Inter-associational domain overlap.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

The way in which the employer organisation’s domain relates to the sector differs somewhat. Domain overlaps are most frequent and usually occur among domains that include other areas of transport, for example, in the case of Austria’s Federal Organisation of Rail Transport (Fachverband der Schienenbahnen, FVS) or Italy’s Confederal Transport and Services Agency (Agenzia Confederale dei Trasporti e Servizi, AGENS). Overlapping domains are also common among services associated with railways as in the case of Germany’s Employers’ Association of Mobility and Transport Service Providers (Arbeitgeberverband der Mobilitäts- und Verkehrsdienstleister, Agv MoVe), or in the public sector as in the case of Finland’s Employers’ Association for Transport and Special Services (Liikenne- ja Erityisalojen Työnantajat, LTY). Sectionalism is based on specialisation by type of operator and/or ownership (for example, in the case of the Employers’ Association of German Railway Companies (Arbeitgeberverband Deutscher Eisenbahnen, AGVDE), the employer organisation Danish Regions (Danske Regioner) and the Danish Railways Employers’ Association (Jernbanernes Arbejdsgiverforening, JA)), company size (Spain’s Railway Services Employers’ Association (Asociación de Empresas de Servicios Ferroviarios, AGESFER)), and passenger train operators (ATOC in the UK). Membership of employer organisations is voluntary with the exception of FVS in Austria, which is under the umbrella of the public law Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKO). Available data suggest that employer density is particularly high, usually with scores of 80% or higher with regard to all density measures. Exceptions in this regard include the Latvian Railway Sector Employers’ Organisation (Latvijas Dzelzceļa nozares darba devēju organizācija, LDzDDO), Spain’s AGESFER, and both Danish Regions and JA in Denmark. The very low sectoral employee density in AGESFER, Danish Regions and JA reflects the narrow domain demarcation of the organisations.

These characteristics of employer representation can be traced to the monopolistic or oligopolistic structure of the sector’s product market, as manifested in the presence of one particularly large operator. This fosters either the rise of single-employer bargaining, leaving no role for employer organisations, or the formation of one single-employer association which can easily organise the few important operators in the sector.

Collective bargaining and its actors

Almost all of the trade unions listed in Table 3 are engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. The large number of trade unions as well as the numerous domain overlaps have entailed rivalries over bargaining rights in several countries, namely Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania. These rivalries become manifest in two main ways. On the one hand, the trade unions compete over bargaining goals, something which usually tends to inflate their demands, while it dampens them in fewer cases, when employers manage to play off specific trade unions against each other. On the other hand, certain trade unions may formally be excluded from collective bargaining, as is the case in Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Lithuania. In Italy, in particular, this has fuelled labour disputes, since the smaller trade unions that are excluded from bargaining try to enforce their recognition as a bargaining party by undertaking strike activity.

Employer organisations, which conduct sector-related collective bargaining, exist in fewer than half of the countries under consideration (Table 5). Since only three countries have more than one employer organisation, issues of inter-associational relations recede into the background. Rivalries between the two coexisting employer organisations do not occur in any of these countries.

System of collective bargaining

Table 6 presents an overview of the system of sector-related collective bargaining in the 24 EU countries under consideration. The standard measure of the importance of collective bargaining as a means of employment regulation is obtained by calculating the total number of employees covered by collective bargaining as a proportion of the total number of employees within a certain sector of the economy (see Traxler, F., Blaschke, S., Kittel, B., National labour relations in internationalised markets, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001). Accordingly, the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage is defined as the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector.

To delineate the bargaining system, two further indicators are employed. 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 subunit(s) is the party to the agreement; this includes cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement. The relative importance of multi-employer bargaining, measured as a percentage of the total number of employees covered by a collective agreement, thus indicates the impact of the employer organisations on the overall collective bargaining process.

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

Table 6: System of sectoral collective bargaining in railway operation, 2004–2005
Country Collective bargaining coverage (CBC) Proportion of multi-employer bargaining (MEB) as % of total CBC Extension practices
AT 4% (100%)a 100% (Limited/exceptional)
BE 100% 0% None
BG 93.4% 0% None
CZ 95% 0% None
DE n.a. MEB prevailing None
DK 95% 10% None
EE 95.5% 0% None
EL n.a. 0% None
ES 100% 6% None
FI 90% 100% Pervasive
FR 100% 0% None
HU 100% 0% None
IE 99.9% 0% None
IT 99.9% 95% (Pervasive)
LT 100% 0% None
LU n.a. 0% None
LV 100% 100% Pervasive
NL 80%–100% n.a. Pervasive
PL 95% MEB prevailing None
PT 36.2%b 0% None
RO 98% MEB prevailing Limited/exceptional
SI 100% 100% None
SK 90%–95% 0% None
UK 99.9% 0% None

Notes: Collective bargaining coverage (CBC) means employees covered as a percentage of the total number of employees in the sector. Multi-employer bargaining (MEB) is noted relative to single-employer bargaining (SEB). Extension practices include functional equivalents to extension provisions, that is, obligatory membership and labour court rulings – cases of functional equivalents appear in parentheses. n.a. = not available. a= Coverage rate adjusted for employees excluded from collective bargaining in parenthesis. b = Coverage rate may be underestimated.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

Compared with employee-related extension procedures, schemes that target employers are thus far more important to the strength of collective bargaining in general and to multi-employer bargaining in particular. This is because the employers are capable of refraining both from joining an employer organisation and from entering single-employer bargaining in the context of a purely voluntary system. Therefore, employer-related extension practices increase the coverage of multi-employer bargaining. Moreover, when 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 collective bargaining coverage in the railways sector, 18 of the 21 EU countries for which data are available record extremely high coverage rates of 90% or more (see Table 6 above). In the case of Austria, the figures misleadingly suggest a very low coverage rate, while they actually conceal a seemingly special arrangement. Since the public sector is formally excluded from collective bargaining, the railways sector – namely, the principal state-owned operator, Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen, ÖBB) – was also excluded when it formed part of the public sector. After the transformation of ÖBB into a private law company, its employees nevertheless maintained their public law employment status, such that they continued to be excluded from bargaining. As a consequence, a sector-wide collective agreement is regularly concluded only for the new employees who are employed under the terms of private law. While private law employees represent about 4% of the sector’s labour force, all of them are covered by the sector-wide collective agreement. This is due to obligatory membership of the signatory employer organisation in rail transport, FVS. The employment terms of the vast majority of public sector employees are still under the scope of a special collective ‘service employment regulation’. Thus, adjusting for employees formally excluded from collective bargaining, the collective bargaining coverage rate can reach up to 100%. Portugal remains the only country whose collective bargaining coverage is below 80%.

For 23 countries, at least a rough estimate can be made with regard to the relative importance of multi-employer bargaining. This type of bargaining usually prevails in those countries where employer organisations conduct collective bargaining (Table 5). There are, however, three exceptions. In Spain and Denmark, the employer organisations each represent only a small segment of the railways sector, therefore covering only a small proportion of the sector’s employees. In Slovenia, the government itself as the owner of the main operator in the sector negotiates a sector-wide agreement with the trade unions. This means that multi-employer bargaining is predominant in little more than a third of the countries for which data are reported. In several countries, such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland, Lithuania and Slovenia, only single-employer bargaining occurs and involves only one company. Nevertheless, the bargaining coverage rate is above 90% in all of these cases.

It could be concluded from the generally high level of collective bargaining coverage that cross-national differences in the majority of either multi-employer bargaining or single-employer bargaining do not strongly affect the overall bargaining coverage rate. However, this outcome contrasts significantly to the situation in other economic sectors. For instance, the coverage rate is higher than 90% in almost all countries. As outlined above, railways are characterised by economic properties supportive of a high rate of unionisation, which in turn gives rise to a high bargaining coverage rate, regardless of the type of collective bargaining established. This causal link between unionisation and collective bargaining also applies in the case of Portugal. Although no data are available on total trade union density across the sector, the union-specific densities in Table 3 suggest that the overall level of unionisation is low in Portugal, compared with other countries. However, trade union density, as well as bargaining coverage, may be underestimated in the case of Portugal due to inflated employment figures.

Since extension schemes can only be applied only to multi-employer agreements, the widespread practice of single-employer bargaining limits their use even in cases where labour law provides for such schemes. Furthermore, conditions in the sector are so conducive to collective bargaining that there is little need for extension schemes. Extension practices are common in Finland, Latvia, the Netherlands and Romania. When looking at the aim of extension provisions – that is, to make multi-employer agreements generally binding – the provisions for obligatory membership in Austria’s FVS, which is under the umbrella of the chamber organisation of business, should also be considered. Obligatory membership creates an extension effect, since the chambers 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 labour court rulings relate this principle to the multi-employer agreements, to the extent that they are regarded as generally binding.

Participation in public policymaking

Interest associations may partake in public policy in two basic ways: they may be consulted by the authorities on matters affecting their members; or they may be represented on ‘corporatist’, that is tripartite, committees and boards of policy concertation. This study considers only cases of consultation and corporatist participation that are suited to sector-specific matters. Consultation processes are not necessarily institutionalised, meaning that the organisations consulted by the authorities may vary according to the issues being addressed and also over time, depending on changes in government. Moreover, the authorities may initiate a consultation process on an occasional rather than on a regular basis. Given this volatility, Tables 3, 4 and 5 designate only those sector-related trade unions and employer organisations that are usually consulted.

Trade unions

The trade unions are usually consulted by the authorities in the majority of countries. No regular consultation is reported for Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Despite the accentuated multi-union system in most countries, the authorities tend to include all trade unions, if organised labour is consulted at all. Preferential treatment of one particular trade union is reported only for Estonia. In the case of Portugal, access to sector-related consultation processes is bound to a trade union’s affiliation to one of the major union confederations – such as the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses, CGTP) and the General Workers’ Union (União Geral de Trabalhadores, UGT) – that are represented on the country’s chief board of corporatist cross-sectoral policy concertation, namely Portugal’s tripartite Economic and Social Council (Conselho Económico e Social, CES).

Employer organisations

Due to their monopoly-like position in most countries, conflict over participation rights does not appear to be an issue in the case of the sector-related employer organisations. In the majority of countries where employer organisations exist, they are usually consulted on sector-related matters. Where trade unions and employer organisations coexist, generally the two sides of industry are both consulted or not consulted at all in relation to sector-specific matters. Austria deviates from this pattern in that the former Union of Railway Employees (Gewerkschaft der Eisenbahner, GdE), now vida, complains that the government seeks more advice on various issues from its employer counterpart. As noted above, employer organisations in the sense of the definition presented of a social partner organisation are not established in 12 of the 24 countries under consideration. This does not mean that business is excluded from consultation procedures in these countries. Under these circumstances, the companies themselves are involved in the consultation process. Moreover, the fact that the largest operators in the sector are owned by the state in most countries results in close relations between these operators and the government. In this case, some trade unions criticise the government for treating business interests more favourably than those of labour.

Tripartite participation

Turning from consultation to tripartite participation, it appears that sector-specific tripartite bodies are established only in Italy and Poland. Such bodies deal with matters of sectoral restructuring and industrial relations. In some countries – for example, Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia and Slovakia) – tripartite bodies for more encompassing economic sectors exist, including railways. In Bulgaria, the subsectoral council specialised in railways is defunct, since the monopoly operator is not affiliated to the business association represented on this body. Table 7 summarises the main properties of the active tripartite boards of public policy.

Table 7: Tripartite sector-specific boards of public policy in railway operation
Country Name of body and scope of activity Origin Participants
Trade unions Business associations
IT Cabina di Regia dei Trasporti – railways division – FS: investment, health and safety, industrial relations, network management Agreement FILT-CGIL FIT-CISL UILT-UIL UGL AF AGENS
PL Tripartite body for railways: Social dialogue, sectoral restructuring and privatisation Agreement SKK-NSZZ Solidarność, FZZP PKP, ZZM, ZZDR PKP, FZZPAT, ZZDR, ZZDKRP, SKK-NSZZ Solidarność 80, ZZPW, OMZZSOK, ZZA PKP, MZZRT, AZZTK, FZZMK ZPK

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

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

European level of interest representation

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

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

In terms of social dialogue, the constituent property of these structures is the ability of an organisation to negotiate on behalf of its members and to conclude binding agreements.

