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

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



About
Country:
Poland
Author:
Institution:

The sea fisheries sector in Poland has seriously declined over the last 10 years, both terms of employment and its relevance to the Polish economy. The sector consists of the Baltic Sea fishery segment based on small, non-unionised companies, and a deep-sea fishery segment which is the main site of the activity of trade unions and employer organisations. The density of social partners’ organisations in the sector is very low. Consequently, collective agreements of any kind do not exist and tri-partite concertation has been inefficient in solving sectoral problems and regulating employment conditions in the sector.

1. Sectoral properties

Economic background

The Polish sea fisheries is divided into the Baltic Sea fishery and the deep-sea fishery. According to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS) employment in the sector overall declined from 7,007 workers in 2000, to 3,004 workers in 2009. However, social partners say the 2009 figures could, in reality, be as high as 6,000 if employees who work on foreign registered vessels were included. These ships are mainly registered as Spanish or Dutch.

Data from the Sea Fisheries Institute (MIR) suggests that the number of vessels in the deep-sea fisheries fell from 18 in 2001 to 4 in 2009. This followed the liquidation of two of the three state-controlled deep-sea fishery companies as the result of increasing international competition, limited investment, rising operational costs and shrinking fishing quotas. The number of fishing vessels in the Baltic Sea fisheries fell from 1,405 in 2001 to 804 in 2009 due to structural adjustment and modernisation. The Baltic Sea fisheries are currently based on small family-run companies marked by seasonal (sometimes unregistered) employment and by self-employment.. There is no information about the extent of seasonal work in the Baltic Sea fisheries. In both segments, operational costs have risen due to rising oil prices.

Development of employment

Table 1: Sectoral properties
 

2000

2009

Number of companies in the sector

1,004

1,181

Source of company data

Statistical Yearbook of Maritime Economy 2010, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw

Statistical Yearbook of Maritime Economy 2010, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw

Aggregate employment

7,007

3,004

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

(1) Statistical Yearbook of Maritime Economy 2004, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw; (2) the Yearbook of Labour Statistics 2010, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw

(1) Statistical Yearbook of Maritime Economy 2010, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw; (2) the Yearbook of Labour Statistics 2010, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw

Comment

There are no Eurostat Structural Business Statistics available for this sector in Poland.

Aggregate employees

n.a.

6,000

Male employees

n.a.

n.a.

Female employees

n.a.

n.a.

Share of sectoral employees in %

n.a.

n.a.

Comment

Estimation of trade union leaders (FZZ MiR). The number of employees in the sector is difficult to estimate based on the official statistics since the latter contains data only about aggregate employment. The exclusion of employees who work on the vessels which serve under foreign flags from the official statistics explains why the number of employees exceeds the number of the employed.

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.).

The Baltic Sea fishery sector is dominated by small, often family-owned and family-managed enterprises which are neither unionised nor organised into employer organisations. They are represented by producers’ associations, such as the Association of Polish Fishers (ZRP), the Association of Sea Fishermen (ZRM) and the National Chamber of Fish Producers (KIPR). Trade unions and employer organisations are solely active in the deep-sea fishery part of the sector, in particular in the three largest companies. Their situation has not significantly changed in the wake of the economic crisis.

2b Data on the trade unions

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: National Maritime Section of Seamen and Fishermen of Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarność (KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

International Transport Workers' Federation, ITF

Affiliation to European-level organisations

European Transport Workers' Federation, ETF

Affiliation to national-level organisations

KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność is a national branch section of the unitary union NSZZ Solidarność.

Engagment in sector-related collective bargaining

no (see point 6a1)

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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

FZZ MiR

 

2010

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: National Maritime Section of Seamen and Fishermen of Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarność (KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność)
‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

3,500

   
Union members (incl. non-employed), total

6,000

   
 

2010

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

500

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

1,000

   
Female membership as a % of total members

3%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Union density - active members

low: 10%–25%

   
Sectoral density – active members

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral domain density - active members

very low: 0%–9%

   
Union density - total members

n.a.

