Representativeness of the social partners: Gas sector – Sweden

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 30 January 2008



About
Country:
Sweden
Author:
Jenny Lundberg
Institution:

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 gas 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 on their role in collective bargaining.

1. Sectoral properties

  1993 2005

Number of companies

10

4

Aggregate employment*

102

125

Male employment*

No data

Approximately 83% (104)

Female employment*

No data

Approximately 17% (21))

Aggregate employees

102

125

Male employees

No data

Approximately 83% (104)

Female employees

No data

Approximately 17% (21))

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

No data

0.00227%

(125 out of approx. 5.5 million)

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

No data

0.00278%

(125 out of approximately 4.5 million)

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

According to Statistic Sweden, 125 workers belong to the SNI classification 40210 and 40220. This classification corresponds to the NACE classification 40.2.

Source: Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB)

2. The sector’s unions and employer associations

This section includes the following unions and employer associations:

(i) unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining;

(ii) unions which are a member of the sector-related European Union Federation (i.e. EMCEF - European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers' Federation);

(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. ECEG – European Chemical Employers' Group).

2a Data on the unions

  • CF: The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges Ingenjörer).
  • SEKO: The Swedish Association for service and communication (Facket för Service och Kommunikation).
  • SKTF: The Swedish union for publicly and privately employed salaried employees who work to service and support the public within municipal and county areas, as well as within the church.
  • SIF: The Swedish Union for Technical and Clerical Employees.

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

Membership is voluntary in Sweden.

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

  • CF: Academic sector (engineer workers)
  • SEKO: White-collar workers
  • SKTF: Primarily public sector workers
  • SIF: Private-sector workers

2a.3 Number of members

  • CF: Approximately 120,000
  • SEKO: Approximately 149,000
  • SKTF: Approximately 170,000
  • SIF: Approximately 355,000
  • CF; SEKO; SKTF; SIF

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

  • CF: Approximately 29% (34,800)
  • SEKO: Approximately 30% (45,200)
  • SKTF: Approximately 75% (127,500)
  • SIF: Approximately 38% (143,900)
  • CF; SEKO; SKTF; SIF

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

It has not been possible to get figures or estimates to calculate the density with regards to the union domains.

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

Even though Statistic Sweden has stated that there are 125 employees in the sector (or rather employees belonging to the SNI-codes 40.210 and 40.220), it is not possible to compute the density using this figure. The four companies have stated a total of 149 employees working in the sector, accordingly this is the figure that will be used in the following estimates.

  • CF: Approximately 60 workers 40% (E)
  • SEKO: Approximately 13 workers 9% (E)
  • SKTF: Approximately 7 workers 5% (E)
  • SIF: Approximately 40 workers 27%. (E)

According to the four gas companies all of their employees are members of a trade union. When combined the four trade unions can be said to have a 100% density or at least close to 100%. Since the four trade unions listed above more or less represent different categories of employees it could be estimated that their respective density is more or less close to 100%. However it should be noted that there are some possible overlaps between CF and SIF and in some instances with SKTF.

2a.7 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

  • CF: Yes
  • SEKO: Yes
  • SKTF: Yes
  • SIF: Yes

2a.8 Affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

It has not been confirmed by the trade unions (listed above) that this is a complete list of their affiliations. It should also be noted that some of these affiliations are not related to the gas sector.

2b Data on the employer associations

For companies with activities related to the SNI-codes 40.210 and 40.220, the above-mentioned employer organisations are the organisations of most relevance. However, companies that have additional activities might have chosen to be a member of another employer association that better matches these other activities.

Of the four Swedish companies that have activities related to the SNI-codes 40.210 and 40.220, two are members of EFA, one is a member of KFS, and one is a member of an employer organisation called ALMEGA. ALMEGA will not be commented upon further, since this is not a typical employer organisation for companies within the sector discussed.

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

Membership is voluntary in Sweden.

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

  • EFA: EFA have members among both SMEs and larger companies, however, all within the energy sector.
  • KFS: The companies are both large and small, and are located throughout Sweden. KFS also has member companies within different industries.
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: The association’s members are municipalities and companies within, or partly within (including motor vehicle companies etc.), the gas sector.

2b.3 Number of member companies

  • EFA: Approximately 141
  • KFS: Approximately 550
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: Approximately 100

Source: EFA, KFS and Svenska Gasföreningen.

2b.4 Number of employees working in member companies

  • EFA: They have about 18 914 employees.
  • KFS: They have about 31 000 employees.
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: No data available.

Source: EFA, KFS and Svenska Gasföreningen.

