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

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



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Slovenia
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In Slovenia, the sea fisheries sector represents only 0.018 % of the added value created by the Slovenian economy, or 0.014 % of the GDP. In 2009, the Slovenian fisheries sector employed only 105 people, about 0.01% of the total number of people employed nationally. Nevertheless, fishing, aquaculture and processing and marketing provide vital employment at a regional level, especially in the coastal area. The marine fishing fleet consists of 185 vessels of which 90% are less than 12 metres long, with an average age of about 30 years. As most of the fishermen are self-employed, they are not well organised. However, dialogue about any vital issues is conducted with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF).

Sectoral properties

Economic background

In Slovenia, a Mediterranean country with a 45 km long coastline, marine fishing is the only commercial fishing activity. Since Slovenia gained independence in 1991, marine fishing has been limited largely to its territorial waters, which cover 180 square kilometres. The limitation of the fishing grounds after gaining independence led to an imbalance between the available fishery resources and fishing means. As a result the number of companies and employees decreased. According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS) at the end of 2009 there were 59 of which 13 legal and 46 natural persons in the sector. There is only one company of any size in this sector in Slovenia (Riba with 25 employees). The other companies have one or two employees or are self-employed people.

In 2009, the105 people employed in commercial sea fishing comprised 94 men and 11 women. Of these, 72 persons were employed full-time and 33 part-time (including seasonal or occasional work). Most of those employed in 2009 were fishermen or those whose jobs entail them spending most of their working time on a fishing vessel. Due to a lack of added value in the fisheries sector, salaries are lagging behind the Slovenian average. The average gross salary in Slovenia at the end of 2009 was €1,438, while in the marine fisheries sector it was €1,126.

The sector is very small but economically important for local fishermen. Social dialogue in the sector occurs at national level and is generally focused on issues concerning the development of the whole sector. Industrial relations are covered by a collective agreement for Slovenia’s agriculture and food processing industry. Trade unions say they have no members from the sector, however Riba, the biggest employer in the sector, applies the terms of the collective agreement to its employees’ contracts.

Development of employment

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

90

56

Source of company data

estimation from MAFF and AJPES (Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services) data on marine fishing

Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia

Aggregate employment

193

105

Male employment

178

94

Female employment

15

11

Share of sectoral employment in %

0.025%

0.012%0

Source of employment figures

Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia

Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia

Comment

if employment is taken from another source than the one provided, please provide your reasons, referring to meta-data.

Aggregate employees

78

39

Male employees

0

0

Female employees

0

0

Share of sectoral employees in %

0.012%

0.005%0

Comment

if employee figures are taken from another source than the one provided, please provide your reasons, referring to meta-data.

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.).

Slovenian fishermen are not unionised. Attempts to achieve this in the past have failed for several reasons. Individual fishermen have the same status as farmers, with the State stepping in to pay the employers' portion of social security contributions. Fishermen pay a compulsory contribution of €37 per month. Fishermen are represented mainly through the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia (SCAF).

2b Data on the trade unions

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: The Trade Union of the Agriculture and Food Industry of Slovenia (TUAFIS)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)

Affiliation to European-level organisations

The European Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (EUL), European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT).

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS)

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

TUSF

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

n.a.

 

2010

‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

11,500

-

12,000

Union members (incl. non-employed), total

11,500

-

12,000

 

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

50%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Union density - active members

50,0%

-

55,0%

Sectoral density - active members

0,0%

-

0,0%

Sectoral domain density - active members

0,0%

-

0,0%

Union density - total members

50,0%

-

55,0%

Sectoral density - total members

0,0%

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

0,0%

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

Union covers employees in the following sectors: agriculture, hunting and related activities, fishing, manufacturing of food products, beverages and tobacco.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

It claims to represent all groups of employees.

Table 3: Union Fact sheet: Trade Union of Slovenian Farmers (TUSF)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

n.a.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

n.a.

Affiliation to national-level organisations

n.a.

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

no

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

TUAFIS

 

2010

‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

4,000

-

4,100

Union members (incl. non-employed), total

4,000

-

4,100

 

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%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Union density - active members

9%

-

10%

Sectoral density - active members

0%

   
Sectoral domain density - active members

0%

   
Union density - total members

9%

-

10%

Sectoral density - total members

0%

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

0%

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

Represents farmers,and fishermen, as they have the status of farmer, and their family members.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

It claims to represent self-employed in the farming and fishing activity.

