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

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



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Slovakia
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Freshwater fishing in Slovakia forms a very small part of the economy. Government statistics show that the number of companies involved in the industry decreased from 10 in 1999 to 2 in 2009. No statistical data are available about employment in the sector. The share of sectoral employment in the economy can be estimated at less than 0.05%. The Agriculture Trade Union Association is the only trade union in the sector, with about 50 members employed in freshwater fishing. There is no sectoral multi-employer collective bargaining, and extension of collective agreements is not applied. The only company collective bargaining which takes place occurs at the headquarters of the Slovak Fishing Association.

Economic background

There are no sea fisheries in Slovakia. Therefore this study deals with freshwater fishing, which forms a very small part of the economy. According to the Slovak Statistical Office (ŠÚ SR), the number of companies in the sector decreased from 10 in 1999 to 2 in 2009. ŠÚ SR has, however, no data about employment in the sector. According to the ŠÚ SR, this is caused by the sample of companies for LF surveys, which does not include business subjects from the sector. The share of sectoral employment in the economy can be considered marginal and is likely below 0.05%. There is no female employment.

The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

Data on the trade unions

The Agriculture Trade Union Association (OZ PP) represents about 50 employees from the freshwater fishing sector. They work at the headquarters of the Slovak Fishing Association (SRZ). Latest figures (from 2009) show that OZ PP has about 5,000 members with 20% being women. OZ PP is member of the national Confederation of Trade Unions (KOZ SR). At European level OZ PP is a member of the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT).

Data on the employer associations

The Slovak Fishing Association (SRZ) and Association of Fishfarmers in Slovakia (ZCHR) are the sector’s employer organisations. SRZ is, however, a voluntary civic organisation, which brings together anyone interested in fishing related activities. It has affiliations to 122 local organisations in each of Slovakia’s eight administrative counties. It also has about 70 full-time employees at its headquarters in Žilina. There are about another 150 paid employees working part-time in local organisations, who tend not to belong to a union. ZCHR is an association of fish farmers and, according to CEO, does not have any paid employees.

Inter-associational relationships

There is only one trade union in the sector and there is therefore no rivalry or competition regarding the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation. Similarly, there are no employer associations whose domain overlaps. No competition exists between them regarding collective bargaining (union members are present only in SRZ) and consultations about public policy formulation and implementation. No information is available about trade unions having any problems with recognition or being unable to enter collective bargaining in the sector.

The system of collective bargaining

According to OZ PP, sectoral multi-employer collective bargaining took place in agriculture with the Association of Technical Services in Agriculture and Forestry in Slovakia. However, this collective agreement does not cover freshwater fishing. Extension of collective agreements is not applied to the sector. Only one employer collective agreement is concluded in the sector, between management at SRZ headquarters and local trade union organisations affiliated to OZ PP. Their collective agreement usually includes wages and covers 100% of employees (about 70) at the headquarters. No official information is available about sectoral coverage of collective bargaining. When the total number of employees in the sector is estimated at about 150–200, coverage by collective bargaining can be about 35%–45%.

Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

No special tripartite or bipartite body exists to deal with formulation and implementation of sector-specific public issues. The sector’s employer associations and trade unions are consulted by authorities in sector-specific matters only indirectly. Trade unionists are involved in consultations through OZ PP membership in KOZ SR, which participates in national tripartite Economic and Social Council (HSR). SRZ and ZCHR are indirectly consulted about sector-specific public policies by Ministry of Environment (MŽP), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MPRV). ZCHR is also consulted via Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK).

Ludovit Cziria, Institute for Labour and Family Research

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