Representativeness of trade unions and employer associations in the sea fisheries sector - Germany

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Employee representation,
  • Social partners,
  • Published on: 06 Marzec 2012



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Country:
Germany
Author:
Institution:

The importance of the sea fisheries sector to the German economy has been declining since the 1990s During this time EU policy has also meant that the number of vessels has been reduced. A few deep sea fishery boats are of high tech standard but, overall, the sector is characterised by small, individually-owned boats. There is no precise data either on the number of employers or on the number of employees in the sector. The number of those working in the sector who are eligible for social security was below 2,000 in 2009. The sector is represented by two employer organisations which both claim to be consulted by public authorities and by one trade union. Only a single-employer agreement is in place, however.

1.Sectoral properties

Economic background

The German fishing fleet complies with the EU quota and to the fishing areas set by EU fishing policies. The sea fisheries sector has been of declining importance to the German economy. About 86% of all fish is imported. Since the 1990s, a considerable number of vessels have been decommissioned. According to Eurostat data and to the national Maritime report (in German, 7.8Mb PDF), the fishing fleet comprised about 1,800 vessels in 2008. Out of these, nine were deep sea vessels engaged in fishing and processing; with 361 vessels operating in coastal areas. The vast majority of the remaining 1,362 boats were run by individual owners. There is no administrative data on sectoral employment because figures have dropped below 5,000. According to the Federal Employment Agency, those in standard employment in the whole of the German fisheries sector (Nace 03.1) eligible for social security decreased from 2,500 (1999) to 1,150 (2009).

Development of employment

Table 1: Sectoral properties
  1999 2009
Number of companies in the sector

n.a.

n.a.

Source of company data

Federal Statistical Office

Federal Statistical Office, Company register

     
Aggregate employment

n.a.

n.a.

Male employment

n.a.

n.a.

Female employment

n.a.

n.a.

Share of sectoral employment in %

n.a.

n.a.

Source of employment figures

Federal Statistical Office

Federal Statistical Office

Comment

Federal Statistical Office does not provide 4 digit data.

     
Aggregate employees

n.a.

n.a.

Male employees

n.a.

n.a.

Female employees

n.a.

n.a.

Share of sectoral employees in %

n.a.

n.a.

Comment

No data available on marine fisheries since Federal Employment Agency does not provide 4 digit data. In 1999, a total of 2,515 persons (1,965 men, 55 women) were employed in the fisheries sector (BA 05.0, German classification system 1993 which includes fisheries and sea fisheries). 1999 and 2009 data are not strictly comparable. Data excludes self-employed and marginal part time workers, but includes temporary agency workers

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

(i) trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining (In line with the conceptual remarks outlined in the background information included in the accompanying excel spreadsheet, 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)

(ii) trade unions which are a sector-related member of the sector-related European Union Federation (i.e. ETF – European Transport Workers’ Federation)

(iii) employer associations which are a party to sector-related collective bargaining

(iv) employer associations (business associations) which are a sector-related member of the sector-related European Employer/Business Federations (i.e. EUROPECHE and COGECA – General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union)

2a Overview of the industrial relations landscape in the sector

Please include a brief overview of the IR landscape in the sector (3-5 sentences) – summarising the most important features of industrial relations structures in the sector (based on the fact sheets – but without going into detail.)

Please also report here, whether the crisis had an impact on the sector’s relevant social partner organisations (e.g. mergers, emergence of new interest organisations, impact on membership structure, important social partner activities/achievements in the sector during the crisis etc.).

Since the 1990s, the industrial relations landscape has changed markedly. The sea fisheries sector is represented by two employer organisations. However, the last branch-level multi-employer collective agreement was concluded in 1996. Most coastal fishing is run by individual boat-owners, who are not affiliated to an employer organisation. Only one collective agreement exists which was concluded by a local employer, Deutsche Fischfang Union Cuxhaven (DFFU) and the United Services Union (ver.di). Both employer organisations and ver.di claim to be consulted by public authorities.

2b Data on the trade unions

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: United Services Union (ver.di)*
Affiliation to multinational organisations

International Transport Workers' Federation (ITWF)

Affiliation to Europeann-level organisations

European Transport Workers Federation (ETF), Uni Europe

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Confederation of German Trade Unions, DGB

Engagment in sector-related collective bargaining

yes

Type of membership

voluntary

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Union's domain with regard to sector

overlap

Domain overlap with other unions in sector

no

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

n.g.