2c Data on the employer associations

Table 4: Employers organisation: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia –Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises (CCIS-CAFÉ)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

n.a.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

member of the CIAA (European Confederation of Food and Drink Industries),

Affiliation to national-level organisations

member of the CCIS

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

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

n.a.

  2010
Number of member companies, total

245

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

12,000

-

14,000

  2010
Number of member companies in sector

3

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

10

   
Source of membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Domain Density - companies

7%

   
Sectoral Density - companies

5%

   
Sectoral Domain Density - companies

5%

   
Domain Density - employees

52%

-

63%

Sectoral Density - employees

25%

   
Sectoral Domain Density - employees

9%

-

10%

Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

It covers all legal firms of companies in agriculture, including fishing, and food sector including also non-profit or administrative units interested in the activities in the sector.

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

No, it covers all groups of enterprises.

Table 5: Employers organisation: Slovenia’s Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (SCAF)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

n.a.

Affiliation to European-level organisations

Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA) and General Committee for Agricultural Cooperation in the European Union (COGECA)

Affiliation to national-level organisations

n.a.

Engagement in sectoral related collective bargaining

no

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Type of membership

mixed system

Organisation's domain with regard to sector

overlap

Domain overlap with other organisations in sector

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

n.a.

  2010
Number of member companies, total

111,500

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

115,000

   
  2010
Number of member companies in sector

15

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

35

   
Source of membership figures

Social Partner estimate

Domain density - companies

99%

-

100%

Sectoral density - companies

27%

   
Sectoral domain density - companies

27%

   
Domain density - employees

85%

-

95%

Sectoral density - employees

90%

   
Sectoral domain density - employees

90%

   
Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

Chamber members include individuals (primarily owners of agricultural land and forests), agricultural co-operatives, and enterprises involved in the agriculture and fishing sector.

 

SCAF is the umbrella organisation which covers all natural persons and legal entities that work in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fishing in the Republic of Slovenia

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

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

Not applicable. TUAFIS represents mainly employees in the agriculture and food industry and TUFS represents farmers and their family members (self-employed). No fishermen are members of TUAFIS or TUFS although they are eligible to join. TUAFIS used to have members from marine fishing companies.

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.

SCAF and CCIS –CAFÉ domains overlap.

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. The SCAF has obligatory membership for all physical and legal persons above certain size threshold engaged in agriculture and/or forestry and voluntary membership for other entities interested in their activities. It does not engage in collective bargaining but it influences the level of income with other instruments (based on negotiations with the government about the tax and insurance issues of farmers).

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?

Not relevant.

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 trade unions data the coverage ratio is about 64%.

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.)

The only collective agreement for this sector is (multi-employer) the Sectoral Collective Agreement for Agriculture and the food-processing industry of Slovenia that covers the whole agriculture and food sector. According to the data of TUAFIS and CAFE the sectoral collective agreement is to some extend applied in about 4-5 companies in the sector of fishing.

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

Yes.

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

The Collective Agreements Act stipulates that only those who sign collective agreements are covered by them, but it also envisages general validity. This means that a collective agreement covers all workers employed by the employer or employers – for whom a collective agreement is valid, if the collective agreement has been concluded by one or more representative trade unions.

A collective agreement for one or more branches - signed by one or more representative associations of trade unions and one or more representative associations of employers - could be extended by the Labour Minister, at the request of one of the parties to the collective agreement. The Minister decides on the extension of the collective agreement or some of its parts, if the collective agreement was signed by one or more representative associations of trade unions and one or more representative associations of employers – which represent more than half of workers employed in the companies that would be affected by the extension of the collective agreement.

In the case of marine fishing the collective agreement was applied on a voluntary basis in the biggest company and two smaller ones in the marine fishing.sector

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.

The sectoral collective agreement for agriculture and food-processing industry was concluded by the Trade Union of Agriculture and Food Industry of Slovenia on behalf of employees and The Slovenian Employers Association , The Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises and The Cooperative Union of Slovenia on behalf of the employers at the end of April 2006 and it covers the whole sector and all employers in agriculture, hunting and related activities, fishing, manufacturing of food products, beverages and tobacco.

