Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Civil aviation – Spain

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Social dialogue,
  • Employee representation,
  • Social partners,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 11 January 2010



About
Country:
Spain
Author:
Esteban Villarejo
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 civil aviation industry in Spain. 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

Spanish civil aviation has experienced considerable economic growth in the last 10 years, mainly due to increased tourism. The civil aviation industry is currently undergoing a restructuring process characterised by company mergers as well as the government’s proposal to partially privatise and decentralise airport management, which has met opposition from the trade unions. As there is no national agreement in the sector, collective bargaining and representativeness are highly fragmented between subsectors, companies and even categories of workers, with a large presence of corporate trade unions.

Table 1: Profile of civil aviation industry
  1995 2007
Number of employers (companies)

n.a.

4,764 (A)**

Aggregate employment*

n.a.

561,200 (A)***

Male employment*

n.a.

n.a.

Female employment*

n.a.

n.a.

Aggregate employees

n.a.

524,300 (A)***

Male employees

n.a.

n.a.

Female employees

n.a.

n.a.

Aggregate sectoral employment as % of total employment in the economy

n.a.

5%

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

n.a.

3.13%

Notes: (A) = administrative data. n.a = not available. * Employees plus self-employed persons and temporary agency workers. ** NACE 62.1 (scheduled air transport) + NACE 62.2 (non-scheduled air transport) + NACE 63.2 (other supporting transport activities), according to the General industrial classification of economic activities within the European Communities (Nomenclature générale des activités économiques dans les Communautés européennes, NACE). *** Domain overlap (NACE 62 + NACE 63). Disaggregated figures are not available. For the density estimates, the employment figure of 47,000 workers used by the trade unions is taken as a reference.

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer organisations:

1. trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining;

2. trade unions which are a member of the sector-related European federations, namely the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) – Civil Aviation Section, the European Cockpit Association (ECA) and the Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC);

3. employer organisations which are party to sector-related collective bargaining;

4. employer organisations or business associations which are a member of the sector-related European business federations, namely the Association of European Airlines (AEA), the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), the International Air Carrier Association (IACA), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), the Airports Council International – European Region (ACI-Europe), the International Aviation Handlers’ Association (IAHA) and the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA).

2a Data on the trade unions

National Aviation Sector of the Communication and Transport Federation of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (Sector Estatal Aéreo de la Federación de Comunicación y Transporte de Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras, FCT-CCOO)

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

Voluntary.

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

The National Aviation Sector of FCT-CCOO represents all types of workers employed directly or indirectly in civil aviation and its auxiliary activities, such as handling, maintenance and air services.

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

At the time of writing, FCT-CCOO was being merged with the Federation of Public Services and Administrations (Federación de Servicios y Administraciones Públicas, FSAP-CCOO); their joint membership amounts to 250,000 workers.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

The National Aviation Sector of FCT-CCOO had 8,140 members in January 2004, according to data on the trade union’s website.

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

Women represent 33% of the membership in the National Aviation Sector of FCT-CCOO.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

Estimated at 17%.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

17%.

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain

17%.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

Yes. The National Aviation Sector of FCT-CCOO is a signatory to the main collective agreements at sectoral and company level.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations).

ETF and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

Aviation Sector of the National Federation of Transport, Communications and the Sea of the General Workers’ Confederation (Federación Estatal de Transportes Comunicación y Mar de la Unión General de Trabajadores, FETCM-UGT)

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

Voluntary.

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

The Aviation Sector of FETCM-UGT represents all types of workers employed in the sector – including in transport and air services, auxiliary activities, maintenance and handling. The only exception is workers employed in the public business organisation, Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea, AENA), which manages the civil airports. These workers are represented by a company trade union belonging to the National Federation of Public Services of UGT (Federación Estatal de Servicios Públicos de la UGT, FSP-UGT).

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

FETCM-UGT had 71,444 members on 31 December 2007. FSP-UGT has about 200,000 members.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

The Aviation Sector of FETCM-UGT has 8,200 members. No data are available on the membership of the FSP-UGT trade union section in AENA.

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

22% of the membership of the Aviation Sector and 17% of FETCM-UGT.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

Estimated at 17%. No data are available for estimating the membership density of the trade union section of FSP-UGT in AENA.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

See above (2a.6).

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain

See above (2a.6).

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

FETCM is a signatory to the main agreements at sectoral and company level.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations).

ETF and ITF.

Workers’ Trade Union – Aviation Sector (Unión Sindical Obrera – Sector Aéreo, USO – Sector Aéreo)

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

Voluntary.

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

All workers occupied in the sector.

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

No data are available.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

Between 4,000 and 5,000 members.

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

About 40%.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

Estimated at 9.5%.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

9.5%.

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain

9.5%.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

Yes. USO – Sector Aéreo is represented in the main agreements at sectoral and company level.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations).

ETF.