 

2009

‘Active"‘union members total (in employment)

n.g.

   
Union members (incl. non-employed), total

n.g.

-

2,138,200

‘Active’ union members in the sector (in employment)

n.g.

   
Union members in the sector, total (incl. non-employed)

n.g.

-

2,000

Female membership as a % of total members

51%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Union density - active members

Rough estimate - in case no 'exact' figures are available

   
Sectoral density - active members

Rough estimate - in case no 'exact' figures are available

   
Sectoral domain density - active members

Rough estimate - in case no 'exact' figures are available

   
Union density - total members

n.g.

   
Sectoral density - total members

n.g.

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

n.g.

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

n.g.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

Please describe, which groups are being represented.

*Figure for total union members in the sector does not match NACE classification. Data includes employees working on board and ashore

2c Data on the employer associations

Table 3: Employers organisation Fact sheet: German Fisheries Association – Union of Professional and Recreational Fishermen (DFV)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

n.g.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

Europeche, Cogeca

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Deutsche Bauernverband

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

no

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Type of membership

voluntary

Organisation's domain with regard to sector

overlap

Domain overlap with other organisations in sector

no

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

n.g.

Number of member companies, total

n.a.

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

n.a.

   
Number of member companies in sector

n.a.

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

3,000

   
Source of membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Domain density - companies

very high: 91%–100%

   
Sectoral density - companies

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density – companies

n.a.

   
Domain density - employees

very high: 91%–100%

   
Sectoral density - employees

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density – employees

n.a.

   
Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

represents members in professional fishery, sports fishing, maritime and freshwater fishery and fish breeding.

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

represents companies of all sizes.

Table 4: Employers organisation Fact sheet: German Fisheries Association- High Seas (DHV)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

n.g.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

n.g.

Affiliation to national-level organisations

DFV

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

yes

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Type of membership

voluntary

Organisation's domain with regard to sector

sectionalism

Domain overlap with other organisations in sector

no

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

n.g.

  2011
Number of member companies, total

4

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

260

   
  2011
Number of member companies in sector

4

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

260

   
Source of membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Domain density – companies

very high: 91%–100%

   
Sectoral density – companies

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density – companies

n.a.

   
Domain density – employees

very high: 91%–100%

   
Sectoral density – employees

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density – employees

n.a.

   
Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

represents members in deep-sea fishery.

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

covers companies of all sizes.

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

3a.1 Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap.

No overlap

3a.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 data given

3a.3 If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights?

No data given

3b Inter-employer association relationships

3b.1 Please list all employer associations covered by this study whose domains overlap.

None

3b.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the employer associations, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No

3b.3 If yes, are certain employer associations excluded from these rights?

3b.4 Are there large companies or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

Not to our knowledge

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).

According to ver.di estimates, collective bargaining coverage is about 15%, because most employees work in coastal fisheries and with individual boat-owners.

As of spring 2011, only one collective agreement is in place, which was settled by ver.di and DFFU. (See section 2a) DFFU was established in 1986 to unite the remaining sea fisheries activities of several firms. For this reason, wage agreements were first considered to be multi-employer agreements. As the number of staff has been continuously shrinking, the agreement in place is considered a single-employer agreement by DFFU.

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.)

See above

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

No

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

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2008 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered.

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

There are no sector-related multi employer wage agreements.

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2008 (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.

Table 5: Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered
Bargaining parties Purview of the agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial

Ver.di and Deutsche Fischfang Union Cuxhaven

Fishing, transport and processing of fish

fishermen

Regional

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?

Ver.di as well as DFV and DHV said they were regularly consulted by public authorities.

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:

There is no bi- or tripartite body specifically dealing with the sea fisheries sector. However in a tripartite dialogue on the ILO Maritime Labour Convention the employers’ side has been represented by the German Shipowner Association (VDR) which represents German shipping companies (on VDR see DE0707019Q).

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6a Statutory regulations of representativeness for trade unions

6a.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.

No

6a.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

6a.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

6b Statutory regulations of representativeness for employer organisations

6b.1 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet themNo, there are no statutory regulations defining criteria of representativeness. There is no statutory requirement for an association.

6b.2 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation 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.

6b.3 Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No.

7. Commentary

There is are no problems on recognition for the trade unions. To our knowledge, there are also no jurisdictional disputes or recognition problems on the employers’ side.

Birgit Kraemer, Institute of Social and Economic Research (WSI)

Sandra Vogel, Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW)

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