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

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



About
Country:
Romania
Author:
Institution:

The sea fisheries sector went into a sharp decline in Romani after 1990. The social partners representing the interests of the sector are those which signed the collective agreement for 'Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries for 2010–2011', but they don't have as members any trade union, employer organisation, company from the sector. The Romanian Government promoted the 'National Strategic Plan for Fisheries 2007–2013' which aims to support the sector and its fishing communities.

Sectoral properties

Economic background

The only data available for sea fisheries sector (NACE code 3.11), are those provided by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) in its National Strategic Plan for Fisheries 2007–2013. According to the plan, in 2005, the Romanian fisheries and aquaculture provided employment for 6,811 people (respectively 9.2%), of whom 633 were working in sea fisheries, with the rest working at inland fisheries and aquaculture.

According to the data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) there are 28 small companies active in the sea fisheries sector (NACE code 3.11).

Development of employment

Table 1: Sectoral properties
 

1999

2009

Number of companies in the sector

n/a

28

Source of company data

n/a

Tempo online database, National Institute of Statistics (INS)

Aggregate employment

5,000

3,000 (data for 2008)

Male employment

n/a

n/a

Female employment

n/a

n/a

Share of sectoral employment in %

0.06

0.03 (data for 2008)

Source of employment figures

Romanian Statistical Yearbook, National Institute of Statistics, Bucharest, 2010, data from 'Labour force balance'

Romanian Statistical Yearbook, National Institute of Statistics, Bucharest, 2010, data from 'Labour force balance'

Comment

The data regarding employment are for NACE 3 'Fishing and aquaculture'

The data regarding employment are for NACE 3 'Fishing and aquaculture'

Aggregate employees

4,000

2,000

Male employees

n/a

n/a

Female employees

n/a

n/a

Share of sectoral employees in %

0.08

0.04

Source of employees figures

Romanian Statistical Yearbook, National Institute of Statistics, Bucharest, 2010, data from 'Labour force balance'

Romanian Statistical Yearbook, National Institute of Statistics, Bucharest, 2010, data from 'Labour force balance'

Comment

The data regarding employees are for NACE 3 'Fishing and aquaculture'

The data regarding employees are for NACE 3 'Fishing and aquaculture'.

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.).

Fishing licences are issued by the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture (ANPA), which comes under the authority of MADR.

In March 2011 ANPA recorded 20 fishing and aquaculture organisations and associations, with approximately 1,500 members. These bodies are not recognised as trade union or employer organisations for the sector, but they organise the fishermen in order to obtain fishing quotas.

Industrial relations in the sea fisheries sector are regulated by the collective agreement concluded for 'Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries for 2010–2011'. The agreement is negotiated and signed by representative trade unions in the branch, the National Federation of Trade Unions in Agriculture, Food, Tobacco, Domains and Related Services (AGROSTAR Federation) and the Centre of Workers' Trade Unions from Agriculture, Food Industry, Tourism and Related Branches (CERES) and from the employers' side by the National Federation of Agricultural Producers of Romania (FNPAR).

None of these organisations has members from the sea fisheries sector (NACE 3.11), but according to current legislation, their capacity as signatories to the collective agreement for 'Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries' entitles them to represent fisheries.

2b Data on the trade unions

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: National Federation of Trade Unions in Agriculture, Food, Tobacco, Domains and Related Services (AGROSTAR Federation)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

Not affiliated at international level.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT)

Affiliation to national-level organisations

National Trade Union Bloc (BNS)

Engagement 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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

Centre of Workers' Trade Unions from Agriculture, Food Industry, Tourism and Connex Branches (CERES)

  2010
‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

50,000

Union members (incl. non-employed), total

50,000

  2010
‘Active’ union members in the sector (in employment)

0

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

0

Female membership as a % of total members

40% (own estimate)

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Union density - active members