Against this background, the following section on the European organisations of the railways sector will analyse their organisations’ membership domain, the composition of their membership and their ability to negotiate.

As already noted above, one sector-related European organisation exists on each of the two sides of industry which is listed by the European Commission as a social partner organisation – ETF represents the employee side, while CER represents the employer side. Hence, the following analysis will concentrate on these two associations, while providing supplementary information on other organisations which are linked to the sector’s national industrial relations actors.

Membership domain

Since ETF, which is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), organises the entire transport sector, its membership domain is overlapping relative to the railways sector. In contrast to other European business associations, CER’s standard unit of membership is the company itself. There is, however, one notable exception: membership from the UK embraces ATOC, aside from the English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS). As in the case of ETF, the domain of CER is overlapping relative to the sector, since CER embraces not only the railway operators but also other infrastructure companies.

Membership composition

In terms of membership composition, the countries covered by ETF and CER extend beyond the 24 countries examined in this study. However, this report only considers membership of the 24 countries under consideration. Furthermore, the study is confined to the sector-related affiliates only. In other words, in the case of CER, those member companies specialised in managing rail infrastructure are not listed. Table 8 lists the membership of ETF and CER. Both organisations have members in all of the 24 countries under consideration.

Table 8: Members of ETF and CER in railway operation, 2005–2006
Country Members of ETF a Members of CER
AT GdE ÖBB, SLB
BE CSC/ACV Transcom, CGSP/ACOD, CGSLB/ACLVB SNCB/NMBS
BG FTW Podkrepa, UTTUB (UTWSB) BDZ
CZ OSZ CD
DE GDBA, Transnet, ver.di DB
DK 3F, DJ (DJF), Dansk Metal, HK Privat, HKT&Jb DSB, Railion Danmark A/S
EE ERAÜ EVR
EL POS (FPdC) OSE
ES FCT-CC.OO, ELA Hainbat, FETCM-UGT RENFE
FI RAUTL, VML (VETURI) VR
FR CFTC, FNTCTC-CGT, FGAAC, FGTE CFDT, FSC-CGT-FO, FC-UNSA SNCF, Eurotunnel, Veolia, THALYS
HU VDSZSZ, VSZ MAV, GYSEV/ROEEE, ZRt
IE SIPTU CIE
IT FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL, UILT-UIL FS
LT LGPF (FRWTUL), LGPS LG
LU FCPT-SYPROLUX, FNCTTFEL CFL
LV LdzSA LDZ
NL CNV Bedrijvenbond, FNV Bondgenoten NS, Railion
PL SKK-NSZZ Solidarność, FZZP PKP (ZZD PKP) PKP, Rail Polska Sp.zo.o
PT SINDEFER CP
RO FNDF CFR Calatori, CFR Marfa
SI SSSLO, SZPS (RTWS), SZS, SZTS (RTUS) SZ
SK OZŽ ŽSSK, ŽSSK Cargo
UK ASLEF, RMT, TSSA ATOCc, EWS

Notes: List is confined to organisations in the 24 countries under consideration and includes only sector-related affiliates – that is, pure infrastructure companies excluded in the case of CER. See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

a= ETF abbreviations for affiliates put in parentheses, if they strongly deviate from those used in the country studies, b = Affiliated to HK Privat, c= Associational affiliate.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2006

As far as available data on membership of the national trade unions provide sufficient information on their relative strength (see Table 3), it can be concluded that ETF covers the sector’s most important labour representatives in the vast majority of countries. Some national trade unions of major importance appear to be unaffiliated only in the case of Finland, Portugal and Romania. Likewise, CER represents the principal railway operators in all 24 countries, along with smaller operators in some countries. According to CER’s Annual Report 2005–2006, the affiliated railway operators from the countries included in this study have a total of about 996,000 employees. With direct company membership in almost all of the countries under consideration, with the exception of the UK, CER structures are not tied to the national systems of business associations. This raises the question of how these structures relate to the previously mentioned Commission criterion of representativeness, which requires European associations to cover organisations that are themselves an integral and recognised part of the Member States’ social partner structures and with capacity to negotiate agreements.

As already highlighted, collective bargaining is conducted either mainly or exclusively at company level in most of the 24 countries (see Table 6). In these circumstances, the companies themselves are the agents of business in industrial relations, while employer organisations are absent. More specifically, the companies, particularly the state-owned principal operators, are the key actors and leaders of business in the sector’s systems of single-employer bargaining; furthermore, they are usually affiliated to CER. In the case of the smaller number of countries where multi-employer bargaining is all-encompassing, CER can be linked indirectly to the national bargaining process insofar as CER members, when affiliated to the national employer organisations, can influence their goal formation and bargaining strategies.

Capacity to negotiate

The third criterion of representativeness at European level refers to the ability of an organisation to negotiate on behalf of its own members. Affiliation to ETF automatically implies giving a principle mandate to ETF for negotiations within the framework of the European social dialogue. In the case of the ETF railway section, this is further specified. Accordingly, the section’s members vote on a negotiation mandate that lays down certain guidelines such as minimum and maximum demands and the expected content of an agreement. An agreement can be signed only if this mandate is supported by at least two thirds of the affiliates affected. CER does not have a general mandate of negotiations. Mandates that are given by a company’s general assembly, composed of the central executive officers of the company members, are limited to negotiations about a particular issue.

In order to evaluate the weight of ETF and CER in European social dialogue, it is useful to make a comparison with other European associations that may be important representatives of the sector. This can be achieved by reviewing the European associations to which the sector-related trade unions and employer organisations are affiliated.

Regarding the trade unions, these affiliations are listed in Table 3. Seven European organisations, other than ETF, represent sector-related trade unions. The most notable of these organisations is the European Autonomous Train Drivers Unions (Autonome Lokomotivführer- Gewerkschaften Europas, ALE), whose domain comprises the occupational trade unions within the area of railways. ALE has 10 affiliations in 10 countries among the trade unions documented in Table 3. Altogether, ALE, which is affiliated to the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (Confédération européenne des syndicats indépendants, CESI), covers 12 of the 24 countries under examination, with one trade union in each of these countries: these countries include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. In total, 10 of these affiliates meet the criteria of a social partner organisation, as introduced by the Commission.

Other European associations with members among those listed in Table 3 include the European Federation Public Service Unions (EPSU), with two affiliations covering two countries; the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), with two affiliations in one country; and the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation (EMCEF), the Union Network International-Europa (UNI-Europa), the Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff (Eurocadres) and the European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff (CEC) each with one affiliation.

A similar overview of the employer organisations’ memberships can be derived from Table 4. The findings show that only a minority of the employer organisations listed have organisational links with European federations. Leaving aside ATOC’s affiliation to CER, it appears that the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) has four affiliates from three countries. Furthermore, the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) has one affiliation.

Commentary

In comparison to other sectors, the railways sector stands out in terms of its particularly high level of unionisation. This situation applies also to the new EU Member States (NMS) that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, where trade unions are rather weak in many other sectors of the economy. Several factors in these countries are especially supportive to the trade unions in the railways sector. These factors relate to the sector’s economic structure, namely its high economic concentration, which is manifested in the existence of one very large, principal operator which is usually still owned by the state. Such properties, together with the sector’s nature as a key transport system in the economy, equip the trade unions with a particularly strong capacity for organising strikes. As a result, trade union strength makes industrial relations and their regulatory outcomes a core area when it comes to restructuring the sector.

The sector’s economic properties have also had an influence on how employers advance their interests in the industrial relations system. Due to the high economic concentration of the sector, the operating companies have not banded together in employer organisations in the majority of countries, with the consequence that single-employer bargaining is more widespread than multi-employer bargaining.

Trade union strength, combined with economic concentration, has given rise to a relatively high rate of collective bargaining coverage, regardless of whether single-employer bargaining or multi-employer bargaining prevails in a country. As a comparison with recent figures on cross-sectoral collective bargaining coverage in the EU25 Member States prior to the entry of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007 shows, the sector’s adjusted bargaining coverage is higher in 14 of the 17 countries for which comparable data are available (see Marginson, P. and Traxler, F., ‘After enlargement: Preconditions and prospects for bargaining coordination’, in Transfer, Vol. 11, 2005, pp. 423–438). In Slovenia, the sector’s collective bargaining coverage is equal to total coverage. Likewise, the two coverage rates are at a similar level in the Netherlands, whereas the sector’s coverage may be lower than total coverage in the case of Portugal. As a rule, the sector’s coverage rate is substantially higher than the total coverage rate particularly in the NMS, where only a small number of employees across the economy are covered.

At European level, the structure of employer organisations is strongly influenced by the prevailing pattern of national industrial relations. Reflecting the predominance of the sector’s companies over business associations in most of the national industrial relations systems, CER, the sector-related voice of employers at European level, is based on direct company membership, instead of membership of national associations. Hence, employer organisations that are still the key industrial relations actors of business in a minority of countries are not affiliated. Regardless of this, CER and its labour counterpart, ETF, are unmatched as the sector’s European representatives of employers and employees, particularly since no other European organisation can compare with them in terms of organising relevant sector-related industrial relations actors across the EU Member States.


Part 2: Railway infrastructure

Objectives of study

As highlighted in the first part of this representativeness study, the aim of the research is to identify the relevant national and supranational associational actors – namely, the trade unions and employer associations – in the field of industrial relations in the railway infrastructure sector, and how these actors relate to the sector’s European interest associations of labour and business.

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

As regards the national-level associations, classification as a sector-related social partner organisation implies fulfilling one of two criteria: The associations must be either a party to ‘sector-related’ collective bargaining or a member of a sector-related European association of business or labour that is on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations consulted under Article 138 of the EC Treaty. Affiliation to such a European organisation and involvement in national collective bargaining are of the utmost importance to the European social dialogue.

Following the criteria for the national organisations, this study includes those sector-related European organisations that are on the Commission’s list of consultation. In addition, this report considers any other sector-related European association with sector-related national social partner organisations under its umbrella. Hence, the plan to identify the sector-related national and European social partner organisations is both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’.

Definitions

For the purpose of this study, the railway infrastructure sector is defined in terms of the classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE), to ensure cross-national comparability of the research findings. More specifically, railway infrastructure is defined according to NACE 63.21 – ‘other supporting land transport activities’ – as far as such activities are related to the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure of railways. Activities related to railway infrastructure include, in particular, the operation of railway stations, cargo facilities and the railway network, as well as the maintenance of railway tracks and the rolling stock. The sector does not include transport activities in a narrower sense covered under NACE 60.1.

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

  • congruence – the domain of the organisation or scope of the collective agreement is identical to the NACE demarcation, as specified above;
  • sectionalism – the domain or scope covers only a certain part of the sector, as defined by the aforementioned NACE demarcation, while no group outside the sector is covered;
  • overlap – the domain or 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.

In line with the above conceptual remarks, this study proceeds at European level from three sector-related associations that are currently on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations: ETF, CER and the European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM). Hence, affiliation to either ETF, CER or EIM is one sufficient criterion for classifying a national association as a social partner organisation for the purpose of this study. It should be noted, however, that the constituent criterion is one of sector-related membership. This is important in the case of ETF due to its multi-sectoral domain, but also in the case of CER, which organises both train operators and infrastructure managers. This study will include only the sector-related affiliates to ETF and CER.

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 report draws on the country studies provided by the EIRO national centres. It is often difficult to find precise quantitative data. In such cases, rough estimates are offered rather than leaving a question blank, given the practical and political relevance of this study. However, if any doubt arises over the reliability of an estimate, this will be noted.

Quantitative data may stem from three sources, namely:

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

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

Report structure

The study consists of three main parts, starting with a very brief summary of the economic background of the sector. The report then analyses the social partner organisations in all EU Member States, with the exception of Cyprus and Malta. In other words, the study covers 25 of the current 27 EU Member States. The third part 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 matter, it requires separate consideration at national and European level for two reasons. On the one hand, the method applied by national regulations and practices to capture representativeness has to be taken into account. On the other hand, the national and European organisations differ in their tasks and scope of activities. The concept of representativeness must thus be suited to this difference.