Independent Trade Union of Airline Passenger Cabin Crew (Sindicato Independiente de Tripulantes de Cabina de Pasajeros de Líneas Aéreas, SITCPLA)

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

Voluntary.

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

Passenger cabin crew members in Spain – amounting to about 10,000 persons.

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

A total of 2,500 members in all of the air companies operating in Spain.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

2,500 members.

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

65%.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

25%.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Estimated at 5.3%.

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain

Estimated at 5.3%.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

Yes. The trade union is a signatory to passenger cabin crew agreements in several companies. The agreements currently in force include those in Iberia, Air Europa, Spanair and BinterCanarias.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations).

ETF and ITF.

Trade Union of Air Controllers (Unión Sindical de Controladores Aereos, USCA)

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

Voluntary.

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

The trade union’s domain is restricted to air traffic controllers working in the airports of the Spanish state.

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

2,219 members.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

2,219 members.

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

30%.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

Estimated at 94%.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

4.7%.

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain

4.7%.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

USCA is a signatory to the AENA collective agreement for air traffic controllers.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

ATCEUC.

Spanish Trade Union of Airline Pilots (Sindicato Español de Pilotos de Líneas Aéreas, SEPLA)

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

Voluntary.

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

Passenger and cargo pilots of all airlines operating in Spain.

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

No data are available.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

No data are available.

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

No data are available.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

SEPLA is the majority trade union among pilots.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

No data are available.

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain

No data are available.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

Yes, SEPLA reaches company agreements on behalf of the pilots of the main airlines.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

ECA and the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA).

2b Data on the employer associations

Association of Airport Handling Service Companies (Asociación de Empresas de Servicios de Asistencia en Tierra en Aeropuertos, ASEATA)

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

Voluntary.

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. SMEs, small-scale crafts/industry, civil aviation enterprises, etc)

All of the handling companies working at national airports in Spain.

2b.3 Number of member companies (i.e. the total number of members of the association as a whole)

10 companies.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

10 companies.

2b.5 Number of employees working in member companies (i.e. the total number of the association as a whole)

18,932 employees.

2b.6 Number of employees working in member companies in the sector

18,932 employees.

2b.7 Domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in relation to the number of potential member companies as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

100%.

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Estimated at 0.2%.

2b.9 Sectoral domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Estimated at 0.2%.

2b.10 Domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in relation to the number of employees working in potential member companies, as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

100%.

2b.11 Sectoral density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Estimated at 40%.

2b.12 Sectoral domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees working in companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Estimated at 40%.

2b.13 Does the employer association conclude collective agreements?

ASEATA is the employer organisation that signed the collective agreement for the airport handling sector.

2b.14 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organisations (Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales, CEOE). No international membership has been indicated.

Spanish Association of Air Companies (Asociación Española de Compañías Aéreas, AECA)

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

Voluntary.

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. SMEs, small-scale crafts/industry, civil aviation enterprises, etc)

AECA is an association representing more than 20 private companies dedicated to a variety of economic activities within the aeronautics industry, including regular passenger flights, cargo transport, air taxis and helicopters.

2b.3 Number of member companies (i.e. the total number of members of the association as a whole)

More than 20 companies.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

See above (2b.3).

2b.5 Number of employees working in member companies (i.e. the total number of the association as a whole)

Estimated at more than 6,000 employees, based on figures available on the organisation’s website.

2b.6 Number of employees working in member companies in the sector

See 2b.5.

2b.7 Domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in relation to the number of potential member companies as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

Insufficient data are available to make an estimate.

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Estimated at 12%.

2b.9 Sectoral domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Insufficient data are available to make an estimate.

2b.10 Domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in relation to the number of employees working in potential member companies, as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

Insufficient data are available to make an estimate.

2b.11 Sectoral density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Insufficient data are available to make an estimate.

2b.12 Sectoral domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees working in companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Insufficient data are available to make an estimate.

2b.13 Does the employer association conclude collective agreements?

AECA is the employer organisation that signed the National Collective Agreement for the Sector of Air Transport and Air Services with Helicopters and their Maintenance and Repair (2005–2007).

2b.14 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

CEOE at national level. No international affiliation is known.

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

National Aviation Sector of FCT-CCOO, Aviation Sector of FETCM-UGT, USO – Sector Aéreo and SITCPLA.

3.2. 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?

There are no reports of serious disputes of this type because the criteria of representativeness are well established. However, competition arises between sectoral trade unions and company trade unions to increase their representativeness among a highly fragmented workforce.

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

n.a.

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

No.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

No.

3.7. Are there large companies or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No.

4. The system of collective bargaining

4.1. Sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage

It is difficult to estimate the collective bargaining coverage in the civil aviation industry, because there are no reliable data on the volume of employment in the sector or regarding the number of workers affected by each collective agreement.

