Representativeness of the social partners: Telecommunications sector — Sweden

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 27 May 2007



About
Country:
Sweden
Author:
Jenny Lundberg
Institution:

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

The telecom sector in Sweden is characterised by a large share of small companies and many self-employed. The number of companies and employment in the sector has increased slightly over the past three years. There is no specific union for the telecom sector, however the largest union, SIF, is estimated to represent slightly less than half of all employees in the sector. On the employer side Almega is the main organisation representing around two thirds of all employers. The sectors collective bargaining coverage is rather high, even tough no exact figures exist, in this report, it is estimated that is could be as high as 90%, considering that almost all larger companies in the sector are bound by collective agreements.

GENERAL AIM AND CONCEPTUAL REMARKS

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

Since this study aims to investigate the representativeness of the social partners, the collection of quantitative data is essential. Needless to say, it is often difficult to find quantitative data on such issues as associational density or collective bargaining coverage. In case of certain questions, it may be impossible to collect precise data. In such cases, we would like you to give rough estimates rather than leave the question blank. If you think that the reliability of an estimate is doubtful, please make a note.

In principle, data on the rates of density and coverage may stem from three sources:

  • representative survey studies;
  • administrative data (i.e. membership data provided by the respective association which are then used for calculating the rate on the basis of available figures on the potential membership of the association);
  • personal estimates of the rates by representativeness of the respective association.

When documenting the rates of density and coverage, please report the type of source underlying your data. For simplicity, please use the following codes: S = survey study; A = administrative data; E = personal estimates from interviews with the association’s representativeness.

The sectors are defined in terms of NACE classification. To assure cross-national comparability, it is important that each national centre proceeds from this definition. In exceptional cases, national classifications may deviate from NACE, such that the figures for question 1 must follow the national classification. In this case, please explain the national classification. However, responses to any other question must follow the NACE classification! This implies that the sectoral data on density and coverage may be drawn from personal estimates (E), if available survey studies and administrative data are not congruent with the NACE classification.

The domain of the unions and employer associations as well as the purview of collective agreements are likely to be not congruent with the NACE classification. Hence, we include all unions, employer associations and collective agreements which are “sector-related”. Being sector-related applies to the following four patterns:

  • Congruence: the domain/purview is identical with the NACE classification
  • (2) Sectionalism:the domain/purview covers only a certain part of the sector as demarcated by NACE classification, while no group outside the sector covered
  • (3) Overlap: the domain/purview covers the entire sector plus (parts of) one or more other sectors
  • (4) Sectional overlap: the domain/purview covers part of the sector plus (parts of) one or more other sector

Telecommunications is defined in terms of NACE classification as follows: 64.20 (i.e. telecommunications without cable TV and radio activities)

1. Sectoral properties

Please provide the following data:

1.1.

2003

2006**

Number of companies

468

484

Aggregate employment*

24,184

24,862

Male employment*

No data

No data

Female employment*

No data

No data

Aggregate employees

23,716

24,579

Male employees

No data

No data

Female employees

No data

No data

Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy

0,5474%

24,184 out of 4,417,780

0,5497%

24,862 out of 4,523,035

.

Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy

0,6281%

23,716 out of 3,775,960

0,6397%

24,579 out of 3,842,185

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

Source: Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB)

According to Statistic Sweden, 484 workers belong to the SNI classification 64.201. This classification corresponds to the NACE classification 64.20.

2. The sector’s unions and employer associations

This section has to include the following unions and employer associations:

(i) 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)

(ii) unions which are a member of the sector-related European Union Federation (i.e. UNI Europa Telecom)

(iii) employer associations which are a party to sector-related collective bargaining

(iv) employer associations which are a member of the sector-related European Employer Federation (i.e. ETNO – European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association)

For the notion of “sector-related”, see the conceptual remarks.

2a Data on the unions

SEKO: The Swedish Association for service and communication (Facket för Service och Kommunikation).

SIF: The Swedish Union for Technical and Clerical Employees.

SACO: The Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Primary Jusek a Swedish Association of Graduates in Law, Business Administration and Economics, Computer and Systems Science, Personnel Management and Social Science and Civilekonomerna a Swedish Association of economics or business school graduate.

Ledarna: The Swedish Association for Managerial and Professional Staff

CF: The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges Ingenjörer).

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, telecommunication sector employees, etc.)

• SEKO: White-collar workers

• SIF: Private-sector workers

• SACO: Academic sector

• Ledarna: Managers

• CF: Academic sector (engineer workers)

2a.3 Number of members (E)

• SEKO: Approximately 149,000

• SIF: Approximately 355,000

• SACO: Approximately 581,000

• Ledarna: Approximately 72,000

• CF: Approximately 120,000

Source: SEKO; SIF, SACO; Ledarna, CF

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

• SEKO: Approximately 30% (45,200)

• SIF: Approximately 38% (143,900)

• SACO: Approximately 52% (300,000)

• Ledarna: Approximately: 20% (14,000)

• CF: Approximately 29% (34,800)

Source: SEKO; SIF, SACO; Ledarna, CF

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

It has not been possible to get figures of the aggregated numbers of union members within the sector. Neither has the trade unions been able to estimate their member share of the telecom sector. However, the largest trade union within the sector is SIF. It is estimate that they have 40-50% of the union members in the sector.

2a.7 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

• SEKO: Yes

• SIF: Yes

• SACO: Yes

• Ledarna: Yes

• CF: Yes

Source: SEKO; SIF, SACO; Ledarna, CF

2a.8 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations

SEKO: European associations: the European Trade Union Confederation, ETUC; International associations: Public Services International, PSI.