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

Economic background

The railways sector has undergone a process of restructuring throughout the EU Member States. Originally organised as a form of state-controlled infrastructure, railways is currently undergoing a process of transformation into a business sector as a result of ongoing deregulation of market entry and liberalisation of services, sometimes accompanied by full or partial privatisation of the former state-owned operator. Restructuring has, in particular, meant decoupling network and infrastructure management from transport service activities, a process triggered by EU legislation in the early 1990s. The separation of transport service provision from railway infrastructure management has been accomplished in most EU countries thus far, as has been the establishment of bodies responsible for licences, safety certificates and the allotment of railway net capacities to transport operators. Despite these reforms, however, the sector has generally maintained its monopoly-like structure in that one single principal operator, often still owned by the state, dominates the product market and employs the majority of the sector’s employees. Typically, the former state-owned monopoly provider today, after a process of market liberalisation, heads a group of subsidiaries – for example, in the form of a ‘holding’ company – which altogether carry out all former activities of the national railway company. This process of splitting up and ‘subsidiarisation’ under the head of the former monopoly provider usually meets the requirements of organisational separation of railway operations from infrastructure (see Pedersini, R., EIRO thematic feature – Industrial relations in the railway sector, Dublin, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2005). Depending on the stage of restructuring, the reforms have, nevertheless, affected labour relations mainly in two ways. Echoing the transfer of the state-owned operator from a public law undertaking into a private law company, the employment relationship is shifting from public sector regulations to private law status. Moreover, the sector has undergone a thoroughgoing process of labour shedding. According to the European Commission, the number of workers in the whole railway sector has declined by around 45% since the early 1990s (see European Commission, Recent developments in the European Sectoral Social Dialogue (1.35Mb PDF), Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2006).

Tables 9 and 10 give an overview of the development from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, presenting a few indicators which are important to industrial relations and social dialogue. Despite the measures to open up the markets, the number of companies substantially increased only in a few countries, such as the Czech Republic, Finland and Poland. In seven of the 25 countries considered in this part of the research, one single company continues to operate in the railway infrastructure sector. The scale of employment, as well as the number of employees, decreased in almost all countries for which data are available, apart from Denmark (and perhaps Sweden and the UK), where both increased. Likewise, the sector’s share of employment and employees as a proportion of a country’s total employment and employees generally declined. In the mid 2000s, these shares were considerably below 1% in all cases with accessible data. Male employment clearly prevails in the sector in all 25 countries under examination. It should be noted that in quite a number of countries no data for the sector are accessible. This is because the sector in question originates from a form of artificial ‘split-off’ from the traditional, encompassing railway sector (for which data are usually recorded) and is thus not congruent with a clearly demarcated economic activity according to the NACE classification system.

Table 9: Total employment in railway infrastructure, 1994 and 2005
  Number of companies Total employment Male employment Female employment
1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005
AT 13 18 n.a. 20,200a 97%b 95%b 3%b 5%b
BE 1c 1b n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
BG n.a. 1a n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
CZ 338 1,258b 11,000 3,900b 8,900 3,100b 2,000 800b
DE n.a. 851b n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
DK 15 10 1,251 2,422 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
EE n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
EL 1 1b n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
ES 2 n.a. 56,000e n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
FI 1 60 4,200 3,100 95% 95% 5% 5%
FR 1 2b 61,000 54,800b 90% 78% 10% 22%b
HU n.a. 90 n.a. 8,885f n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
IE 1 1 n.a. 2,244 n.a. 2,114 n.a. 130
IT n.a. n.a. n.a. 35,714g n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LT n.a. >/=4 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LU n.a. 1a n.a. 74a n.a. 59a n.a. 15a
LV n.a. n.a. <2,122 <2,760 <1,169 <1,833 <953 <927
NL 330c 405 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PL 1 157 n.a. 43,558 n.a. 30,000 n.a. 13,500
PT 1d 1b 6,365d 3,604b 5,089d 2,979b 1,276d 625b
RO 1 1b 70,000 29,000b 50,000 20,600b 20,000 9,000b
SE i 763 931b 12,822 15,015b n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
SI 3 3b 4,520 4,449b n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
SK n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
UKh n.a. n.a. 30,478 49,000 24,586 41,189 5,891 7,812

Notes: n.a. = not available; a= 2007, b = 2006, c = 1996, d = 1999, e = figure relates to the whole railways sector, not only to NACE 63.21, f = figure probably underestimated, g = figure relates to the Italian Rail Network (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, RFI) only, the national railway infrastructure provider, h = figures relate to all ‘other supporting land transport activities’ according to NACE 63.21, not to those related to railway infrastructure only, i = figure relates to all ‘other supporting transport activities’ according to NACE 63.2.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Table 10: Total employees in railway infrastructure, 1994 and 2005
  Total employees Male employees Female employees Total sectoral employment as % of total employment in economy Total sectoral employees as % of total employees in economy
1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005
AT n.a. 20,000 97%b 95%b 3%b 5%b n.a. 0.5 n.a. 0.6
BE 15,244 14,072 92%c 95.7%b 8%d 4.3% n.a. n.a. 0.47 0.43
BG n.a. 15,805a n.a. 12,870a n.a. 2,935a n.a. 0.48a n.a. 0.68a
CZ 10,200 3,500b 8,300 2,900b 2,000 700b 0.22 0.08b 0.24 0.09b
DE n.a. 39,808j n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.15
DK n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.06 0.1 n.a. n.a.
EE n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
EL 8,500 6,000b n.a. 5,880b n.a. 120b n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.2b,g
ES 44,000f 18,576 n.a. 67% n.a. 33% 0.36 0.10 0.48 0.12
FI 3,500 2,800 90% 92% 10% 8% 0.22 0.13 0.22 0.14
FR 61,000 54,800b 90% 78%b 10% 22% 0.20 0.18b 0.20 0.18b
HU n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.32h n.a. n.a.
IE n.a. 2,029 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.10 n.a. 0.1
IT n.a. 35,714i n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.21
LT n.a. >/=4,480 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
LU n.a. 74a n.a. 59a n.a. 15a n.a. <0.025a n.a. 0.025a
LV <2,122 <2,712 <1,169 <1,801 <953 <911 <0.29 <0.29 <0.29 <0.29
NL n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
PL n.a. 43,558 n.a. 30,000 n.a. 13,500 n.a. 0.34 n.a. 0.47
PT 6,350e 3,598b 5,803e 5,803e 1,267e 625b 0.20e 0.10b 0.20e 0.10b
RO 70,000 29,600b 50,000 20,600b 20,000 9,000b 0.70 0.10b 1.09 0.65b
SEk 12,393 14,425b n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 0.34 0.33b 0.36 0.38b
SI 4,520 4,449b 92% 91%b 8% 9%b 0.70 0.54b 0.70 0.54b
SK n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
UKj 28,972 47,513 23,080 39,701 5,892 7,812 0.12 0.17 0.13 0.19

Notes: n.a. = not available; a= 2007, b = 2006, c = 1996, d = 2001, e = 1999, f = figure relates to the whole railways sector, not only to NACE 63.21, g = figure probably inflated, h = figure probably underestimated, i = figure relates to the RFI only, the national railway infrastructure provider, j = figures relate to all ‘other supporting land transport activities’ according to NACE 63.21, not to those related to railway infrastructure only, k = figure relates to all ‘other supporting transport activities’ according to NACE 63.2.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

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/or employer organisations. The most important rights addressed by such regulations include: formal recognition as a party to collective bargaining; extension of the scope of a multi-employer collective agreement to employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisation; and participation in public policy and tripartite bodies of social dialogue. Under these circumstances, representativeness is normally measured by the membership strength of the organisations. For instance, statutory extension provisions usually allow for extending a collective agreement to unaffiliated employers only when the signatory trade union and employer organisation represent 50% or more of the employees within the agreement’s domain.

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

As cross-national comparative analysis shows, a generally positive correlation emerges between the bargaining role of the social partners and their involvement in public policy (see Traxler, 2004). Social partner organisations that are engaged in multi-employer bargaining are involved in state policies to a significantly greater extent than their counterparts in countries where multi-employer bargaining is lacking. One explanation for this finding is that only multi-employer agreements matter in macroeconomic terms, setting an incentive for the governments to persistently seek the cooperation of the social partner organisations. If single-employer bargaining prevails in a country, none of the collective agreements will have a noticeable effect on the economy due to their limited scope. As a result, the basis for generalised tripartite policy concertation will be absent.

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

Membership domain and strength

The membership domain of an organisation, as formally established by its constitution or name, demarcates its potential members from other groups which the organisation does not claim to represent. As explained above, this study considers only organisations whose domain relates to railway infrastructure. For reasons of space, it is impossible to outline in detail 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. Regarding membership strength, a differentiation should be made between strength in terms of the absolute number of members and strength in relative terms. Research usually refers to relative membership strength as density, 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 persons who are unionised. In addition to taking the total membership of a trade union as an indicator of its strength, it is also reasonable to break down this membership total by sex. However, the situation regarding employer organisations is more complex since they organise collective entities, namely companies that employ employees. Hence, in this case, 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 sectoral study such as this, measures of membership strength of both the trade unions and employer organisations also have 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, density referring to its overall domain – may differ from sector-specific density – in other words, density referring to the particular sector. This report will first present the data on the domains and membership strength of the trade unions, followed by the corresponding data for the employer organisations.

Trade unions

Table 11 outlines the trade union data on domains and also on membership strength. This table lists all of the trade unions meeting at least one of the two criteria for classification as a sector-related social partner organisation, as outlined earlier. Notably, detailed data are not available on the trade unions’ bargaining practices in France. In this case, the trade unions are listed because they are formally recognised as being representative (and therefore recognised for collective bargaining) of all staff of SNCF or certain occupations of SNCF. Likewise, two trade unions in Portugal, namely the Independent Union of Operational Railway (Sindicato Independente dos Operários Ferroviários e Afins, SIOFA) and the Independent Union of Information and Communication Workers (Sindicato Independente dos Trabalhadores da Informação e Comunicações, SITIC), are included and are representative in the sector, although to a very small extent in terms of members. However, no information on these unions’ bargaining practices is available. In contrast to the railway transport services sector, where congruent and sectionalist domain demarcations are most frequent, overlapping and sectionalistically overlapping domain demarcations prevail in the railway infrastructure sector. This is because no trade union covers only railway infrastructure employees. Rather, most sector-related trade unions represent both transport service and infrastructure workers, since they were established before any organisational separation of these two fields of activities was carried out. Therefore, the vast majority of the trade unions are (sectionalistically) overlapping in relation to this subsector. Domain overlaps usually occur in the case of cross-sectoral trade unions (often covering broader areas of the transport sector) and unions covering the entire railways sector. Sectionalist overlaps are usually caused by domain specialisation in terms of employee status and qualifications, such as white-collar employees, blue-collar employees and engineers, which is the case in Finland and Portugal. In Germany, Transnet and ver.di each concentrates on certain railway operators within broader sectoral domain demarcations. The large number of sectionalist overlaps in the sector ensues from the pronouncedly pluralist structure of most national trade union systems. In six of the 25 countries under consideration in this part of the study – Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Portugal – six or more sector-related trade unions exist. One single trade union represents the sector only in Austria, Greece, Latvia and Luxembourg. Sectionalism usually means domain demarcation by such sector-specific occupations as maintenance work, security services, rolling stock auditing and railtrack services. Domain demarcations congruent with the railway infrastructure sector are virtually inexistent for the reasons mentioned above.