   
Sectoral density - total members

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

n.a.

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

The union is a national branch section of NSZZ Solidarność that covers not only sea fishermen, but also seamen, those involved in sea rescue and employees in subaqueous works.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

The union can potentially also cover self-employed people and fishermen employed on the ships that are not registered in Poland. However, in the present moment there are no union members belonging to these categories.

Comment

It is very likely that the number of active members of the union in the sector is overestimated since the union has no members among Baltic Sea fishermen; and the quoted number largely exceeds the total number of employees in the deep-fishery sector (around 200 people) reported in MIR’s statistics.

Table 3: Union Fact sheet Seamen and Fishermen Trade Union Federation (FZZ MiR)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

International Transport Workers' Federation, ITF

Affiliation to European level organisations

European Transport Workers' Federation, ETF

Affiliation to national level organisations

All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions, Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych, OPZZ

Engagment in sector related collective bargaining

no (see point 6a1)

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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność

 

2 010

Table 3: Union Fact sheet Seamen and Fishermen Trade Union Federation (FZZ MiR)
‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

2,200

   
Union members (incl. non-employed), total

3,443

   
 

2 010

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

500

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

n.a.

   
Female membership as a % of total members

3%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

 
Union density - active members

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral density - active members

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral domain density - active members

very low: 0%–9%

   
Union density - total members

n.a.

   
Sectoral density - total members

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

n.a.

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

The union can potentially cover employees in all sections of the maritime economy.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

The union can potentially also cover self-employed fishermen and those employed on ships not registered in Poland. However, at present here are no union members belonging to these categories.

Comment

It is very likely that the number of active members of the union in the sector is overestimated since (1) the union has no members among Baltic Sea fishermen and the quoted number largely exceeds the total number of employees in the deep-fishery sector (around 200 people) reported in MIR’s official statistics.

2c Data on the employer associations

Table 4: Employers organisation Fact sheet: Polish Shipowners Association (ZAP)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

not affiliated

Affiliation to European-level organisations

European Shipowners Community Associations, ESCA

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Employers of Poland (RP)

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

no (see point 6b1)

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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

North Atlantic Producers Organisation (PAOP)

  2010
Number of member companies, total

21

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

n.a.

   
  2010
Number of member companies in sector

1

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

100

   
Source of membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Domain density - companies

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral density - companies

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral domain density - companies

very low: 0%–9%

   
Domain density - employees

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral density - employees

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral domain density - employees

very low: 0%–9%

   
Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

ZAP covers employers in the sector of sea transportation, sea fishery and sea sailing whose headquarters or place of residence is in Poland.

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

no

Table 5: Employers organisation Fact sheet: North Altlantic Producers Organisation (PAOP)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

not affiliated

Affiliation to European level organisations

The Association of National Organisations of Fishery Enterprises in the European Union, Europeche.

Affiliation to national level organisations

not affiliated

Engagement in sectoral related collective bargaining

no (see point 6b1)

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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

Polish Shipowners Association (ZAP)

  2010
Table 5: Employers organisation Fact sheet: North Altlantic Producers Organisation (PAOP)
Number of member companies, total

2

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

n.a.

   
  2010
Number of member companies in sector

2

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

n.a.

   
Source of membership figures

administrative

Domain density - companies

66,0%

   
Sectoral density - companies

very low: 0%–9%

   
Sectoral domain density - companies

66,0%

   
Domain density - employees

n.a.

   
Sectoral density - employees

n.a.

   
Sectoral domain density - employees

n.a.

   
Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

The domain of PAOP includes Polish private employers active in the oceanic fishery sector.

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

no

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

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

There are two main trade union organisations in the sector whose domain overlap:

  • KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność
  • FZZ MiR affiliated to OPZZ

Both trade unions take mainly fishermen in the deep-sea fishery as members. They have almost no members among the Baltic Sea fishers.

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?