  • National associations: The Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees (Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation, TCO); PTK. European associations: ETUC; EUROCADRES. International associations: ICFTU.

SACO: Nordic associations: NFS (Nordens Fackliga Samorganisation) European associations: ETUC (Europafacket), ILO International associations: ICFTU (Fria fackföreningsinternationalen)

Ledarna: National: OFR (The Public Employees' Negotiation Council), PTK (The Council for Negotiation and Co-operation)

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.

2b. Data on the employer associations

Almega ITA: Employer association for It- and telecommunication companies.

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

Always voluntary in Sweden

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

Almega ITA: Almega ITA have members among both SMEs and bigger companies, however, all within the IT- and telecommunication business.

2b.3 Number of member companies

Almega ITA: Approximately 750 member companies, for all of Almega ITA, which includes the IT sector as well. (E)

2b.4 Number of employees working in member companies

Almega ITA: Approximately 75,000 workers, for all of Almega ITA, which includes the IT sector as well. (E)

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

The density for companies with 10 employees or more is estimated to 50%. For companies with fewer employees it is not possible to estimate the density, although it is much lower due to that there are many self-employed persons. (E)

2b.6 Density of the association in terms of companies with regard to the sector

Almega ITA: Approximately: 75% (E)

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

No data available

2b.9 Does the employer association conclude collective agreements?

Yes

2b.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations

Almega is not affiliated to any higher-level associations

Source: Almega

Please document these data employer association by employer association.

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

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

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

SEKO, SIF, SACO, CF

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?

• SEKO: Yes, to establishing a boundary between the different unions.

• SIF: Yes to establishing a boundary between the different unions.

• SACO: No

• Ledarna: No

• CF: No

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

No

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

Not relevant since it is only Almega ITA

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

No

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

No

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, but it is estimated that 75% of the companies in telecommunication sector are members in Almega ITA and all of them have collective bargaining coverage.

However, it is likely that the coverage is greater. 79% of the employees in the sector work for the nine largest companies and more than 90% of all employees in the sector work for companies with 50 employees or more. Hence in the light of this, considering that almost all larger companies are bound by collective agreements it is probable that the coverage could be at least 90%.

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 simple-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 Almega’s members are part of multi-employer agreement, it is only in a few specific cases that single-employer agreements exist.

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

It is rare but there are a few cases where this has been practiced.

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

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 notion of “sector-related”, see the conceptual remarks.

Bargaining parties

Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements

 

Sectoral

Type of employees

Territorial

AlmegaITA, SIF, Civilingenjörsförbundet, Civilekonomerna, Jusek and SEKO

The IT sector

Primary white collar workers

National

5.Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

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

In most cases they are not consulted directly, however when a statement is out on referral anyone has the possibility the 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 having representativeness in them:

No information that supports the existence of tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues within the telecommunication sector has been found.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. There are no works councils in Sweden, nor are there established any voluntary bodies of such, whereby elections for a certain representative body is not a criteria for union representativeness.

6.4 Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

No

6.5 Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

No

6.6 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. Comments

Please give your views on the issue of representativeness in the sector, especially on jurisdictional disputes and recognition problems, and indicate any specificities or other problems which refer to representativeness in this sector in your country.

A previous study on the representativeness of the Telecommunications sector was undertaken by UCL, Institut des Sciences de Travail, Université catholique de Louvain, on behalf of the European Commission. For the previous version of the study please check the following website:

http://www.trav.ucl.ac.be/recherche/dg5.html

It has been difficult to get figures on the representativeness both for the trade unions and the employer association. This partially appears to be related to IT and telecom being regarded as one sector/group. In addition, is should be noted that a large share of small companies characterizes the telecommunications sector in Sweden. More than half (58%) of the companies within the sector are self-employed and around 18% of the companies had one to four employees in 2006 (Statistics Sweden).

Contact persons

Tele2: Tomas Ekvall +46 08 - 5626 40 00 Box 62, Borgarfjordsgatan 16,164 94 Kista www.tele2.se Almega: Einar Hemlin +46 0703-987582 Address: Sturegatan 11, Box 555 45, 102 www.almega.se

Telia: Sara Karlef +46 08-7131000 Adress: Mårbacka 11 12386 Farsta www.telia.se

SACO: Annika Sandberg, Evi Berglund +46 0(8) 613 48 00 Address: Lilla Nygatan 17, Box 2206, 103 15 Stockholm www.saco.se

Com Hem: Jörgen Hägglund +46 0(8) 553 63 000 Address: Box 48 871 22 Härnösand

  • Jan Peter Magnusson, Krister Karlsson +46 (0)8-7914100 Address: Box 1105, 111 81 Stockholm www.seko.se
  • Stefan Jansson, Anna Löfgren +46 (0)8-508 970 00 Address: 105 32 Stockholm www.sif.se
  • Sweden +46 (0)8-506 94000 Address. Box 24300, S-104 51 Stockholm www.scb.se
  • Svante Ryberg +46 0(8) 598 99 000 Address: S:t Eriksgatan 26, Box 12069, 102 22 Stockholm
  • Patrik Nilsson +46 (0)8-6138000 Address: Box 1419, 111 84 Stockholm www.cf.se

Almega ITA: Anne-Marie Franson +46 (0)8 762 69 50 Address: Sturegatan 11, Box 555 45, 102 04 Stockholm

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