Table 11: Interest representation of trade unions in railway infrastructure, 2005–2006
Country Type of mem-ber-ship* Dom-ain cover-age Membership Density (%) Collec-tive bargain-ing Con-sul-tation National and European affiliations**
Members Sectoral members Female member-ship (% of total member-ship) Dom-ain Sector
AT                    
Vida (formerly GdE) vol. O 166,000 19,000–20,000 29% n.a. 95% Yes No ÖGB, ETF, EFTAT, UNI-Europa
BE                    
CGSP/ACODa vol. O 19,522 9,500 8% 51% 67.5% Yes Yes FGTB, ETF
‘Transcom’ section of CSC/ACVa vol. O 90,000 6,700 8% 42% 47.6% Yes Yes CSC/ACV, ETF
SLFP-C/VSOA-Sa vol. C n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. No Yes CGSLB/ ACLVB, ETFb
BG                    
TURWBa vol. O 10,300 5,000 32% n.a. n.a. Yes No CITUB, ETF
UTTUBa vol. O 10,500 300 21% n.a. n.a. Yes No CITUB, ETF
FTWa vol. O 8,150 2,230 27% n.a. n.a. Yes No CL Podkrepa, ETF
NRTUa vol. O 2,000 648 22.8% n.a. n.a. Yes No CL Podkrepa
CZ                    
OSŽa vol. C 48,000 n.a. 31% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes ASO ČR, ETF
FVČa vol. S 600 n.a. 20%–30% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
UZZa vol. C 370 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
FŽ ČRa vol. C 220 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
DE                    
Transneta vol. SO 248,983 27,300 21.1% 70% 70% Yes Yes DGB, ETF
GDBAa vol. S 45,000 7,030 10.8% n.a. n.a. Yes Yes DBB, ETF
ver.dia vol. SO 2,274,731 1,000 49.8% 50% n.a. Yes Yes DGB, ETF
DK                    
HK Trafik and Dansk Jernbanea vol. O 5,000 1,000 52% 70% 80% Yes No HK, OAO, LO, ETF
DJa vol. O 5,410 670 31% 92% 98% Yes No LO, ETF
3Fa vol. O 350,444 200 32% 75% 98% Yes No LO, OAO, ETF
Dansk Metala vol. O 138,948 40 5% 80% 90% Yes No LO, OAO, ETF
DEFa vol. SO 30,016 42 1% 75% 90% Yes No LO, OAO, EMCEF
TLa vol. SO 30,000 30 44% n.a. 95% Yes No LO, OAO, UNI-Europa, EPSU
AC vol. SO 170,000 213 42% 90%–100% 100% Yes No EPSU, Eurocadres
EE                    
ERAÜa vol. O 1,900 650 61% 51% n.a. Yes Yes EAKL, ETF
Koostöö TUa vol. S 189 88 54%–57% 27%–31.5% 41% Yes No -
EL                    
POS vol. O 9,363 6,000 n.a. 100% 100% Yes Yes GSEE, ETF
ES                    
FCT-CC.OO/Railwaysa vol. O 9,449 >3,944 7.4% 27% 27% Yes Yes CC.OO, ETF
FETCM-UGTa vol. O 15,059 4,000 20% 27% 27% Yes Yes UGT, ETF
CGTa vol. O n.a. 2,000 19% n.a. 13% Yes No -
ELA Hainbat n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. ETF
FI                    
RAUTLa vol. SO 6,961 1,300 22% 96% 98% Yes Yes SAK, ETF
Rakennusliittoa vol. SO 83,017 200 4.5% 72% 70% Yes No EFBWW, EMCEF
RTL-Pardiaa vol. SO 630 450 4% 60% 90% Yes No FIPSU, EPSU
VR-AKAVA RYa vol. SO 270 60 10% 87% 87% Yes No AKAVA, YTN
TUa vol. SO 125,722 80 45.5% 79% 75% Yes No STTK, ETF, EMF, EMCEF, UNI-Europa, EFBWW, ETUF-TCL, EFTAT
FR                    
FNTCTC-CGTa vol. O n.a. 18,000–20,000 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.c CGT, ETF
FC-CFDTa vol. O n.a. 4,000 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.c CFDT, ETFb
FSC-CGT-FOa vol. O n.a. 2,700 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.c CGT-FO, ETF
FC-CFTCa vol. O n.a. 600–700 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.c CFTC, ETFb
FSTR-SUDa vol. O n.a. 4,000 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.c SUD
FC-UNSAa vol. O n.a. - 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.c UNSA, ETF
SNPCC-CFE-CGCa vol. S n.a. - 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.d CFE-CGC
SNCSa vol. S n.a. - 18%–22% n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.d -
HU                    
PVDSZa vol. C 5,000 1,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
VSZa vol. O 11,000–12,000 6,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes MSZOSZ, ETF
VDSZSZa vol. O 10,000 5,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes LIGA, ETF
IE                    
SIPTUa vol. SO 200,000 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU, ETF
NBRUa vol. SO 3,700 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes -
TSSAa oblig. SO 1,877 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
ATGWU oblig. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
Amicus oblig. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes -
TEEU oblig. SO 37,025 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
GMB oblig. SO 10,135 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
NUSMWI oblig. SO 800 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
UCATT oblig. SO 15,160 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
BATU oblig. SO 10,020 n.a. n.a. 85% 85% Yes Yes ICTU
IT                    
FILT-CGILa vol. O 143,696 n.a. 12%–13% 13.6% n.a. Yes Yes CGIL, ETF
FIT-CISLa vol. O 107,082 8,859 15% 10.1% 24.8% Yes Yes CISL, ETF
UILT-UILa vol. O 100,000 4,000 20% 8.3% 11.2% Yes Yes UIL, ETF
UGL Trasportia vol. O 80,676 4,044 45% 8.2% 11.3% Yes Yes UGL
ORSAa vol. O 34,000 4,000 n.a. n.a. 11.2% Yes Yes -
FASTa vol. O 11,000 550 15% 1% 1.5% Yes Yes CONFSAL, ALE
LT                    
LGPFa vol. O 3,000 1,510 50% 25% 34% Yes Yes LPSK, ETF
LGPSSa vol. O 1,200 540 40% 11% 15% Yes Yes LDF
LGPS n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. No n.a. ETF
LU                    
OGB-L vol. O 58,000 37 33% n.a. 50% Yes n.a. CGT-L, ETF
LV                    
LDzSA vol. O 14,359 n.a. 25% 78% n.a. Yes Yes LBAS, ETF
NL                    
FNV Bond-genotena vol. O 470,000 1,200 20% n.a. 10% Yes Yes FNV, ETF
CNV Bedrijven-bonda vol. O 90,000 750 15% n.a. 10% Yes Yes CNV, ETF
VHSa vol. SO 500 n.a. n.a. n.a. 1% Yes No CHMF
PL                    
SKK-NSZZ Solidarnośća vol. O 34,340 9,800 30% 27% 22% Yes Yes NSZZ Solidarność, ETF
FZZP PKPa vol. O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes FZZ, ETF
ZZDR PKPa vol. SO 9,864 n.a. 45% 19%e 8% Yes Yes -
FZZPATa vol. SO 3,240 n.a. n.a. 38% 2.5% Yes Yes OPZZ
AZZTKa vol. O 1,619 n.a. n.a. 1.3% 1.3% Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZA PKPa vol. S 500 n.a. 50% n.a. 0.5% Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZDRa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
SKK-NSZZ Solidarność 80 vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes FZZ
ZZPWa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes FZZ
OMZZSOKa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
MZZRTa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
ZZDPKPa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
NSZZ PSD PKPa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
NSZZ SW PKPa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
KZZP FMIS-PKPa vol. S n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
KSKFRKZS 80 vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
MWZZK vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes OPZZ
PT                    
SNSTFa vol. O 3,900 1,500 13% 17.5% 33%–42% Yes No CGTP
SINDEFERa vol. O 780 170–413 25% 3.5% 4.7%–11.5% Yes No UGT, ETF
SINAFEa vol. O 1,450 n.a. n.a. 7% n.a. Yes No UGT
SINFAa vol. O 700 n.a. n.a. 3% n.a. Yes No UGT
SINFESEa vol. O 350 n.a. n.a. 2% n.a. Yes No UGT
ASCEFa vol. SO 250 67 0% n.a. 1.9% Yes No -
SINFBa vol. SO 400 n.a. Near 0% 2% 1% Yes No -
SNTVFPa n.a. O n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SENSIQa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SNETa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SETNa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SNAQa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SERSa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SEa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SQTDa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SICONTa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SIOFAa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. No n.a.
SITICa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. No n.a.
SETAAa n.a. SO n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
SIFOCTA n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes No n.a.
RO                    
FISMCa vol. O 31,820 13,600 15% 48.5% 45.9% Yes Yes CSN Meridian
FNDFa vol. O n.a. 11,000 14% n.a. 32.7% Yes Yes CNSLR Frăţia, ETF
FAF vol. n.a. n.a. 2,500 n.a. n.a. 8.6% Yes Yes -
Elcatela vol. O 5,700f 1,500 37% 8.8f 5.1% Yes Yes CSNTR, BNS
SE                    
SEKOa vol. SO 150,000 5,000–6,000 30% 80% 90% Yes No LO, ETF, UNI-Europa, EPSU
SACOa vol. SO 581,000 1,000 52% 50% 90% Yes No -
STa vol. SO 100,000 700 65% 41% 95% Yes No TCO, ETF, UNI-Europa
SI                    
SZSa vol. O 2,200 100 n.a. n.a. 2.2% Yes Yes SSZ, Solidarity, ETF
SDZDSa vol. O 1,550 650 25% n.a. 14.4% Yes Yes SSZ, Alternativa
SVZISa vol. O 550 n.a. n.a. n.a. 12.2% Yes Yes SSZ
SZPSa vol. O 1,300 n.a. 13.3% n.a. 28.9% - Yes SSZ, KNSS, ETF
SK                    
OZŽa vol. O 28,000 15,000 20% 75% 83% Yes Yes KOZ SR, ETF
OAVDa vol. S 870 810 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
FPPa vol. O 290 150 n.a. n.a. n.a. Yes Yes -
UK                    
RMTa vol. O 67,476 n.a. 10.9% n.a. 30%–35% Yes Yes TUC, ETF
TSSAa vol. SO 32,426 n.a. 30% n.a. 10%–15% Yes Yes TUC, ETF

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

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

a= Domain overlap, b = Indirect affiliation via national higher-order organisation, c = Formal recognition as being representative of all staff of SNCF, d = Formal recognition as being representative of certain occupations of SNCF, e = PKP PLK SA only, f = In railway sector only.

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

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

As the trade unions’ domains often overlap with the sector demarcation, so too do their domains with one another in the case of most countries. The results presented in Table 11 also outline these inter-union domain overlaps. The latter may be considered as endemic, despite the relatively high degree of domain specialisation by sectionalist demarcations. This is mainly because at least one trade union’s domain relates to the sector in overlapping terms, such that its domain intersects with the domains of the more specialised trade unions. Moreover, many specialised trade unions nevertheless share subgroups of employees as their constituency. Depending on the scale of mutual overlap, this can result in competition between the unions for members – this is the case, for instance, in Estonia, Hungary, Ireland and Spain.

Looking at the membership data of the trade unions, it emerges that female employees are among the minority group in most of the unions. Only a few trade unions in Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden deviate from this pattern. In these exceptional cases, high female membership rates are likely to originate in areas of the trade unions’ domains other than the railways sector. The predominance of male union members in the sector echoes the gender-related structure of the employees.

Trade union membership of is usually voluntary. In the Irish example, Irish Rail operative grade workers have a choice between being members of SIPTU or NBRU, but the industrial agreements stipulate that they must be members of one trade union or the other. For the other grades, closed-shop arrangements are offered, mostly with trade unions other than SIPTU and NBRU, such as Amicus or TSSA. Only senior management grades are not subject to some form of closed-shop arrangement. However, compliance with a closed shop can be averted, and trade union sources estimate that several hundred workers are not union members. In the case of Portugal, the membership regulations and procedures of a series of small sector-related trade unions could not be clarified.

The absolute numbers of the trade unions’ members differ widely. Their records range from more than two million members to fewer than two hundred members. This considerable variation reflects differences in the size of the economy and the comprehensiveness of the membership domain, rather than the trade unions’ ability to attract members. Therefore, density is a more appropriate measure of membership strength for drawing a comparative analysis. Domain density is 50% or higher in more than half (that is, 56%) of all trade unions which document figures on density. The vast majority (73%) of the trade unions register very high densities, with 75% and more. The group of trade unions reporting a density of 15%–49% represents a fifth (20%) of all unions. Almost a quarter (24%) of the trade unions record a density of less than 15%.