Trade unions in the sector do not compete over the right to conclude collective agreements. At enterprise level, they enjoy such right by default but do not exercise it due to limited union density in the sector and the reluctance of employers to conclude any collective agreements. Two main trade unions are also consulted by public authorities on the issues of policy formulation and implementation. They have also established a joint committee which coordinates their activities in the sector.

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

No.

3b Inter-employer association relationships

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

There are two main employer organisations in the sector whose domain overlap:

  • ZAP
  • PAOP
  • includes, among its 21 members, one member company which is active in sea fisheries, the Deep-Sea Fishing Company Dalmor (DKP Dalmor). It is a public sector entity created from the restructuring of an ex-state-owned company. All its shares belong to the State Treasury. PAOP consists of two private member companies active in the deep-sea fishing, Altantex and Arctic Navigations.

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?

Both ZAP and PAOP have the right to conclude collective agreements and are consulted in public policy formulation and implementation. However, the right to conclude collective agreements is not exercised in practice due to the lack of interest of employer organisations. It is only ZAP that participates in the Tripartite Team for Seafaring and Sea Fishery since it is a member of the nationally representative employer organisation, Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy RP).

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

Since PAOP does not belong to any Polish nationally representative employer organisations it is not included in the activities of the Tripartite Team for Seafaring and Sea Fishery.

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

Trade union recognition in large companies active in the sea fishery sector in Poland does not seem to be a significant problem. Trade unions are present in all three larger companies active in the deep-sea fishery. The main problem for trade unions is the unionisation of fishermen in the Baltic Sea who are either self-employed or work on seasonal basis for small family-based companies. Another challenge for unions is organising among fishermen who continuously change their employers and work on vessels which serve under foreign flags. Trade union leaders are reported to have limited access to this particular group of workers.

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).

No collective agreements have been concluded in the sea fishery sector. In the 1990s, company-level collective agreements existed in three state-controlled companies in the deep-sea fishery. However, two of these companies were liquidated and in the remaining one, DKP Dalmor, the collective agreement was replaced by agreed pay regulations. Collective bargaining in DKP Dalmor takes place on the company level and concerns pay regulations. It involves the DKP Dalmor’s management and two trade unions, KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność and FZZ MiR. Although DKP Dalmor is a member of the employer organisation, ZAP, the employer organisation does not directly take part in collective bargaining at company level.

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.)

Not relevant. There are no collective agreements of any kind in the sea fishery sector. The power and coverage of both trade unions and employer organisations are too limited to conclude any binding collective agreements.

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

Not relevant.

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

Not relevant.

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.

Not relevant. According to social partners there are no multi-employer wage agreements concluded in the sector.

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.

Not relevant. According to social partners there are no collective agreements of any kind concluded in the sector.

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?

Employer associations (ZAP and PAOP) and trade unions (KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność and FZZ MiR) are consulted in sector-specific matters. The main subject of consultation in recent years has been the implementation of the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention (1.07Mb PDF) passed by the International Labour Organization in 2006. In order to harmonise the Polish regulations with the MLC 2006, the Act on Work on Merchant Ships which had been in force since 1991, had to be modified. However, following the general regulations of the MLC 2006, the new Act on Work on Merchant Ships proposed on 2 December 2009 does not apply to employment on ships engaged in the fishing. If the new Act had been passed, working conditions in the fishery sector would be regulated by a labour code which does not fit into the context of the fisheries sector. However, the negotiations about the new legislation ended up in a deadlock. Social partners indicated that one of the main reasons of the deadlock is the confusion about which ministry should be responsible for the sea fisheries sector, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi), the Ministry of Infrastructure (Ministerstwo Infrastruktury) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (Ministerstwo Pracy i Polityki Społecznej).

Due to the lack of members among employers and employees in the Baltic Sea part of the sector, employer organisations and trade unions are rarely engaged in negotiating policies which concern the Baltic Sea fishery.

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:

Table 6: 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.