31.4%

33.3%

Sectoral density - active members

0.0%

Sectoral domain density - active members

0.0%

Union density - total members

31.4%

33.3%

Sectoral density - total members

0.0%

Sectoral domain density - total members

0.0%

Description of union's domain with regard to sector

AGROSTAR Federation can represent the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sector, even if it has no members from sea fisheries. It is representative for NACE 3.11 because it is a signatory to the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries collective agreement at branch level for the period 2010–2011.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

Yes, all categories of employment

Table 3: Union Fact sheet: Centre of Workers' Trade Unions from Agriculture, Food Industry, Tourism and Related Branches (CERES)
Affiliation to multi-national organisations

Not affiliated at international level.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT)

Affiliation to national-level organisations

National Trade Union Confederation Cartel Alfa (Cartel Alfa)

Engagement 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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

AGROSTAR Federation

 

2010

‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

42,000

Union members (incl. non-employed), total

42,000

 

2010

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

0

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

0

Female membership as a % of total members

30% (own estimate)

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Union density - active members

28.0%

Sectoral density - active members

0.0%

Sectoral domain density - active members

0.0%

Union density - total members

28.0%

Sectoral density - total members

0.0%

Sectoral domain density - total members

0.0%

Description of union's domain with regard to sector

CERES Centre can represent the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sector, even if it has no members from sea fisheries. It is representative for NACE 3.11 because it is a signatory to the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries collective agreement at branch level for the period 2010–2011.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

Yes, all categories of employment

2c Data on the employer associations

Table 4: Employers’ organisation: The National Federation of Agricultural Producers of Romania (FNPAR)
Affiliation to multi-national organisations

not affiliated

Affiliation to European-level organisations

COPA-COGECA-GEOPA

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Industry, Services and Commerce Employers' Confederation of Romania (CPISC)

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

yes

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

None

  2010
Number of member companies, total

28

Number of employees in member companies total

13,600

  2010
Number of member companies in sector

0

Number of employees in member companies in sector

0

Source of membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Domain density - companies

66.18%

 

66.91%

Sectoral density - companies

0.00 %

   
Sectoral domain density - companies

0.00 %

   
Domain density - employees

30.00%

 

30.00%

Sectoral density - employees

0.00 %

   
Sectoral domain density - employees

0.00 %

   

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

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

AGROSTAR Federation and CERES Centre

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

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

Not applicable

3b Inter-employer association relationships

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

Not applicable

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?

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

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

According to our information, no.

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).

In accordance with the law, the collective agreement in force at Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries branch level cover 100% of sea fisheries’ employees.

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.)

100% multi-employer bargaining

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

Yes. The single national collective agreement and the single collective agreement at Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries branch level apply to all partners in the sector, regardless of whether they are affiliated to signatory organisations or not.

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

Current practice, according with the regulations in force.

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.

Table 5: Sector-related multi employer wage agreements*
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial

Trade unions: AGROSTAR Federation and CERES Centre

Employer organisation FNPAR

entire sector

all categories

national

* Collective agreement at agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries branch level for 2010-2011, registered at the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection ( MMFPS) number. 120/02/31.03.2010

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.

There is only one. See Table 5 above (4.3)

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

On sector-specific matters, the authorities consult with trade union confederations and employer organisations represented to the commission for social dialogue at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR).

In this context, AGROSTAR Federation and CERES Centre representatives stated that they were consulted as members of the social dialogue commission. FNPAR representatives stated that they were not consulted by MADR, but they were consulted by the Romanian Government), the Romanian Presidency, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MMP) and the Ministry of Economy, Commerce, and Business Environment (MECMA).

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.

Commission for social dialogue Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR)

Tripartite

Statutory

All national trade union confederations

AGROSTAR Federation as member of BNS, Ceres Centre as member of Cartel Alfa

All employer organisations representative at national level

FNPAR as member of CPISC

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

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.