Compared with the density referring to the trade unions’ total domain, the unions’ density in railway infrastructure tends to be slightly lower. Sectoral density is 50% or higher in the case of almost half (48%) of the trade unions for which data are available. Almost all of them (87%), however, record a sectoral density of 75% and more. Sectoral density for about a third (32%) of the trade unions is lower than 15%. Around 20% of trade unions register a density of between 15% and 49%. In contrast to this first glance, these figures do not indicate that the trade unions have specific problems with organising employees in the sector.

The slightly lower sector-specific densities relative to the domain densities partially emanate from the fact that the trade union domain is often congruent with the whole railway sector, encompassing also transport services, where density is often even higher relative to infrastructure. Apart from this, available sector-related density figures of poorly organised trade unions seem to be overrepresented in the sample (Table 11) in relation to the figures on total density. This is evident from those trade unions for which figures on both measures are recorded. In most of these cases, sectoral density is either equal to or even slightly higher than total density, although a few trade unions show the reverse relationship between the two densities. This finding substantially questions the above evidence of the sectoral density being lower than density referring to the trade unions’ domain. Overall, the figures indicate that railway infrastructure is a highly unionised sector in almost all of the countries under examination. In Austria, Greece and Sweden, for instance, membership of the different trade unions altogether accounts for a sector-wide density of more than 90%. Several sector-specific factors contribute to this high level of unionisation. Above all, employment in the sector is generally concentrated in one single and usually state-owned operator. Since railways are a key transport system in the economy, strikes are more effective in this sector than in most other sectors of the economy. As a result, this has strengthened the solidarity of the sector’s employees and the level of self-confidence of their representative trade unions.

Employer organisations

Tables 12 and 13 present the membership data on the employer organisations. Only nine of the 25 countries under consideration register employer organisations. In the other countries, no association meets the definition of a social partner organisation, as previously introduced. Interestingly, all employer organisations qualify as social partner organisations through their industrial relations involvement. This means that no purely business interest organisation exists in the sector which specialises in matters other than industrial relations, that is trade associations (see TN0311101S). All associations operate as employer organisations which are all engaged in collective bargaining. In contrast to the trade union system, the employer side shows a high degree of concentration. More than one employer organisation exists only in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

The way in which the employer organisations’ domain relates to the sector differs only in that their domain is either overlapping or sectionalistically overlapping. These relationships usually occur among domains that include other areas of transport (as in the case of AGENS in Italy) and encompassing services associated with railways (for example, FVS in Austria and Agv MoVe in Germany). Overlapping domains are also common in the public sector – for example, in the case of the State Employer’s Authority (Personalestyrelsen, Perst) in Denmark and the Swedish Agency for Government Employees (Arbetsgivarverket). Sectionalism (in the form of sectionalist overlaps only) is based on specialisation by type of operator and/or ownership (for example, in the case of JA in Denmark’s, LTY in Finland and Arbetsgivarverket in Sweden) and by type of activities (as in the case of the Finnish Employers’ Association of Infrastructure Companies (INFRA RY) and the Swedish Construction Federation (Sveriges Byggindustrier, BI)). Membership of employer organisations is voluntary with the exception of FVS in Austria, which is under the umbrella of WKO, and two public agencies organising public utilities, namely Perst in Denmark and the Arbetsgivarverket in Sweden. Available data suggest that employer density is particularly high, usually with scores of 80% or higher with regard to all density measures. Exceptions, albeit partial in some cases, to this rule are Finland’s LTY and INFRA RY, Latvia’s LDzDDO and the Swedish Employers’ Association of Engineering Companies (Maskinentreprenörerna, ME).

These characteristics of employer representation can be traced to the monopolistic or oligopolistic structure of the sector’s product market, as manifested in the presence of one particularly large operator. This fosters either the rise of single-employer bargaining, leaving no role for employer associations, or the formation of one single-employer association which can easily organise the few important operators in the sector. Only Sweden with its four sector-related employer organisations, each of which is specialised either by type of activity or by ownership, deviates somewhat from this pattern.

Table 12: Domain coverage, membership and density of employer organisations in railway infrastructure, 2005–2006
Country Domain cover-age Membership Density
Type Companies Sectoral companies Employees Sectoral employees Companies Employees
Domain Sector Domain Sector
AT                    
FVS O oblig. 79 18 62,000 20,000 100% 100% 100% 100%
BE - - - - - - - - - -
BG - - - - - - - - - -
CZ - - - - - - - - - -
DE                    
Agv MoVe O vol. 67 10 n.a. n.a. 90% 90% 80%–85% 80%–85%
DK                    
JA SO vol. 20 n.a. 1,200 250 100% 100% 100% 100%
Perst SO oblig. n.a. n.a. 156,000 2,200 100% 100% 100% 100%
EE - - - - - - - - - -
EL - - - - - - - - - -
ES - - - - - - - - - -
FI                    
LTYa SO vol. 15 2 20,300 2,400 90% 17% 50% 85%
INFRA RYa SO vol. 1,565 50 11,900 400 35% 90% 65% 15%
FR - - - - - - - - - -
HU - - - - - - - - - -
IE - - - - - - - - - -
IT                    
AGENS O vol. 18 9 100,000 n.a. 90% 90% 95% 95%
LT - - - - - - - - - -
LU - - - - - - - - - -
LV                    
LDzDDO O vol. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 43% n.a. >60% n.a.
NL - - - - - - - - - -
PL                    
ZPK O vol. 29 1 133,163 43,558 n.a. 100% 100% 100%
PT - - - - - - - - - -
RO                    
APTF O vol. 5 1 65,000 28,500 100% 100% 95% 96.6%
SE                    
ALMEGAa O vol. 8,600 41 350,000 13,199 >50% 100% >50% 100%
Arbetsgivar-verket SO oblig. 270 1 240,000 6,700 100% 100% 100% 100%
Teknik-företagena O vol. 3,700 100–200 7,000–8,000 3,700 40% 50% 45%–50% 40%
BIa SO vol. 2,800 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
SI - - - - - - - - - -
SK - - - - - - - - - -
UK - - - - - - - - - -

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

O = Overlap, SO = Sectional overlap; vol. = voluntary membership; oblig. = obligatory membership; n.a. = not available; a= Domain overlap.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Table 13: Collective bargaining, consultation and national/European affiliations of employer organisations in railway infrastructure, 2005–2006
Country Collective bargaining Consultation National and European affiliations*
AT      
FVS Yes Yes WKO, ERFA
BE -
BG -
CZ -
DE      
Agv MoVe Yes No BDA
DK      
JA Yes No HTS, DA
Perst Yes No CEEP
EE -
EL -
ES -
FI      
LTYa Yes Yes EK, CEEP
INFRA RYa Yes No RT-EK, UEPG
FR -
HU -
IE -
IT      
AGENS Yes Yes Confindustria, Federtrasporto
LT -
LU -
LV      
LDzDDO Yes n.a. -
NL -
PL      
ZPK Yes Yes KPP
PT -
RO      
APTF Yes Yes -
SE      
ALMEGAa Yes No Svenskt Näringsliv
Arbetsgivarverket Yes No CEEP
MEa Yes No Svenskt Näringsliv
BIa Yes No -
SI -
SK -
UK -

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

* National affiliations are in italics; only affiliations to sectoral European associations are listed; n.a. = not available; a = Domain overlap.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Collective bargaining and its actors

Table 11 lists all of the trade unions engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. The large number of trade unions as well as the numerous domain overlaps have entailed rivalries over bargaining rights in several countries, particularly in Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania (at least in former times), Portugal and Spain. These rivalries become manifest in two main ways. On the one hand, the trade unions compete over bargaining goals, something which usually tends to inflate their demands, while it dampens them in fewer cases, when employers manage to play off specific trade unions against each other. On the other hand, certain trade unions may formally be excluded from collective bargaining, as is the case of Belgium and Lithuania.

Employer organisations, which conduct sector-related collective bargaining, exist in only nine out of the 25 countries under consideration (Table 13). Since only three countries have more than one employer association, issues of inter-associational relations recede into the background. None of these countries reports rivalries between the two or (in case of Sweden) four coexisting employer organisations.

System of collective bargaining

Table 14 gives an overview of the system of sector-related collective bargaining in the 25 countries under consideration. The standard measure of the importance of collective bargaining as a means of employment regulation is obtained by calculating the total number of employees covered by collective bargaining as a proportion of the total number of employees within a certain segment of the economy (see Traxler, Blaschke and Kittel, 2001). Accordingly, the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage is defined as the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector.

To delineate the bargaining system, two further indicators are 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 subunit(s) is the party to the agreement. This includes cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement. The relative importance of multi-employer bargaining, measured as a percentage of the total number of employees covered by a collective agreement, therefore indicates the impact of the employer organisations on the overall collective bargaining process.

The second indicator considers whether statutory extension schemes are applied to the railway infrastructure sector. For reasons of brevity, this analysis is confined to extension schemes designed to extend the scope of a collective agreement to the employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisation; extension regulations targeting the employees are thus not included in the research. Regulations concerning the employees are not significant to this analysis for two reasons. First, extending a collective agreement to employees who are not unionised in the company covered by the collective agreement is a standard of the ILO, aside from any national legislation. Secondly, employers have good reason to extend a collective agreement concluded by them even when they are not formally obliged to do so. Otherwise, they would set an incentive for their workforce to unionise.

Table 14: System of sectoral collective bargaining in railway infrastructure, 2005–2006
Country Collective bargaining coverage (CBC) Proportion of multi-employer bargaining (MEB) as % of total CBC Extension practices
AT <10% (100%)a 100% (Limited/exceptional)
BE 100% 0% None
BG 63.2% 0% None
CZ 95% 0% None
DE 98% MEB prevailing None
DK Almost 100% MEB prevailing None
EE 75% 0% None
EL 100% 0% None
ES 100% 0% None
FI 90% 100% Pervasive
FR 100% 0% None
HU 100% 0% None
IE Almost 100% 0% None
IT 100% 100% (Pervasive)
LT 100% 0% None
LU 90% 0% None
LV 100% 100% Pervasive
NL Almost 100% n.a. Pervasive
PL Almost 100% MEB prevailing None
PT 100% 0% None
RO 96.6% MEB prevailing None
SE 100% 100% None
SI 100% 0% None
SK 95%–100% 0% None
UK Almost 100% 0% None

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

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

Compared with employee-related extension procedures, schemes that target employers are far more important to the strength of collective bargaining in general and multi-employer bargaining in particular. This is because employers are capable of refraining both from joining an employer organisation and entering single-employer bargaining in the context of a purely voluntary system. Therefore, employer-related extension practices increase the coverage of multi-employer bargaining. Moreover, when 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 collective bargaining coverage in the railway infrastructure sector, 22 of the 25 countries taken into account record extremely high coverage rates of 90% or more (see Table 14 above). In the case of Austria, the figures misleadingly suggest a very low coverage rate, while they actually conceal a seemingly special arrangement. Since the public sector is formally excluded from collective bargaining, the railway sector – namely, the principal state-owned operator ÖBB – was also excluded when it formed part of the public sector. After the transformation of ÖBB into a private law company, its employees nevertheless maintained their public law employment status, such that they continued to be excluded from bargaining. As a consequence, a sector-wide collective agreement is regularly concluded only for the new employees who are employed under the terms of private law. While private law employees continue to represent less than 10% of the sector’s labour force, all of them are covered by the sector-wide collective agreement. This is due to obligatory membership of the signatory employer organisation in rail transport, FVS. The employment terms of the vast majority of public sector employees are still under the scope of a special collective ‘service employment regulation’. Thus, adjusting for employees formally excluded from collective bargaining, the collective bargaining coverage rate can reach up to 100%. Bulgaria and Estonia remain the only countries whose collective bargaining coverage is below 80%.