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

  • EFA: It has not been possible to collect information to compute the density.
  • KFS: KFS has members within all kinds of sectors, and even though they primarily target public companies, private companies are potential members as well. Because of this, it is far too complex to estimate the density in terms of companies with regard to their domain. However, KFS consider themselves to be a medium sized employer organisation.
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: Since Svenska Gasföreningen has a wide range of potential members it is too complex to compute density in regard to their domain.

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

  • EFA: Two of the four companies are members of EFA, the density is 50% (E).
  • KFS: One of the four companies is a member of KFS, the density is 25% (E).
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: All of the four companies are members of Svenska Gasföreningen, the density is thus 100% (E).

Considering that two of the gas companies are private, and one is public, the density can be estimated as 75% for EFA and 100% for KFS, since EFA primarily targets employers in the private sector, and KFS employers in the public sector. Svenska Gasföreningen targets employers in both the private and public sector.

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

  • EFA: It has not been possible to collect information to compute the density.
  • KFS: As with the density in terms of companies with regard to the domain, density in terms of employees represented with regard to the domain is too complex to estimate, see explanation 2b.5.
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: It has not been possible to collect information to compute the density as, taking their extensive domain into consideration, it is too complex.

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

  • EFA: They represent 103 employees, which corresponds to a density of 69% (E).
  • KFS: The organisation represents 20 employees, a density of 13% (E).
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: The association represents all four companies, and thereby all of the employees in the sector, which corresponds to a density of 100% (E).

However, if the same arguments as in 2b.6 are taken into consideration, the density for EFA is 80% and 100% for KFS. Regarding Svenska Gasföreningen the density is the same for the same reason given in 2b.6.

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

  • EFA: Yes
  • KFS: Yes
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: No

2b.10 Affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

  • SIF; SEKO; SKTF; 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?

In general no, but in relation to SKTF there is some rivalry from the Academic Association (Akademikerförbundet, SSR).

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

No

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

EFA; KFS

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

  • EFA: No.
  • KFS: No

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

  • EFA: No.
  • KFS: 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. Sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage

It is estimated that all workers in the sector are covered by collective agreements.

4.2. Relative importance of multi-employer agreements and of single-employer agreements as a percentage of the total number of employees covered.

Only multi-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?

This is not relevant to the gas sector since all four companies are affiliated to signatory employer associations.

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

In the case of the gas sector this is not relevant since all four companies are covered by collective agreements.

4.3. Sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2004 (or most recent data)

* Only wage agreements which are (re)negotiated on a reiterated basis.

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

SEKO and KFS

The energy sector

White- and blue-collar workers

National

SKTF, CF/the Swedish Association of Graduate Economics (Sveriges Ingenjörer/Civilekonomerna), the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Sveriges Akademikers centralorganisation, SACO), the Swedish Association of directors (Ledarna) and KFS

The energy sector

Primarily white-collar workers

National

SIF and EFA

The energy sector

White- and blue-collar workers

National

The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and EFA

The energy sector

White- and blue-collar workers

National

SEKO and EFA

The energy sector

White- and blue-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?

  • EFA: No. The employer organisations are primarily consulted in matters regarding new employment conditions and other labour market matters.
  • KFS: No
  • Svenska Gasföreningen: Yes, the association is usually consulted.
  • CF: Not usually in sector specific matters
  • SEKO: No
  • SKTF: No
  • SIF: Not directly but through cooperation with TCO.

5.2. Do tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues exist?

No information that supports the existence of tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues within the gas 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?

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?

No.

6.3. Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for union representativeness?

No. There are no works councils in Sweden, nor are there any such voluntary bodies established to which election is 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

No.

7. Comments

Representativeness in the gas sector in Sweden is very high. Even though no exact figures can be obtained it is estimated to be almost 100%. It has been difficult to get precise information from social partners regarding the gas sector, which is probably related to the sector being rather small, and often considered as a part the energy sector and not a sector in its own right.

8. List of persons and institutions contacted

  • CF: Patrik Nilsson
  • SEKO: Jan Peter Magnusson, Krister Karlsson
  • Eongas Sverige AB: Alexandra Kallegari
  • Södra Hallands bjäreenergi AB: Per Olov Flink
  • Göteborgs energi gasnät AB: Carina Bergsten, Svante Karlsson
  • EFA AB – Inga-Lill Runermark Östergren
  • SIF: Stefan Jansson, Anna Löfgren
  • LO: Ingmar Göransson
  • Statistics Sweden
  • KFS: Klas Bergström

Jenny Lundberg, Oxford Research

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