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

The subsectors of handling and air services with helicopters are totally covered by national sectoral agreements. In the rest of the civil aviation industry, national company agreements are predominant, such as those of AENA and Acciona Airport Services in the airports and those of the main airlines operating in Spain, such as Iberia and Spanair. The ground staff of many airlines are regulated by specific agreements, such as those for Iberia, Air Europa and Spanair. Finally, ‘fringe agreements’ affect specific categories of workers, such as air traffic controllers, maintenance staff, cabin crew and pilots.

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

Yes. With some limitations, Spanish law guarantees the principle of ‘general efficiency’ of multi-employer agreements.

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

There are some limitations.

4.3. Sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2006 (or most recent data)

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

For the notion of ‘sector-related’, see the conceptual remarks in the accompanying briefing note. In case of regionally differentiated, parallel agreements, an aggregate answer explaining the pattern may be given.

Table 2: Sector-related multi employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Scope of sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial

AECA

FCT-CCOO

FETCM-UGT

First National Collective Agreement for the Sector of Air Transport and Air Services with Helicopters and their Maintenance and Repair (2005–2007)

Workers related to transport, air services and maintenance of helicopters and similar aircraft

Spain

ASEATA

FCT-CCOO

USO – Sector Aéreo

First National Collective Agreement of the Airport Handling Service (2005)

All companies and workers dedicated to handling and maintenance of aircraft

Spain

4.4. Sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2006 (or most recent data)

Table 3: Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered
Bargaining parties Scope of agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial

AECA

FCT-CCOO

FETCM-UGT

First National Collective Agreement for the Sector of Air Transport and Air Services with Helicopters and their Maintenance and Repair (2005–2007)

Workers related to transport, air services and maintenance of helicopters and similar aircraft

Spain

ASEATA

FCT-CCOO

USO – Sector Aéreo

First National Collective Agreement of the Airport Handling Service (2005)

All companies and workers dedicated to handling and maintenance of aircraft

Spain

AENA

FCT-CCOO

FETCM-UGT

USO – Sector Aéreo

Fourth Collective Agreement of AENA (2005–2008)

All personnel recruited by AENA and offering their services in Spain or abroad

Spain

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España (LAE)

FETCM-UGT

USO – Sector Aéreo

12th Collective Agreement of Iberia LAE and its ground staff (2007)

Iberia ground staff (16,876 workers in 2007)

Spain

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?

The Association of Airlines (Asociación de Líneas Aéreas, ALA), formed by the 47 passenger transport companies operating in Spain, is the airlines’ main representative in relation to the government. ALA deals with economic issues, such as fees and prices, as well as labour matters and practical issues of handling; however, it does not address collective bargaining with the trade unions.

AECA represents the interests of the civil aviation and helicopter companies in the private sector in relation to the government.

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

Table 4: Sector-specific public policies*
Name of body and scope of activity Bipartite/tripartite Origin: agreement/statutory Trade unions having representatives Employer organisations having representatives

Joint Continuing Training Commission

Bipartite

Third National Agreement on Continuing Training

FCT-CCOO

FETCM-UGT

AECA

ALA

Note: * Sector-specific policies target and affect the sector under consideration.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6.1. 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?

The main criterion for determining the representativeness of trade unions is their electoral audience.

6.2. 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?

Only the ‘most representative unions’ can participate in tripartite bodies and sit on sectoral bargaining commissions. This status is granted to trade unions which achieve a minimum of 10% of representatives at national level and 15% at regional level.

All of the trade unions referred to in this study have achieved the status of being most representative.

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

Table 5 outlines the representativeness in terms of electoral audience of each trade union within its respective area. The figures are provided by each trade union and may have been based on the overall results of the trade union elections in all of the companies in which the trade union is present.

Table 5: Trade union election results
Trade union Election result

FCT-CCOO

49%

FETCM-UGT

49%

USO – Sector Aéreo

20%

SITCPLA

30%–35%

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

The most representative employer organisations are those that represent a minimum of 10% of employers and 10% of the workers affected. At regional level, they must have a representativeness of 15% of employers and 15% of the workers affected, as set out in Article 87.4 and the sixth additional provision of the Workers’ Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores).

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

The only legal reference is the sixth additional provision of the Workers’ Statute.

6.6. Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations?

No.

7. Commentary

Collective bargaining in the civil aviation industry in Spain is subject to many pressures that may lead to a greater fragmentation of representativeness. Firstly, the number of company trade unions has grown in response to demands for specific solutions by different groups of workers. Secondly, the employers’ strategies of diversification, subcontracting and outsourcing are leading to the appearance of new operators that undermine the quality of working conditions in the sector. Finally, the trade unions have firmly rejected the recent government proposal to facilitate the privatisation and regional decentralisation of airport management, since these measures could lead to the dismantling of the national airport network and the breakdown of the single agreement that is currently in force for AENA.

Esteban Villarejo, CIREM Foundation

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