For 24 countries, at least a rough estimate can be made with regard to the relative importance of multi-employer bargaining. This type of bargaining usually prevails in those countries where employer organisations conduct collective bargaining (Table 13). This means that multi-employer bargaining is predominant in little more than a third of the countries for which data are reported – that is, nine out of 24 countries. In most countries, single-employer bargaining exclusively occurs and involves only one company or one company group. Nevertheless, the bargaining coverage rate is above 90% in most cases.

It could be concluded from the generally high level of collective bargaining coverage that cross-national differences in the majority of either multi-employer bargaining or single-employer bargaining do not strongly affect the overall bargaining coverage rate. However, this outcome contrasts significantly to the situation in other economic sectors. For instance, the coverage rate is higher than 90% in almost all countries. As outlined above, railways in general (including infrastructure) are characterised by economic properties supportive of a high rate of unionisation, which in turn gives rise to a high bargaining coverage rate, regardless of the type of collective bargaining established. This causal link between unionisation and collective bargaining is also evident from the country reports. Although no data are available for each country on total trade union density across the sector, anecdotal evidence drawn from the country reports suggests that the overall level of sectoral unionisation is high in those countries with collective bargaining coverage rates close to 100%.

Since extension schemes can only be applied to multi-employer agreements, the widespread practice of single-employer bargaining limits their use even in cases where labour law provides for such schemes. Furthermore, conditions in the sector are so conducive to collective bargaining that there is little need for extension schemes. Extension practices are common in Finland, Latvia and the Netherlands. When looking at the aim of extension provisions – that is, to make multi-employer agreements generally binding – the provisions for obligatory membership in the case of Austria’s FVS, which is under the umbrella of the chamber organisation of business, should also be considered. Obligatory membership creates an extension effect, since the chambers 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 labour court rulings relate this principle to the multi-employer agreements, to the extent that they are regarded as generally binding.

Participation in public policymaking

Interest associations may partake in public policy in two basic ways: they may be consulted by the authorities in matters affecting their members; or 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 that are suited to sector-specific matters. Consultation processes are not necessarily institutionalised, meaning that the organisations consulted by the authorities may vary according to the issues to be addressed and also over time, depending on changes in government. Moreover, the authorities may initiate a consultation process on an occasional rather than on a regular basis. Given this volatility, Tables 11, 12 and 13 designate only those sector-related unions and employer organisations that are usually consulted.

Trade unions

The trade unions are usually consulted by the authorities in the majority of countries. No regular consultation is reported for Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Portugal and Sweden. Despite the accentuated multi-union system in most countries, the authorities tend to include all trade unions, if organised labour is consulted at all. Preferential treatment of one or more specific trade unions is reported only for Finland, the Netherlands and Spain. In the case of Portugal, access to sector-related consultation processes is bound to a trade union’s affiliation to one of the major union confederations – such as CGTP and UGT – that are represented on the country’s chief board of corporatist cross-sectoral policy concertation, namely CES.

Employer organisations

Due to their monopoly-like position in most countries, conflict over participation rights is absent in the case of the sector-related employer associations. In only about half of the countries, where employer organisations exist and pertinent information is available, they are usually consulted by the relevant authorities on sector-related matters. This is the case in Austria, Italy, Poland and Romania. For Denmark, Germany and Sweden, no regular consultation with employer organisations is reported. In countries with a pluralistic structure in terms of employer organisations, only Finland records preferential treatment of one particular organisation with respect to consultation procedures. Where trade unions and employer organisations coexist, generally the two sides of industry are both consulted or not consulted at all in relation to sector-specific matters. Austria and Germany deviate from this pattern. In the case of Austria, the vida trade union argues that the government seeks more advice from its employer counterpart. In Germany, Agve MoVe, in contrast with the trade union side, denies being consulted on a regular basis. Finland is the only country with a differentiated or preferential consultation practice on both sides of industry, in that only one specific trade union and one employer organisation out of a multitude of each is regularly addressed by the authorities. As noted above, employer organisations in the sense of the earlier definition of a social partner organisation are not established in 16 of the 25 countries under consideration in terms of railway infrastructure. This does not mean that business is excluded from consultation procedures in these countries. Under these circumstances, the companies themselves are frequently involved in the consultation process. Moreover, the fact that the largest railway infrastructure operators are owned by the state in most countries results in close relations between these operators and the government. In this case, some trade unions criticise the government for treating business interests more favourably than those of labour.

Tripartite participation

Turning from consultation to tripartite participation, the research reveals that sector-specific tripartite bodies are established only in two countries, namely Italy and Poland. In general, such bodies deal with matters of sectoral restructuring and industrial relations. In some countries – for example, Bulgaria, Portugal and Slovakia – tripartite bodies for more encompassing economic sectors exist, including railway infrastructure. In Bulgaria, the subsectoral council specialised in railways is not considered as a sector-specific body, since the business association represented on this body is not sector related as defined in this study. The same holds true for Slovakia’s track and railway transport body. Table 15 summarises the main properties of the active tripartite boards of public policy.

Table 15: Tripartite sector-specific boards of public policy in railway infrastructure
Country Name of body and scope of activity Origin Participants
Trade unions Business associations
IT Cabina di Regia dei Trasporti – railways division – FS: investment, health and safety, industrial relations, network management Agreement FILT-CGIL FIT-CISL UILT-UIL UGL AF AGENS
PL Tripartite body for railways: Social dialogue, sectoral restructuring and privatisation Agreement SKK-NSZZ Solidarność, FZZP PKP, ZZDR PKP, FZZPAT, ZZDR, ZZDKRP, SKK-NSZZ Solidarność 80, ZZPW, OMZZSOK, ZZA PKP, MZZRT, AZZTK, ZZD PKP ZPK

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

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

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 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 with capacity to negotiate agreements, and which are representative of all Member States, as far as possible;
  • have adequate structures to ensure the effective participation in the consultation process.

Regarding social dialogue, the constituent property of these structures is the ability of an organisation to negotiate on behalf of its members and to conclude binding agreements.

Accordingly, this section on the European associations of the railway infrastructure sector will analyse their membership domain, the composition of their membership and their capacity to negotiate.

As will be outlined in greater detail below, one sector-related European association on the employees’ side and two on the employers’ side are significant in the railway infrastructure sector. All three of these associations are listed by the European Commission as a social partner organisation: ETF represents the employee side, while CER and EIM represent the employer side. Hence, the following analysis will concentrate on these three organisations, while providing supplementary information on other organisations which are linked to the sector’s national industrial relations actors.

Membership domain

Since ETF, which is affiliated to ETUC, organises the entire transport sector, its membership domain overlaps relative to the railways sector. In contrast to other European business associations, both CER’s and EIM’s standard unit of membership is the company itself. A few exceptions to this rule exist only with respect to railway operators, but not with respect to infrastructure providers. As in the case of ETF, the domain of CER is overlapping relative to the sector, since CER embraces not only the railway infrastructure companies, but also, and in particular, the railway operators. In contrast, the membership domain of EIM is congruent with the subsector of railway infrastructure.

Membership composition

In terms of membership composition, the countries covered by ETF, CER and EIM extend beyond the 25 countries examined in this study. However, this report only considers membership of these 25 countries. Furthermore, the study will be confined to the sector-related affiliates only. In other words, in the case of CER, those member companies specialised in operating rail transport are not listed, even though the assessment of a company being mainly a railway operator sometimes remains uncertain. Table 16 lists the membership of ETF, CER and EIM. Both ETF and CER have members in all of the 25 countries under consideration, which, however, is not the case for EIM, covering only 11 out of the 25 countries. With respect to the latter, the majority of Member States are uncovered. This lack of affiliations to EIM in a number of countries may raise the question of whether representativeness according to the abovementioned Commission criterion in terms of coverage of a sufficient number of Member States is met.

Table 16: Members of ETF, CER and EIM in railway infrastructure, 2005–2006
Country Members of ETF a Members of CER Members of EIM
AT Vida (formerly GdE) ÖBB, SLB, Wiener Lokalbahnen -
BE CSC/ACV Transcom, CGSP/ACOD, CGSLB/ACLVB SNCB/NMBS Infrabel (company responsible for managing the infrastructure of the Belgian railways)
BG FTW Podkrepa, UTTUB (FTTUB), TURWB BDZ, RailInfra, Bulgarian Railway Company -
CZ OSZ CD, SŽDC -
DE GDBA, Transnet, ver.di DB -
DK 3F, DJ (DJF), Dansk Metal, HKT&J DSB, Railion Danmark A/S Banedenmark
EE ERAÜ EVR -
EL POS (FPdC) OSE -
ES FCT-CC.OO, ELA Hainbat, FETCM-UGT RENFE, ADIF ADIF
FI RAUTL VR RHK
FR FC-CFTC, FNTCTC-CGT, FC-CFDT, FSC-CGT-FO, FC-UNSA SNCF RFF
HU VDSZSZ, VSZ MAV, MAV Cargo, GYSEV/ROEEE -
IE SIPTU CIE -
IT FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL, UILT-UIL FS RFI
LT LGPF (FRWTUL), LGPS LG -
LU OGB-L CFL -
LV LDzSA LDZ -
NL CNV Bedrijvenbond, FNV Bondgenoten NS, Railion Nederland ProRail
PL SKK-NSZZ Solidarność, FZZP PKP (ZZD PKP) PKP, Rail Polska Sp.zo.o, CTL Logistics -
PT SINDEFER CP REFER
RO FNDF CFR Calatori, CFR Marfa, GFR, Servtrans Invest -
SE SEKO, ST BT Banverket
SI SZPS (RTUS), SZS SZ AZP
SK OZŽ ŽSR, ŽSSK, ŽSSK Cargo -
UK RMT, TSSA EWS NetworkRail

Notes: List is confined to organisations in the 25 countries under consideration and includes only sector-related affiliates – that is, pure train operators in the case of CER and pure rolling stock trade unions in the case of ETF are excluded. See Annex for list of abbreviations and full names of organisations.

a= ETF abbreviations for affiliates put in parentheses, if they strongly deviate from those used in the country studies.

Source: EIRO national centres, 2007

As far as available data on membership of the national trade unions provide sufficient information on their relative strength (see Table 11), it can be concluded that ETF covers the sector’s most important labour representatives in the vast majority of countries. Some national trade unions of major importance appear to be unaffiliated only in the case of Portugal and Romania. Likewise, CER and EIM represent the principal railway infrastructure managers (which are, in case of the former, frequently also or mainly railway operators) in the 25 countries, along with smaller companies in some countries. With direct company membership in all countries, CER and EIM structures are not tied to the national systems of business associations. This raises the question of how these structures relate to the Commission criterion of representativeness, which requires European associations to cover organisations that are themselves an integral and recognised part of the Member States’ social partner structures and with capacity to negotiate agreements.

As already highlighted, collective bargaining is conducted either mainly or exclusively at company level in most of the 25 countries (see Table 14). In these circumstances, the companies themselves are the agents of business in industrial relations, while employer organisations are absent. More specifically, the companies, particularly the state-owned principal operators, are the key actors and leaders of business in the sector’s systems of single-employer bargaining; furthermore, they are usually affiliated to CER and – for a smaller part – to EIM. In the case of the smaller number of countries, where multi-employer bargaining is all-encompassing, CER and EIM can be linked indirectly to the national bargaining process insofar as their members, when affiliated to the national employer organisations, can influence their goal formation and bargaining strategies.

Capacity to negotiate

The third criterion of representativeness at the European level refers to the capacity of an organisation to negotiate on behalf of its own members. Affiliation to ETF automatically implies giving a principle mandate to ETF for negotiations within the framework of the European social dialogue. For the various sections of ETF, such as the railway section, this is further specified. Accordingly, the section’s members vote on a negotiation mandate that lays down certain guidelines such as minimum and maximum demands and the expected content of an agreement. An agreement can be signed only if this mandate is supported by at least two thirds of the affiliates affected. CER does not have a general mandate of negotiations. Mandates that are given by a company’s general assembly, composed of the chief executive officers of the company members, are limited to negotiations about a particular issue. Likewise, EIM is equipped by its members with a mandate of negotiations as issues arise. Further information on procedural aspects concerning this empowerment is not available.