Table 6: Sector-related multi employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial

The Trade Union of Agriculture and Food Industry of Slovenia

The Slovenian Employers Association

The Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises

The Cooperative Union of Slovenia

In agriculture and food-processing industry

In agriculture, hunting and related activities, fishing, manufacturing of food products, beverages and tobacco

Slovenia

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

The Trade Union of Agriculture and Food Industry of Slovenia

The Slovenian Employers Association

The Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises

The Cooperative Union of Slovenia

agriculture and food-processing industry

agriculture, hunting and related activities, fishing, manufacturing of food products, beverages and tobacco

Slovenia

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?

The MAFF established the Working Group for the preparation of the National Strategic Plan on the development of fisheries in the Republic of Slovenia 2007–2013 and the Operational Programme for Fisheries Development in the Republic of Slovenia 2007–2013. The working group includes all stakeholders, such as representatives of local communities, fishermen and fish-breeders, representatives from the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry, the Office for preservation, diversification and development of marine fisheries, the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

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:

The issues of marine fishing are covered by the MAFF council which deals with specific issues in the agricultural sector. It was established in 1994 to enable harmonisation of the interests of social partners at national and sectoral levels. Members of the council are the Trade Union of the Agriculture and Food Industry of Slovenia, the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia, the Slovenian Employers’ Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (The Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises) and the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia. The Slovenian Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry is consulted on a legislative basis and partly financed with budgetary funds.

Table 8: 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.

The Council of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food

Tripartite

Agreement

Trade Union of Agriculture and Food Industry of Slovenia of Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia - The Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises

The Slovenian Employers’ Association,

The Agricultural Institute of Slovenia

* 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.

The Collective Agreements Act defines general rules for concluding collective agreements and does not limit the right to conclude collective agreements only to the representative trade unions. However, parties who are representative may be seen as more serious partners in the bargaining procedures, be more respected and have greater influence.

The Law on Representative Trade Unions (LRTU) (SI0210102F) stipulates that the representative trade unions shall sign contracts with general validity. Furthermore it defines representative trade unions as those which are democratic, have open membership, ensure functional freedom of the union, and put into effect membership rights and obligations; have been operating without interruption for at least the last six months; are independent of state organs and employers; finance themselves primarily through union dues and their own sources; and have a certain number of members.

An association or confederation of trade unions – which covers the territory of the state and which includes trade unions from different branches, activities or professions – has to represent at least 10% of the workers from individual branches, activities or professions. While those trade unions which shall also be representative, members or non members of an association or confederation, should represent at least 15% of workers of individual branches, activities, professions, municipalities or wider local communities. The same applies to a trade union within an organisation.

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 order for social partners to participate in the tripartite Economic Social Council (SI0207103F) and to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy, as a part of the agreement between social partners, trade unions must meet the criteria of representativeness.

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.

No, the criteria of representativeness for employer organisations have been never agreed, which presents a problem in some cases. The Collective Agreements Act defines the representativeness of employers' organisations only for the purpose of extended validation of the collective agreement or some of its part.

In practice, the criteria of chamber of commerce representativeness are applied (members whose sales amount to at least 10 % of sales of the whole economy for the last fiscal year and that has members which represent at least 5 % of companies) to employer organisations to be members of ESSS. The status of representativeness is recognized by the Ministry of Economy.

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 order for social partners to participate in the tripartite Economic Social Council (SI0207103F) and to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy, as a part of the agreement between social partners, employers` organisations must meet the criteria of representativeness. But there are no clear rules on which employers' organisations are eligible to be represented on the ESSS, so there is an agreement among employers' organisations on the representation of employers' interests in the ESSS. The TUAFIS (through ZSSS) and CAFE (through CCIS) are members of ESSS.

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

Even though the marine fishing sector in Slovenia is very small it is vital. Social dialogue in marine fishing sector is conducted on national level, mainly between The Office of Marine Fishing of SCAF and the Government, and it concentrates on the preservation of the sector, the development and improvement of economic conditions (by statutory regulations and with the help of national and EU funds), the improvement of social living conditions, promoting Slovenian marine fishing and fish consumption in Slovenia and abroad, and participating in creating legislation. The representatives of trade unions (TUAFIS and TUSF) and employers (CCIS-CAFÉ and SCAF) are participating in the dialogue. However they are not so familiar with all sectoral specifics. Companies are represented by two sectoral employers` associations that cover issues specific to the sector and collective bargaining, while two trade unions representative in the sector have no members from the marine fishing sector.

Bogumila Plachtej, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Science, Centre for Organisational and Human Resources Research

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