Romania: Update on representativeness status of social partner organisations

Five years after a legislative reform that increased the representativeness criteria for the social partners and re-shaped the economic sectors, Romanian trade unions and employers' organisations face an uphill struggle in their bid to become representative at sectoral level, especially in those sectors with high numbers of employees. 

The National Trade Union Block (Blocul National Sindical, BNS) has made public a set of data on the situation of the social partners in Romania. The data, obtained from the Ministry of Justice, show that there are representative trade union federations in 21 sectors of the economy (out of a total of 29 sectors). The eight sectors without representative trade unions are: textiles, wood processing, postal services, commerce, industrial and civil construction, tourism, assistance and consulting services, sports activities and gambling. About 730,000 employees work in the commerce sector and about 170,000 in the textiles industry, together acSocial partnerscounting for almost a quarter of the overall number of employees; both sectors have among the lowest average wages

According to the data, only seven out of 29 economic sectors have representative trade union and employer organisations (agriculture, energy and gas, food industry, furniture industry, car manufacturing and metal, public utilities and waste management, transportation). In four economic sectors, none of the social partners has representativeness: textiles, wood processing, postal services and sports activities.

Trade union representativeness

The representativeness of three out of five national trade union confederations (CNS Cartel Alfa, National Trade UNION Block and CNS Meridian) is expiring at the beginning of 2016. All three organisations have already applied for their representativeness renewal and submitted the requested documentation, and are currently awaiting for the decision of the competent authorities.

Employers organisation representativeness

In October 2015, the Employers’ Confederation from Industry, Agriculture, Constructions and Services (Confederatia Nationala din Industrie, Agricultura, Constructii si Servicii din Romania – CONPIROM)  obtained its representativeness status at national level, valid until October 2019. According to the submitted documentation, CONPIROM members account for 260,412 employees and CONPIROM is now the sixth nationally representative employer organisation. The overall number of representative employer organisations dropped from eight in 2014 as a result of  the 2011 legislative reform.

The employer organisations internal crisis is confirmed by the recent data obtained from the Ministry of Justice, according to which only 10 sectors have representative employer organisations: agriculture and fisheries, energy and gas, food industry, car manufacturing, public utilities, industrial and civil construction, commerce, transportation.  While nine sectors have only representative trade unions, but no representative employers’ organisation ( extractive industry, chemical and petrochemical industry, glass and ceramics industry, electric equipment and electronic industry, water transportation, metal industry, culture and mass media, telecommunication and information, finances and banking sector), in three sectors the opposite is the case: there are only representative employer organisations, but no representative trade unions (commerce, civil and industrial construction, advisory and consulting services).


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