Bulgaria: Representativeness of the European social partner organisations – Personal services sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 20 Styczeń 2010



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

Introduction

Until 1990 the entire sector was municipally owned. Thereafter only small-scale private enterprises operated in the sector . Most of them are self-employed. According to interviewees many of them are in the grey economy. There is no data about the sector’s quantitative relevance of the sector to thenational economy. There are three employer associations and one trade union federation which are represented at national level. There is no collective bargaining because of lack of trade union organisation at enterprise level in the sector.

1. Sectoral properties

  2000 2006**
Number of employers    
Aggregate employment*    
Male employment*    
Female employment*    
Aggregate employees 1,413 3,234
Male employees 222 362
Female employees 1,191 2,872
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy . 0.074 . 0.142
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy    

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

In the sector there is no collective bargaining

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

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

In the sector there is no collective bargaining

2. trade unions which are a member of the sector-related European Union Federation ( UNI-EUROPA – Hair and Beauty)

In the sector there is no collective bargaining

3. employer associations which are a party to sector-related collective bargaining

In the sector there is no collective bargaining

4. employer associations (business associations) which are a member of the sector-related European Business Federation (i.e. COIFFURE EU)

In the sector there is no collective bargaining

2a Data on the trade unions

In the sector there are two trade union organisations in two towns – Veliko Tarnovo and Svilengrad organised by territory

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

Membership is voluntary

2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. white-collar workers, private-sector workers, personal services employees, etc.)

Private-sector workers: 58 members

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

58 members

TU organisation in Veliko Tarnovo: 11 members

TU organisation in Svilengrad: 47 members

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector58 members

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership97 %

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

1.8 %

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

1.8 %

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

1.8 %

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

No, the union organisations do not conclude collective agreements.

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

Both trade union organisations are members of the Independent Trade Union Federation of Employees in Comers, Cooperatives, Tourism, Credit and Social Services (ITUFECCTCS)

2b Data on the employer associations

In the sector there are three employer associations

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

Membership is voluntary

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

  • National Association of Hairdressers in Bulgaria (NAHB) – Micro personal services enterprises - hairdressers
  • National Association “ Health and Beauty” (NA “ Health and Beauty”) – Micro personal services enterprises beauticians and self-employed
  • National Organisation of Hairdressers and Centers of Beauty in Bulgaria (NOHCBB) - Micro personal services enterprises – hairdressers, beauticians and self-employed

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

  • NAHB: 50 members
  • NHBA: 70 members
  • NOHCBB:55 members

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

  • NAHB: 50 members
  • NHBA: 70 members
  • NOHCBB: 55 members

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

  • NAHB: 150 employees
  • NHBA: 375 employees
  • NOHCBB: 250 employees

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

  • NAHBL 150 employees
  • NHBA: 375 employees
  • NOHCBB250 employees

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

n.a.

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

  • NAHB: 4.6%
  • NHBA: 11.6 %
  • NOHCBB: 7.7 %

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

n.a.

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

The employer associations do not conclude collective agreements

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

  • NAHB: member of Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)
  • NHBA: member of BIA
  • NOHCBB: member of BIA

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

TU organisation in Veliko Tarnovo and TU organisation in Svilengrad at CITUB.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

  • -NAHB
  • -NA “Health and Beauty”
  • -NOHCBB

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

There are no rivalries or competition among employer associations.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

n.a.

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

4. The system of collective bargaining

There is no collective bargaining in the sector

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2006 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered.

n.a.

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

Sector-related multi employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
       
       

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2006 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

n.a.

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

5. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

Sector-specific public policies*
Name of the body and scope of activity Bipartite/tripartite Origin: agreement/statutory Trade unions having representatives (reps) Employer associations having reps.
         
         

* Sector-specific policies specifically target and affect the sector under consideration.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

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

At sectoral/branch level only nationally organised organisations of employees can conclude collective agreements.

The Labour Code defines the criteria for trade union representativeness at national, branch and sectoral level:

The only worker organisations recognised as representative at national level are those organisations that have:

1.  At least 50,000 members;

2.  At least 50 organisations with at least five members in more than half the sectors according to the National Sector Classification;

3.  Local authorities in more than half the municipalities in the country and a national governing body.

Currently two trade union confederations meet the representativeness criteria: CITUB and CL Podkrepa.

Under the Labour Code, all subdivisions of trade union organisations recognised as representative at national level are also recognised as representative at national level.

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

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

n.a.

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

Criteria for representativeness for the employer organisations are defined in the Labour Code:

At least 500 members with not less than 20 workers each;

Organisations with no less than 10 members, in more than one-fifth of the sectors defined in accordance with the National Sector Classification;

Local branches in more than one-fifth of the municipalities and a national governing body;

There are six recognised representative employer organisations BG0310103F at national level:

  • Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA);
  • Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI);
  • Union of Private Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria “Vuzrazhdane” (UPEB);
  • Union for Economic Initiative (UEI);
  • Employers' Association of Bulgaria (EABG);
  • Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA).

Under the Labour Code, all subdivisions of employers associations recognised as representative at national level are also recognised as representative at national level.

In this sector the following subdivision are recognised as representative at national level

  • NAHB: member of BIA
  • NHBA: member of BIA
  • NOHCBB: member of BIA

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

n.a.

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

n.a.

7. Commentary

Many personal services enterprises are small,often self-employed, and it is very difficult to organise employees in trade unions. According to interviews much of the sector is in the grey economy.

The three employer associations have no intention or willingness to join together to represent the sector’s interests together at a national level, although they share membership of one national employer association, BIA.

In January 2008 the ITUFECCTCS and NAHB agreed to cooperate with the aim of organising the employees in member companies of NAHB and to conclude collective agreements. For the anize people at territorial level and to conclude common collective agreement with NAHBmoment there are no any steps in that direction. The trade union federation intends to organise members that are in one chain of enterprises

Snezhana Dimitrova, Institute for Social and Trade Union Research (ISTUR)

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