In order to evaluate the weight of ETF, CER and EIM in European social dialogue, it is useful to make a comparison with other European associations that may be important representatives of the sector. This can be achieved by reviewing the European associations to which the sector-related trade unions and employer associations are affiliated.

Regarding the trade unions, these affiliations are listed in Table 11. Nine European organisations, other than ETF, represent sector-related trade unions. The European association with the most affiliations among the national sector-related trade unions is UNI-Europa, with five affiliations covering four countries. Other European associations with members listed in Table 11 include: EPSU, with four affiliations covering three countries; EMCEF, with three affiliations covering two countries; the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) with two affiliations and two countries; EFBWW, with two affiliations in one country; as well as Eurocadres, the European Trade Union Federation: Textiles, Clothing and Leather (ETUF-TCL), the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) and ALE, each with one affiliation.

A similar overview of the employer organisations’ memberships can be derived from Table 12. The findings show that only a minority of the employer organisations listed have organisational links with European federations. None of the national employer organisations listed is affiliated to CER, since the latter organises individual companies rather than employer associations. European associations representing sector-related national employer organisations include: CEEP, which has three affiliates from three countries; as well as ERFA and the European Aggregates Association (UEPG), each with one affiliation.

Commentary

In comparison with other sectors, rail infrastructure, like rail transport operation, stands out in terms of its very high level of unionisation. This situation applies also to the NMS that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, where trade unions are rather weak in many other sectors of the economy. Several factors in these countries are especially supportive to the trade unions in the whole railways sector – in practice, the unions usually organise all railworkers, regardless of the latter’s area of activity, and do not distinguish between railway infrastructure and operation workers. These factors originate in the railway sector’s economic structure, namely its high economic concentration, which is manifested in the existence of one very large, principal operator which is usually still owned by the state. Such properties, together with the sector’s nature as a key transport system in the economy, equip the trade unions with a particularly strong capacity for organising strikes. As a result, trade union strength makes industrial relations and their regulatory outcomes a core area when it comes to restructuring the sector.

The sector’s economic properties have had an influence also on how the employers advance their interests in the industrial relations system. Due to the high economic concentration of the sector, the operating companies have not banded together in employer organisations in the majority of countries, with the consequence that single-employer bargaining is more widespread than multi-employer bargaining.

Trade union strength, combined with economic concentration, has given rise to a relatively high rate of collective bargaining coverage, regardless of whether single-employer bargaining or multi-employer bargaining prevails in a country. As a comparison with recent figures on cross-sectoral collective bargaining coverage in the EU25 Member States prior to the entry of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007 shows, the whole railway sector’s adjusted bargaining coverage is higher in 14 of the 17 countries for which comparable data are available (see Marginson and Traxler, 2005). In Slovenia, the railway sector’s collective bargaining coverage is equal to total coverage. Likewise, the two coverage rates are at a similar level in the Netherlands, whereas the railway sector’s coverage may be lower than total coverage in the case of Portugal. As a rule, the encompassing railway sector’s coverage rate is substantially higher than the total coverage rate particularly in the NMS, where only a small number of the employees across the economy are covered. Although the findings of the abovementioned study by Marginson and Traxler refer to the entire railways sector, including both rail operations and rail infrastructure, it can be concluded that they also apply to the infrastructure subsector only. This is because the terms of employment of the railworkers in both areas of activity are usually equal. Moreover, most sector-related trade unions are universal transport or railway unions representing all categories of railworkers and occupations.

At European level, the structure of employer organisations is strongly influenced by the prevailing pattern of national industrial relations. Reflecting the predominance of the sector’s companies over business associations in most of the national industrial relations systems, CER and EIM, the sector-related voices of the employers at European level, are based on direct company membership, instead of membership of national associations. Hence, employer organisations that are still the key industrial relations actors of business in a minority of countries are not affiliated. Regardless of this, CER and EIM, as well as their labour counterpart, ETF, are unmatched as the sector’s European representatives of employers and employees, particularly since no other European organisation can compare with them in terms of organising relevant sector-related industrial relations actors across the EU Member States.


Conclusion

In the overall railway industry, one European association on the employees’ side – ETF – and two on the employers’ side – CER and EIM – are significant. All three organisations are listed by the European Commission as a social partner organisation consulted under Article 138 of the EC Treaty. As far as these European-level organisations are concerned, the aim of this study was to assess their representative status, since the effectiveness of the European social dialogue is contingent on their representativeness in terms of the sector’s relevant national actors across the EU Member States. Therefore, the study examined whether these organisations meet the criteria granting eligibility for consultation and participation in the social dialogue, as defined by the Commission. In accordance with these criteria, the study had to analyse the relevant associations’ scope of membership domain, their membership composition and their ability to negotiate.

In terms of membership domain, ETF overlaps relative to the entire railways sector, whereas CER is congruent and EIM sectionalist in relation to it. However, with regard to the subsectors of railway operations and railway infrastructure, the domain of CER is overlapping relative to each subsector and that of EIM is congruent with infrastructure.

Turning to membership composition, both ETF and CER have members in all of the countries under consideration, and both associations organise the principal industrial relations actors in the vast majority of countries. In contrast, EIM covers only 11 out of the 25 countries considered in part 2 of the study. The structure of both of the European employer organisations, namely CER and EIM, is mirrored by the prevailing pattern of national industrial relations. Collective bargaining in railways is conducted either mainly or exclusively at company level in most of the Member States. In line with this, the companies rather than employer organisations are the agents of business in industrial relations in these countries. Therefore, the sector-related voices of the employers at European level, CER and EIM, are based on direct company membership, instead of membership of national associations. However, under the conditions of prevailing single-employer bargaining in most countries, the lack of affiliations of employer organisations to both CER and EIM is no indication of their lacking representative status in terms of membership composition.

Regarding the third criterion of representativeness, that is the European associations’ capacity to negotiate on behalf of their own members, it should be noted that these organisations are empowered by their members to negotiate in matters associated with the European social dialogue. Such a negotiating mandate is given to the organisations either on a general basis – that is, with affiliation of the members, as is the case of ETF – or on a per-topic basis, as is the case of CER and EIM.

Overall, ETF and its employer counterparts, CER and EIM, have to be considered as the unmatched European representatives of the two sides of industry in the railways sector, since no other sector-related European organisation of equal significance has emerged thus far.


