Representativeness of the social partners: Agricultural sector – Sweden

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 30 September 2007



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Country:
Sweden
Author:
TRAXLER
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the agriculture sector in Sweden. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as their role in collective bargaining.

1. Sectoral properties

  1993 2006**
Number of companies 52,155 98,521
Aggregate employment* 65,991 114,083
Male employment* No data No data
Female employment* No data No data
Aggregate employees 20,270 23,417
Male employees No data No data
Female employees No data No data
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy 1.49% 65,991 out of 4,417,780 2.52% 114,083 out of 4,523,035
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy 0.53% 20,270 out of 3,775,960 0.60% 23,417 out of 3,842,185

* Employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers.

** Or most recent data.

Source: Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB).

The NACE classification 01 corresponds to the SNI classification 01 according to Statistics Sweden.

2. The sector’s unions and employer organisations

This section has to include the following unions and employer organisations: unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining (in line with the above conceptual remarks, 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 4.3)

(i) unions which are a member of the sector-related European Union Federation (i.e. EFAT – European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions);

(ii) employer organisations which are party to sector-related collective bargaining;

(iii) employer organisations which are a member of the sector-related European Employer Federation (i.e. GEOPA/COPA – Employers’ Group of the Committee of Agricultural Organisations in the European Union).

For the definition of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks.

2a Data on the unions

  • Kommunal: The Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union;
  • Agrifack: The Swedish Association for Academics within Agriculture, Forest, Gardens and Environment;
  • SLF (Skogs- och Lantbrukstjänstemannaförbundet): The Federation of Swedish Forestry and Agricultural Employees.

2a.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Membership is always voluntary in Sweden.

2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. blue-collar workers, private-sector workers, agriculture sector employees, etc.)

  • Kommunal: Blue-collar workers (A);
  • Agrifack: Academics (A);
  • SLF: White-collar workers (A).

2a.3 Number of members (E)

  • Kommunal: 570,000 members (A);
  • Agrifack: 8,000 (A);
  • SLF: 950 (E).

2a.4 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership (E)

  • Kommunal: Approximately 80% (456,000);
  • Agrifack: Approximately 50% (4,000);
  • SLF: Approximately 50% (475).

2a.5 Density with regard to the union domain (see 2a.2)

  • Kommunal: The organisation rate is high. About 90% of the employees in their occupational areas are members of Kommunal (A).
  • Agrifack: No data.
  • SLF: No data.

2a.6 Density of the union with regard to the sector. (E)

  • Kommunal: Approximately 1.4%;
  • Agrifack: No data;
  • SLF: Approximately 34%.

2a.7 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

  • Kommunal: Yes;
  • Agrifack: Yes;
  • SLF: Yes.

2a.8 For each organisation, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest organisations (including cross-sectoral organisations)

  • Kommunal: ISKA (International Federation for National and Local Government), ITF (the International Transport Workers’ Federation), IUL (International Union of Food Workers, a worldwide federation of trade unions representing workers in agriculture and plantations, food and beverages and hotels) LO (the central organisation for 15 affiliates which organise workers within both the private and the public sectors);
  • Agrifack: SACO (the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations), NLR (Nordic Agriculture Academic Association), Östersjöförbundet (the Baltic Sea Association) (no link found to NLR);
  • SLF: EFFAT (the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors).

Please document these data union by union.

Union density is defined as the ratio of union members to potential union members, as demarcated by the union’s domain and by the sector.

If the domain of a union embraces only part of the sector, then the data on density should refer to this part.

Source: Kommunal, Agrifack, SLF.

2b Data on the employer organisations

SLA: Skogs- och Lantarbetsgivareförbundet (the Federation of Swedish Forestry and Agricultural Employers)

2b.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Membership is always voluntary in Sweden.

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. SMEs, small-scale crafts/industry, sub-sectors of agriculture, etc.) (A)

SLA has members both among SMEs and larger companies; however, all are within the agricultural sector.

2b.3 Number of member companies (A)

4,000 companies.

2b.4 Number of employees working in member companies (A)

Approximately 20,800.

2b.5 Density of the organisation in terms of companies with regard to their domain (see 2b.2) (E)

Approximately 17% (4,000 companies out of 23,417).

2b.6 Density of the organisation in terms of companies with regard to the sector (E)

Approximately 6.4% (1,500 companies out of 23,417).

2b.7 Density in terms of employees represented with regard to their domain (see 2b.2)

No data available.

2b.8 Density in terms of employees represented with regard to the sector (E)

Approximately 21% (20,800 out of 98,521).

2b.9 Does the employer organisation conclude collective agreements? (A)

Yes.

2b.10 For each organisation, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest organisations (including the cross-sectoral organisations).

SLA: GEOPA (Employers’ Group of the Committee of Agriculture), SALA (Danish Confederation of Employers’ Associations in Agriculture), LAF (Agriculture Association in Finland). (No links located to GEOPA and LAF.)

Please document these data employer organisation by employer organisation.

Employer density in terms of companies is defined as the ratio of member companies to the potential member companies, as demarcated by the employer organisations’ domain and by the sector.

Employer density in terms of employees is defined as the ratio of the number of employees working in the member companies to the number of employees working in the potential member companies, as demarcated by the employer organisations’ domain and by the sector.

If the domain of an employer organisation embraces only part of the sector, then the data on density should refer to this part.

3. Inter-organisational relationships

3.1. Please list all unions covered by this study whose domains overlap

Kommunal, Agrifack, SLF.

3.2. Do rivalries and competition exist among the unions, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

  • Kommunal: No, they have a peace agreement.
  • Agrifack: No, they have a peace agreement.
  • SLF: No, they have a peace agreement.

3.3. If yes, are certain unions excluded from these rights?

No.

3.4. Same question for employer organisations as 3.1.

Not relevant since it is only SLA.

3.5. Same question for employer organisations as 3.2.

3.6. Same question for employer organisations as 3.3.

4. The system of collective bargaining

Collective agreements are defined in line with national labour law regardless of whether they are negotiated under a peace obligation.

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).

It has not been possible to get the ratio of the number of employees covered. However, all of SLA’s members have collective bargaining coverage and most of the companies within the sector who have one or more employees are members of SLA. Some 88% of the companies are self-employed and most of those are not members of SLA.

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 organisation 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.)

Almost all of SLA’s members are part of a multi-employer agreement. No percentage figure is available.

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

It is rare.

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

Limited.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2004 (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. For the definition of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks. In case of regionally differentiated parallel agreements, an aggregate answer explaining the pattern may be given.

Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
SLA, Kommunal Agriculture and forestry sector Blue-collar workers National
SLA, Agrifack, SLF Agriculture and forestry sector Academics and white-collar workers National

5. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies*

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

In most cases, they are not consulted directly. However, when a statement is out on referral, anyone has the opportunity to respond.

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 with representatives in them.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6.1. In the case of the 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.

No.

6.2. In the case of the 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.

No.

6.3. Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for union representativeness? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

No.

6.4. Same question for employer organisations as 6.1.

No.

6.5. Same question for employer organisations as 6.2.

No.

6.6. Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer organisations? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No.

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