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

  • Observatory: EurWORK
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  • 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 Latvia. 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

The hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector includes many small local companies and some networks. Average number of workers per company is 5.3. Self-employment is widespread. The sector contributes less than 0.1% to the national value added and about 10% to the individual services sector (NACE 93) value added.

Social dialogue is neither developing nor sought in the sector. No sectoral workers are represented in the relevant national level trade union organization. There is no sector level employers’ organisation. This is due the the sector’s characteristics – small companies, self-employment, sufficient pay, part of which is undeclared.

1. Sectoral properties

  1997 2006**
Number of employers *** 324 1069
Aggregate employment* 2,780 5,622
Male employment* n.a. n.a.
Female employment* n.a. n.a.
Aggregate employees 2,648 5,567
Male employees n.a. n.a.
Female employees n.a. n.a.
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy 0.36 0.58
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy 0.35 0.58

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

*** Number of market sector companies means number of economically active market sector companies, excluding agriculture farms and natural persons who are involved in economic activities.

Precise data relating to gender is not available.

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

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

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

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

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

2a Data on the trade unions

Employees of the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector (NACE 93.02) are not represented by their own trade union. According to Latvian legislation, they are eligible for membership of any trade union. In line with the formal sector demarcation, the closest sector level trade union for the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector is Latvian Trade Union of Public Service and Transport workers (Latvijas Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu un transporta darbinieku arodbiedrība, LAKRS).

However, recently LAKRS lost its last hairdresser and there are no signs of any aspiring members in the sector. (A)

Facts about membership of hairdressers in any other trade union organisation are not known. Trade unions report indifference towards sector specific social dialogue activities . The sector is made up of large number of small companies and some chains of barber shops (Brigita, Kolonna). Average number of workers per company is 5.3. Self-employment is widespread. Workers enjoy sufficient salary, which includes official pay and also tips. Besides employed registered workers provide unregistered services.

Since LAKRS is the potential representative of the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector, we briefly describe this trade union although currently it has no members in the sector.

LAKRS is the fourth largest sector level trade union in Latvia. It includes workers from a wide spectrum of public services, but is focused mainly on public transport and communal services.

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

Voluntary (A)

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

Formal demarcation of LAKRS membership does not exist.

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

As of 1 January 2006: 15,515 (all members are working). (A)

As of 1 January 2007: 14,583, of which two are non-working pensioners. (A)

Of the total number of members 640 (4.4%) are employed in the state sector, 11,932 (81.8% in the local government sector and 2,011 (13.8%) members are employed in the private sector. (A) LAKRS has more than 200 branches in the private sector,.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

None (A)

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

As of 1 January 2007: 7,721 or 53%. (A)

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)

Number of trade union members in relation to the number of workers in companies with trade union members was 64% in 1 January 2006, and 67.1% in 1 January 2008. (A)

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

LAKRS is eligible to conclude sectoral level collective agreements.

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

National level: Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (Latvijas Brīvo Arodbiedrību savienība, LBAS)

International level: Public Services Internationale (PSI), European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel&Restaurant and Catering, Tobaco and Allied workers Association (IUF), European Federation of Trade Unions of the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors and Allied Branches (EFFAT), International Transport Workers` Federation, European Transport Workers` Federation

2b Data on the employer associations

None exists in the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector. One company is member of Latvian Employers’ Confederation (Latvijas Darba Devēju konfederācija, LDDK) at the company level and is represented through this organisation.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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?

n.a.

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

n.a.

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

None

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?

No.

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

n.a..

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

n.a.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

n.a.

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?

No cases where large companies or employer associations refuse to recognise the trade unions or refuse to enter into collective bargaining have arisen, due to the absence of social dialogue in the sector.

4. The system of collective bargaining

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).

Sector level collective agreements are not concluded in the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector. Data about company level collective agreements is not available.

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.)

Multi-employer agreements are not concluded in the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector.

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.

None

* 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.

None

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

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

LAKRS is consulted by the authorities in sector-specific matters if such matters arise, because consultations with social partners are required in any legislation process. In such cases employers of the hairdressing and other beauty treatment sector are represented by the Latvian Chamber of Crafts (Latvijas Amatniecības Kamera, LAK).

However there are rare cases when consultations are needed. The sector is self-sufficient, and it is not discussed in the public space.

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:

Tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues do not exist

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.
None        
         

* 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.

General principles apply.

No regulations apply at the company level; parties are employer, trade union or employees’ representatives in the absence of a trade union.

At the sector level both parties to the collective agreement (trade union and employers’ organisation) must be mandated to conclude an agreement, or the right to conclude agreement must be written in the statutes of organisation (Labour Law, Article 18).

No special requirements have to be met, however, all trade union decisions are based on collective consensus.

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.

No

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

No

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

n.a.

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

Hairdressers and beauty industry workers are represented neither by trade unions nor by employers’ organisations, and social dialogue does not exist in the sector. Apathy concerning social dialogue is explained by the specifics of the sector – small private companies, self-employment, gratuity as a traditional source of income etc. Since there is no demand for social dialogue, also employers’ organisations do not exist. Existing organizations (Latvian Hairdressers association (Latvijas Frizieru asociācija), Association of specialists of manicure and pedicure (Manikīra un pedikīra speciālistu apvienība), as well as Latvian stylists association (Latvijas stilistu asociācija) and Baltic association of make up (Baltijas vizāžistu asociācija)) are exclusively professional bodies. They are members of the Group of Health and Body Treatment craft (Veselības un ķermeņa kopšanas arodu grupa) of the LAK. The LAK is an organisation for professional craftsmen and women which promotes the development of craft trades in Latvia.

For instance, the LAK successfully lobbied for a reduction of the VAT rate for hairdressing services. It represents the sector in the Council of Small and Medium Enterprises affiliated with the Ministry of Economics. However, neither of these organisations are employers organisation in meaning of Latvian law.

It is worth mentioning that the Kolonna chain also joined the LDDK because of economic reasons – seeking assistance in lobbying against drastic working conditions requirements applied to barber shops.

Raita Karnite, Institute of Economics, LAS

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