Annex: List of abbreviations

Country Abbreviation Full name of organisation
Austria (AT) FVS Federal Organisation of Rail Transport
  GdE Union of Railway Employees
  ÖBB Austrian Federal Railways
  ÖGB Austrian Trade Union Federation
  SLB Salzburger Lokalbahn
  vida Formed from the merger of the Union of Railway Employees (GdE), the Commerce and Transport Union (HTV) and the Hotels, Catering and Personal Services Union (HGPD)
  WKO Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Belgium (BE) CGSLB/ACLVB Federation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium
  CGSP/ACOD General Confederation of Public Services, Railways section
  CSC/ACV Confederation of Christian Trade Unions
  CSC/ACV Transcom CSC/ACV Transport and Communications
  FGTB/ABVV Belgian General Federation of Labour
  SLFP-C/VSOA-S Free Trade Union of Civil Servants, Railways section
  SNCB/NMBS Belgian National Railways
Bulgaria (BG) BDZ Bulgarian State Railways
  CITUB Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria
  CL Podkrepa Confederation of Labour Podkrepa
  FTW Federation of Transport Workers
  FTW Podkrepa Federation of Transport Workers Podkrepa
  NRTU National Railway Trade Union
  TURWB Trade Union of the Railway Workers in Bulgaria
  UTTUB Union of the Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria
  UTWSB Union of Transport Workers’ Syndicates in Bulgaria
Czech Republic (CZ) ASO ČR National level: Association of Independent Trade Unions of the Czech Republic
  CD Czech Railways
  FS ČR Engine Drivers’ Federation of the Czech Republic
  FVČ Federation of Train Crews
  FV CT Federation of Carriage Examiners
  FŽ ČR Federation of Railway Workers of the Czech Republic
  OSŽ Railway Workers’ Trade Union
  SŽDC Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organisation
  UŽZ Union of Railways Employees
Denmark (DK) 3F United Federation of Danish Workers
  AC Danish Confederation of Professional Associations
  DA Confederation of Danish Employers
  Dansk Metal Danish Metalworkers’ Union
  Danske Regioner Danish Regions
  DEF Danish Union of Electricians
  DJ Union of Danish Railway Workers
  DKK (now OAO) Danish Confederation of Municipal Employees (Det Kommunale Kartel, DKK) merged with Association of Danish State Employees’ Organisations (Statsansattes Kartel, StK) in June 2007 to form Organisation of Public Employees in Denmark (Offentligt Ansattes Organisationer, OAO)
  DSB Danish State Railways
  HK Privat Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees in Denmark/Private
  HKT&J Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees in Denmark/Traffic and Railways
  HTS Confederation of Danish Commercial Transportation and Service Industries
  JA Danish Railways Employers’ Association
  KTO Association of Local Government Employees’ Organisations
  LH Organisation of Managerial and Executive Staff in Denmark
  LO Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
  Malerforbundet i Danmark National Union of Painters
  Perst State Employer’s Authority
  SEK Association of Energy and Environment Offices
  StK (now OAO) Association of Danish State Employees’ Organisations (Statsansattes Kartel, StK) merged with Danish Confederation of Municipal Employees (Det Kommunale Kartel, DKK) in June 2007 to form Organisation of Public Employees in Denmark (Offentligt Ansattes Organisationer, OAO)
  TIB Union of Wood, Industry and Building Workers
  TL Danish Association of Professional Technicians
Estonia (EE) EAKL Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions
  Edelaraudtee TU Edelaraudtee Trade Union
  Elektriraudtee Elektriraudtee Trade Union
  ERAÜ Estonian Railworkers’ Trade Union
  EvA Estonian Locomotive Workers’ Trade Union
  EVKL Estonian Locomotive Workers’ Professional Association
  EVR Estonian Railways
  Koostöö TU Trade Union Koostöö
Finland (FI) AKAVA Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals
  EK Confederation of Finnish Industries
  FIPSU Finnish Public Services Unions’ EU Working Party
  INFRA RY Employers’ Association of Infrastructure Companies
  KAF Federation of Transport Workers Union
  LTY Employers’ Association for Transport and Special Services
  Pardia Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia
  Rakennusliitto Construction Trade Union
  RAUTL Finnish Railway Workers’ Union
  RHK Finnish Rail Administration (Ratahallintokeskus)
  RT Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries
  RTL-Pardia Railway Technical Staff Union – Federation of Salaried Employees Pardia
  RVL Railway Salaried Staff’s Union
  SAK Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions
  TU Union of Salaried Employees
  VML Finnish Locomotive Drivers’ Union
  VR Finnish Railways
  YTN Federation of Professional and Managerial Employees
France (FR) CFDT French Democratic Confederation of Labour
  CFE-CGC French Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff – General Confederation of Professional and Managerial Staff
  CFTC French Christian Workers’ Confederation
  CGT General Confederation of Labour
  CGT-FO General Confederation of Labour – Force ouvrière
  FC-CFDT Federation of Railway Workers, affiliated to CFDT
  FC-CFTC Federation of Railway Workers, affiliated to CFTC
  FC-UNSA Federation of Railway Workers, affiliated to the National Federation of Independent Unions
  FGAAC Independent Train Drivers’ Union
  FGAAC FGTE CFDT Independent Train Drivers’ Union – Transport and Civil Engineering Federation – French Democratic Confederation of Labour
  FNTCTC-CGT National Federation of French Railway Workers, Executives and Technicians, affiliated to CGT
  FSC-CGT-FO Trade Union Federation of Railway Workers, affiliated to the General Confederation of Labour – Force ouvrière
  FSTR-SUD Federation of Railway Workers’ Union Branches, affiliated to the Independent Union – Solidarity, Unity, Democracy
  RFF French Railway Infrastructure Manager
  SNCF French National Rail Company
  SNCS National Union of Senior Managers
  SNPCC-CFE-CGC National Union of Supervisory and Management Staffs of the Railways and Related Activities, affiliated to the CFE-CGC
  SUD Independent Union – Solidarity, Unity, Democracy
  UNSA National Federation of Independent Unions
Germany (DE) Agv MoVe Employers’ Association of Mobility and Transport Service Providers
  AGVDE Employers’ Association of German Railway Companies
  BDA Confederation of German Employers’ Associations
  DB German Railways
  DBB German Federation of Career Public Servants
  DGB Confederation of German Trade Unions
  GDBA Union of German Railway Employees
  GDL German Engine Drivers’ Union
  Transnet German Rail Workers’ Union – Transport, Service and Networks
  ver.di United Services Union
Greece (EL) GSEE Greek General Confederation of Labour
  OSE Hellenic Railways Organisation
  POS Pan Hellenic Federation of Railway Workers
Hungary (HU) ASZSZ Alliance of Autonomous Trade Unions
  ESZT Confederation of Unions of Professionals
  GYSEV/ROEEE Győr-Sopron-Ebenfurt Railway Co./ Raab-Oedenburg-Ebenfurter Eisenbahn AG
  LIGA Democratic League of Independent Trade Unions
  MAV Hungarian State Railways Co.
  MOSZ Engine Drivers’ Trade Union
  MSZOSZ National Association of Hungarian Trade Unions
  MTSZSZ Rail Section of Free Union of Engineers and Technicians
  PVDSZ Union of Track Employees
  VDSZSZ Free Trade Union of Railway Workers
  VSZ Trade Union of Hungarian Railway Workers
  ZRt Central-European Railway
Ireland (IE) Amicus Amicus Trade Union
  ATGWU Amalgamated Transport and General Workers’ Union
  BATU Building and Allied Trades Union
  CIE Irish Transport System (Córas Iompair Éireann)
  GMB General, Muncipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union
  ICTU Irish Congress of Trade Unions
  NBRU National Bus and Rail Union
  NUSMWI National Union of Sheet Metal Workers of Ireland
  SIPTU Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union
  TEEU Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union
  TSSA Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
  UCATT Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
Italy (IT) AGENS Confederal Transport and Services Agency
  ASSTRA Transport Association
  CGIL General Confederation of Italian Workers
  CISL Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions
  Confindustria General Confederation of Italian Industry
  CONFSAL General Confederation of Autonomous Workers’ Trade Unions
  FAST Autonomous Transport Trade Union Federation
  Federtrasporto Transport Employers
  FILT-CGIL Italian Federation of Transport Workers – General Confederation of Italian Workers
  FIT-CISL Italian Federation of Transport – Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions
  FS Italian State Railways
  ORSA Independent and Rank-and-File Trade Unions Organisation
  RFI Italian Rail Network
  UGL AF National Railways Federation – General Workers’ Union
  UIL Union of Italian Workers
  UILT-UIL Italian Union of Transport Workers – Union of Italian Workers
Latvia (LV) LBAS Latvia Free Trade Union Confederation
  LDz Latvian Railways
  LDzDDO Latvian Railway Sector Employers’ Organisation
  LDzSA Latvian Rail and Transport Industry Trade Union
Lithuania (LT) LDF Lithuanian Labour Federation
  LG Lithuanian Railways
  LGPF Lithuanian Federation of Railway Workers
  LGPS Trade Union of Lithuanian Railways
  LGPSS Association of Trade Unions of Lithuanian Railway Workers
  LPSK Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation
Luxembourg (LU) CFL Luxembourg Railways
  CGT-L General Confederation of Labour – Luxembourg
  FCPT-SYPROLUX Christian Transport Workers’ Trade Union
  FNCTTFEL National Federation of Railway and Transport Workers, Civil Servants and White-collar Workers
  LCGB Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions
  OGB-L Luxembourg Confederation of Independent Trade Unions
Netherlands (NL) CHMF Federation of Middle and Higher Officials in Government, Education, Business and Institutions
  CNV Bedrijvenbond Christian Industrial Trade Union Federation Bedrijvenbond
  FNV Bondgenoten Allied Unions
  KNV Transport Employers
  NS Dutch national railway company
  VHS Vereniging voor Hoger Spoorwegpersoneel
  VNO-NCW Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers
  VVMC Vereniging van Machinisten en Conducteurs
Poland (PL) AZZTK Autonomous Trade Unions of the Railway Transport
  FZZ Trade Unions Forum
  FZZMK Locomotive Drivers’ Trade Unions Federation
  FZZP PKP Federation of PKP Employees Trade Unions
  FZZPAT Federation of Switching and Telecommunications Workers’ Trade Unions
  KPP Confederation of Polish Employers
  KSKFRKZS 80 National Railway Workers’ Section of the Federation of Regions and Company-level Unions of the Solidarity’ 80
  KZZP FMIS-PKP National Trade Union of FMIS-PKP Employees
  MWZZK Multi-Entity Free Trade Union of Railway Workers
  MZZRT Multi-Entity Trade Union of the Rolling Stock Auditors
  NSZZ Solidarność Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarity’ (NSZZ Solidarity)
  NSZZ PSD PKP Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union of PKP Railtrack Service
  NSZZ SW PKP Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union of PKP Carriage Service
  OMZZSOK All-Poland Multi-Entity Trade Union of the Railway Security Service
  OPZZ All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions
  PKP Polish National Railways
  PKP PLK SA Polish Railway Lines Company
  SKK-NSZZ Solidarność National Railway Workers’ Section (Sekcja Krajowa Kolejarzy) of the Independent and Self Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarity’
  SKK-NSZZ Solidarność 80 National Railway Workers’ Section (Sekcja Krajowa Kolejarzy) of the Independent and Self Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarity’ 80
  ZPK Association of Railway Employers
  ZZA PKP Trade Union of PKP Administrative Staff
  ZZDKRP Trade Union of Travel Inspector Teams in the Republic of Poland
  ZZD PKP Trade Union of PKP Dispatchers
  ZZDR Traffic Controllers’ Trade Union
  ZZDR PKP PKP Traffic Controllers’ Trade Union
  ZZM Trade Union of Locomotive Drivers in Poland
  ZZPW Trade Union of Technical Maintenance Workers
Portugal (PT) ASCEF Union Association of Intermediate Managers of Railways
  ASSIFECO Independent Union Association of Railway Workers in the Commercial Career
  CGTP General Confederation of Portuguese Workers
  CP Portuguese Railways
  INTF National Institute of Railway Transport
  REFER Portuguese Railway Infrastructure Managers
  SE Union of Economists
  SENSIQ Union of Managerial and Technical Staff
  SERS Union of Engineers in the Southern Portugal
  SETAA Union of Agriculture, Food and Forests
  SETN Engineers’ Union of the North (bachelors)
  SFRCI Railway Union of Conductors and Commercial Services on Trains
  SICONT Union of Accountants
  SIFOCTA Independent Union of Operational Railway Personnel in Circulation and Transports
  SINAFE National Union of Railway Workers (Moving)
  SINDEFER National Democratic Union of Railways
  SINFA National Union of Railway Workers
  SINFB National Union of Manual Railway Workers
  SINFESE National Union of Railway Workers (administration, technical staff and services)
  SIOFA Independent Union of Operational Railway
  SITIC Independent Union of Manufacturing and Communication Workers
  SITRENS National Railway Union of Train Personnel
  SMAQ National Union of Engine Drivers of the Portuguese Railways
  SNAQ National Union of Technical Staff
  SNET National Engineers’ Union (bachelors)
  SNSTF National Union of Workers in the Railway Sector
  SNTVFP National Union of Portuguese Railway Workers
  SQTD Union of Draughtsmen
  UGT General Workers’ Confederation
Romania (RO) APTF Employers’ Association at Group-of-Companies Level in Rail Transport
  BNS National Trade Union Bloc
  Cartel Alfa National Trade Union Confederation Cartel Alfa
  CFR Calatori Romanian Railways (passenger transport)
  CFR Marfa Romanian Railways (freight)
  CNSLR Frăţia National Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Romania – Frăţia
  CSN Meridian National Trade Union Confederation Meridian
  CSNTR National Trade Union Convention of Transport Operators in Romania
  Elcatel Elcatel National Federation of Trade Unions in Transport
  FAF Railway Automation Federation
  FISMC Independent Federation of Traffic/Trade in Rail Transport
  FMLR Federation of Engine Drivers in Romania
  FNDF Iron Railroad Federation
  FSRV Federation of Trade Unions in the Train Carriage Branch
  GFR Grup Feroviar Roman
Slovakia (SK) FPP Federation of Operational Employees
  FSSR Federation of Engine-drivers
  KOZ SR General Confederation of Trade Unions
  OAVD Trade Union Association of Train Dispatchers and Traffic Controllers
  OZŽ Railway Workers Trade Union Association
  RUZ SR National Union of Employers
  ŽSR Slovakian Railway Infrastructure Manager
  ŽSSK Slovakian Railways
  ŽSSK Cargo Slovakian Cargo Railways
  ZZDPT SR (now ÚDPT SR) Association of Employers in Transport, Posts and Telecommunications – since April 2007, Union of Employers in Transport, Posts and Telecommunication
Slovenia (SI) Alternativa Slovene Union of Trade Unions Alternativa
  AZP Slovenia’s Rail Transport Public Agency
  KNSS Independence, Confederation of New Trade Unions of Slovenia
  SDZDS Railway Activity Union of Slovenia
  Solidarity Union of Workers’ Trade Unions of Slovenia – Solidarity
  SSSLO Locomotive Drivers’ Union of Slovenia
  SSZ Slovenian Railways Unions
  SVLM Locomotive Maintenance Workers’ Union Moste
  SVPS Railway Carriage Inspectors’ Union of Slovenia
  SVZIS Railway Infrastructure Maintainers’ Union of Slovenia
  SVZVSS Railway Rolling Stock Maintenance Workers’ Union of Slovenia
  SZ Slovenian Railways
  SZPS (RTWS) Railway Traffic Union of Slovenia
  SZS Railway Workers’ Union of Slovenia
  SZTS (RTUS) Railway Transport Union of Slovenia
Spain (ES) ADIF Railway Infrastructure Administration
  AGESFER Railway Services Employers’ Association (Asociación de Empresas de Servicios Ferroviarios)
  CC.OO Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions
  CGT/Railways General Confederation of Labour/Railways
  ELA Hainbat International Railway Workers Federation
  ELA-STV Basque Workers’ Solidarity
  FTC-CC.OO/Railways Communication and Transport Workers’ Federation -Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions/Railways
  FETCM-UGT/Railways Federación Estatal de Transportes, Comunicaciones y Mar de la Unión General de Trabajadores
  RENFE Spanish National Railways
  SEMAF Spanish Trade Union of Train Drivers and Assistants
  UGT General Workers’ Confederation
Sweden (SE) ALMEGA Swedish Service Employers’ Association
  Arbetsgivarverket Swedish Agency for Government Employees
  Banverket Swedish Rail Administration
  BI Swedish Construction Federation
  BT Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies
  ME Employers’ Association of Engineering Companies
  SACO Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations
  SEKO Swedish Union of Service and Communication Employees
  ST Civil Servants’ Union
  Svenskt Näringsliv Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
United Kingdom (UK) ASLEF Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firefighters
  ATOC Association of Train Operating Companies
  EWS English, Welsh and Scottish Railway
  RMT National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
  TSSA Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
  TUC Trades Union Congress
     
Europe ALE Autonomous Train Drivers’ Unions of Europe (Autonome Lokomotivführer Gewerkschaften Europa)
  CEC European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff
  CEEP European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest
  CEMR Council of European Municipalities and Regions
  CER Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies
  CESI European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions
  EFBWW European Federation of Building and Woodworkers
  EFFAT European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
  EIM European Rail Infrastructure Managers
  EMCEF European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation
  EMF European Metalworkers’ Federation
  EPSU European Federation of Public Service Unions
  ERFA European Rail Freight Association
  ETF European Transport Workers’ Federation
  ETUF-TCL European Trade Union Federation: Textiles, Clothing and Leather
  Eurocadres Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff
  UEPG European Aggregates Association
  UNI-Europa Union Network International – Europe

Franz Traxler and Georg Adam, University of Vienna

EF/08/80/EN

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