Representativeness criteria have general validity; there are no sector-specific regulations. According to Law no. 130/1996 on the collective agreement, article 17, collective bargaining at national, sector, and company level allows the participation of trade union organisations that meet the following requirements:

  • trade union confederations of national level must: have legal status; be independent with respect to their organisational structure and assets; have their own trade union structures in at least half the counties of Romania, including the City of Bucharest; include representative trade union federations from at least 25% of all areas of activity; include affiliated trade union organisations that have a total membership of at least 5% of the total number of employees in the national economy;
  • trade union confederations of sectoral level must: have legal status; be independent with respect to their organisational structure and assets; include affiliated trade union organisations that have a total membership of at least 7% of the total number of employees in their field of activity;
  • trade unions at company level must: have legal status; have a number of trade union members that represents at least one third of the total number of company employees.

Courts of law certify if trade union organisations meet representativeness requirements, as follows:

  • at national and at sector/branch of business level, the Bucharest City High Court (TMB);
  • at company level, the court of law with territorial jurisdiction over the company head office.

The decision can be changed only by appeal.

According to the information available, the representativeness criteria for the sea fisheries sector are met by CERES Centre and AGROSTAR Federation, as signatory parties to the collective agreement for 'Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries', NACE 3.

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.

These aspects are regulated by: Law 109/1997 on the organisation and functioning of the Economic and Social Council (CES) and Convention no. 144/1976 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), adopted on 2 June 1976 in Geneva, ratified by Romania under Law 96/1992; Government Decision no. 314/2001 on the establishment, organisation and functioning of social dialogue committees in certain ministries and prefectures, as subsequently amended and supplemented by Government Decision no. 569/2002.

According to the information available, CERES Centre (authorised by Cartel Alfa) and AGROSTAR Federation (authorised by BNS) are entitled, for the sea fisheries sector, to be consulted on sector-related public policies and to participate at the social dialogue commission at sectoral level.

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 them.

The representativeness criteria are those generally valid, there are no sector-specific regulations. According to Law 130/1996 on the collective agreement, article 15, collective bargaining at national, sector/branch, and company level allows the participation of employer organisations that meet the following requirements:

  • at national level, the employer organisations must: have an independent organisational structure and assets; represent employers whose companies operate in at least half the counties of Romania, including the City of Bucharest; represent employers whose companies operate in at least 25% of all areas of activity; represent employers whose companies include at least 10% of the total number of employees in the national economy;
  • at sector/branch of business level, the employer organisation must: have an independent organisational structure and assets; represent employers whose companies include at least 10% of the total number of employees in the respective branch of activity.

The TMB certifies if representativeness criteria are met. The decision can be changed only by appeal.

According to the information available, FNPAR meet the criteria of representativeness, as signatory party to the collective agreement in the branch 'Agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries', NACE 3.

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.

These aspects are regulated by: Law 109/1997 on the organisation and functioning of the CES, and Convention no. 144/1976 of the ILO, adopted on 2 June 1976 in Geneva, ratified by Romania under Law no. 96/1992; Government Decision no. 314/2001 on the establishment, organisation and functioning of social dialogue committees in certain ministries and prefectures, as subsequently amended and supplemented by Government Decision no. 569/2002.

According to the information available, FNPAR is entitled to be consulted on sector-related public policies and to participate in the social dialogue commission at sectoral level, authorised by CPISC.

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

After talks with the leader of Cartel Alfa (to which CERES is affiliated), and with leaders of the other two union federations that are signatories to the collective bargaining agreement applying to fisheries (AGROSTAR Federation and CERES Centre) it appears that no trade union for this business sector exists or is affiliated to the two federations, therefore fishery workers are not represented at either company or sector collective bargaining.

After similar discussions with representatives of FNPAR, which is a party to the collective agreement applicable to this sector, it was found out that the sea fisheries sector is not represented by any employer association affiliated with FNPAR. Consequently, employers in this sector are not represented at the bargaining sessions.

The European funds available for the fishing sector (over €230 million allocated to Romania from the European Fishing Fund – EFF – until 2013), if accessed, could help to improve fishing, through improving cooperation between the social partners, and their organisation, in this sector.

Luminita Chivu, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy

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