Tripartite Team for Seafaring and Sea Fishery (employment and working conditions)

Tripartite

Agreement (2002)

KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność

FZZ MiR (OPZZ)

The Nationwide Trade Union of Officers and Seafarers ( OZZ OiM ) (Trade Unions’ Forum, , FZZ)

ZAP

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

Sector related policies are discussed during the meetings of the Tripartite Team for Seafaring and Sea Fishery, which functions within the Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs (TK). The team was established in 2002 to facilitate the restructuring of deep-sea fishery sector and to protect the interests of Polish employees and employers in the sector. However, social partners are not satisfied with the team’s results as it did not prevent the decline of the Polish deep-sea fishery companies. The team is also the platform of the so-far unsuccessful negotiations over the amended Act on Work on Merchant Ships (see above).

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.

At enterprise level any union is allowed to enter into a single-employer agreement, so that all unions active within a company are entitled to be a party to agreement of such type. However, at supra-enterprise level only representative unions have the right to be parties to multi-employer collective agreements.

By virtue of the Clause 241/17 of the Labour Code, in order to be recognised as representative, a union has to meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • having representative status within the meaning of the Act regarding the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and the voivodship social dialogue commissions;
  • comprising at least 10% of total employees within a formally demarcated domain, not less, however, than 10,000 members;
  • having the highest number of members within the group of employees to be covered by a multi-employer agreement.

Both KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność and FZZ MiR, as the members of nationally representative trade union organisations (NSZZ Solidarność and OPZZ, respectively) would be eligible to conclude a multi-employer collective agreement. However, as no such agreements currently exist, it is only a hypothetical matter.

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.

In general, trade unions meeting the representativeness criteria set by the Act and active within a given sector are routinely included in tripartite sectoral bodies, but other unions active within the sector can also enter a sectoral body by mutual consent of all the participants. In case of sea fishery sector, KSM MiR NSZZ Solidarność and FZZ MiR meet these criteria. In addition, both trade unions are occasionally consulted in the matters of public policy at the level of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

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, as under currently binding legislation trade unions no longer enjoy the right to appoint works councils, which are to emerge from general elections.

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 them.

At the enterprise-level, it is a specific employer who enjoys the right to conclude a single-employer (enterprise-level) collective agreement. By virtue of the Clause 241/15 of the Labour Code, any employer association has a right to conclude collective agreements at supra-enterprise level. Thus, both PAOP and ZAP can conclude collective agreements. However, since ZAP involves only one company active in the fisheries sector and PAOP is generally not active in the field of collective agreements, this legal opportunity has not been used so far.

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.

In general, employer association has to either meet the representativeness criteria set by the Act regarding the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs or be admitted by the members of a given tripartite sectoral body. The Act specifies that employer organisation is considered to be representative in the national scale, if it jointly fulfils following criteria: it associates employers who employ more than 300,000 employees in total and it is active in the national scale within more than half of trades (branches) in the national economy.

As for 2011, it is only ZAP who participates in the Tripartite Team for Seafaring and Sea Fishery as the member of the nationally representative employer organisation, Employers of Poland (RP). PAOP, which does not belong to any Polish nationally representative employer organisations, is not included in the works of the Team.

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.

Not relevant.

7. Commentary

It is increasingly difficult for trade unions and employer organisations in Poland to exert any influence on the development of the sea fisheries sector. Their presence is limited to the three deep-sea fishery companies. As with other sectors, social partners have been incapable of expanding their activities to cover the Baltic Sea fisheries which are based on small enterprises, family employment, self-employment and seasonal work. As a result of the limited representativeness of social partners in the sector there is no chance to conclude any binding collective agreements. Moreover, there is a justified fear that an amended Act on Work on Merchant Ships will not cover the employment conditions of sea fishers. Despite the attempts of social partners to propose alternative regulations within Tripartite Team for Seafaring and Sea Fishery, negotiations with the government ended up in deadlock which could lead to further deregulation of working conditions in the sector.

Adam Mrozowicki, the Institute of Public Affairs

Sources

Bibliography

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Dodaj komentarz