Bulgaria: The representativeness of trade unions and employer associations in the Horeca sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 22 October 2012



About
Country:
Bulgaria
Author:
Violeta Zlateva
Institution:

The aim of this study is to identify the respective national and supranational trade unions and employer organisations in the field of industrial relations in the hotel, restaurant and catering (Horeca) sector in Bulgaria. There are no official statistical data on the quantitative relevance of the hotel, restaurant and catering (Horeca) sector in Bulgaria’s economy. At national level, there are three trade union federations in the tourism industry and one employer organisation. They conduct multi-employer bargaining for the minimum social insurance thresholds for the hotels and restaurants sector, and they conclude a collective agreement for the tourism industry.

Sectoral properties

Economic background

Some of the problems in the tourism sector are deepening. They include overbuilding, skilled workers moving abroad, and lack of a proper advertising strategy. Small and medium businesses that use credit have been particularly affected by the financial crisis. These companies need support in order to purchase necessary machinery and equipment. It would be useful if their loan repayments were to be postponed for two years with them only having to pay the interest.

The Bulgarian Tourist Chamber (BTC), together with representatives of the two trustees, carry out initiatives to overcome the issues related to employment and training of Horeca workers Horecaon site and on European programmes. An initiative of employers and trade unions in 2009 led to the adoption of a National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Tourism from 2009–2013. It consolidates objectives, priorities, measures and guidelines, which will lead to the establishment of sustainable schemes for the development and management of tourism activities.

Development of employment

Table 1: Sectoral properties
 

2000

2010

Number of companies in the sector

n.a

120

Source of company data

please describe

BTC

Aggregate employment

0

131,458

Male employment

0

81,681

Female employment

0

49,777

Share of sectoral employment in %

0

4

Source of employment figures

please describe

please describe

Comment

if employment is taken from another source than the one provided, please provide your reasons, referring to meta-data.

Aggregate employees

0

95,671

Male employees

0

37,257

Female employees

0

58,414

Share of sectoral employees in %

0

4

Comment

if employee figures are taken from another source than the one provided, please provide your reasons, referring to meta-data.

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

(i) trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining (In line with the conceptual remarks outlined in the background information included in the accompanying excel spreadsheet, 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 4.2)

  • Independent Trade Union Federation of Employees in Commerce, Cooperatives, Tourism, Credit and Social Services (ITUFECCTCS) at CITUB

• Federation of the Independent Trade Unions in the Tourism (FITUT) at CITUB

  • National Federation of Trade, Services, Control and Tourism (NFTSCT) at CL Podkrepa

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

  • Independent Trade Union Federation of Employees in Commerce, Cooperatives, Tourism, Credit and Social Services – member of UNI Europa;
  • PODKREPA Services Union - Bulgaria – member of EPSU and EFFAT

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

Bulgarian Tourist Chamber

(iv) employer associations (business associations) which are a member of the sector-related European Employer/Business Federation (i.e. Hotrec – Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés in Europe)

2a Overview of the Industrial relations landscape in the sector

Please include a brief overview of the IR landscape in the sector (3-5 sentences) – summarising the most important features of industrial relations structures in the sector (based on the fact sheets – but without going into detail.)

Please also report here, whether the crisis had an impact on the sector’s relevant social partner organisations (e.g. mergers, emergence of new interest organisations, impact on membership structure, important social partner activities/achievements in the sector during the crisis etc.).

The cooperation between the social partners in the industry is good and serves all members. Despite the crisis a collective agreement has been signed and obliging employers not to reduce wages and not to cut staff numbers without trade union consent. The problem is that most employees and companies in the industry are not members of a trade union or the employers' organisation.

2b Data on the trade unions

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: Independent Trade Union Federation of Employees in Commerce, Cooperatives, Tourism, Credit and Social Services (ITUFECCTCS)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

UNI

Affiliation to European-level organisations

UNI EUROPE

Affiliation to national-level organisations

CITUB

Engagment in sector-related collective bargaining

yes

Type of membership

voluntary

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Union's domain with regard to sector

sectionalism

Domain overlap with other unions in sector

no

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

n.g.

 

2010

‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

5,340

   
Union members (incl. non-employed), total

5,340

   
 

2010

‘Active’ union members in the sector (in employment)

2,225

   
Union members in the sector, total (incl. non-employed)

n.g.

   
Female membership as a % of total members

65%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Est. Social Partner

Union density - active members

6.0%

   
Sectoral density - active members

2.0%

   
Sectoral domain density - active members

Very low: 0%–9%

   
Union density - total members

6.0%

   
Sectoral density - total members

2.0%

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

n.g.

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

n.g.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

There are no other groups

Table 2: Union Fact sheet: Independent Trade Union Federation of Employees in Commerce, Cooperatives, Tourism, Credit and Social Services (ITUFECCTCS)
 
Table 4: Union Fact sheet: National Federation of Trade, Services, Control and Tourism (NFTSCT)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

PUBLIC SERVICES INTERNATIONAL

Affiliation to European-level organisations

UNI EUROPE

Affiliation to national-level organisations

CL PODKREPA

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

yes

Type of membership

voluntary

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Union's domain with regard to sector

sectionalism

Domain overlap with other unions in sector

-

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

n.g.

  2010
‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

2,850

   
Union members (incl. non-employed), total

2,850

   
  2010
‘Active’ union members in the sector (in employment)

635

   
Union members in the sector, total (incl. non-employed)

n.g.

   
Female membership as a % of total members

58%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Est. Social Partner

Union density - active members

1.0%

   
Sectoral density - active members

1.0%

   
Sectoral domain density - active members

1.0%

   
Union density - total members

1.0%

   
Sectoral density - total members

1.0%

   
Sectoral domain density - total members

1.0%

   
Description of union's domain with regard to sector

n.g.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

There are no other groups

2c Data on the employer associations

Table 5: Employers’ organisation: Bulgaria Tourist Chamber (BTC)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

no international affiliation

Affiliation to European-level organisations

none

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Bulgarian Tourist Chamber – Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)

Engagement in sectoral-related collective bargaining

yes

Consultation in sector-related matters

yes

Type of membership

voluntary

Organisation's domain with regard to sector

sectionalism Regional structures: Varna Tourist Chamber, Bourgas Regional Tourist Chamber, Plovdiv Tourist Chamber and Pleven Tourist Chamber

Domain overlap with other organisations in sector

no

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

n.g.

  2010
Number of member companies, total

120

   
Number of employees in member companies, total

30,207

   
  2010
Number of member companies in sector

120

   
Number of employees in member companies in sector

30,207

   
Source of membership figures

Own calculation

Domain density - companies

0.5%

   
Sectoral density - companies

1.0%

   
Sectoral domain density - companies

0.5%

   
Domain density - employees

17.4%

   
Sectoral density - employees

23.2%

   
Sectoral domain density - employees

23.2%

   
Description of organisation's domain with regard to sector

There are no other organisations

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

No data available

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

3a.1 Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap.

• ITUFECCTCS

• FITUT

• NFTSCT

3a.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 is no competition among the trade unions

3a.3 If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights?

Not applicable.

3b Inter-employer association relationships

3b.1 Please list all employer associations covered by this study whose domains overlap.

BTC

3b.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the employer associations, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

There is only one employer association in the sector

3b.3 If yes, are certain employer associations excluded from these rights?

There is only one employer association in the sector

3b.4 Are there large companies or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

Yes.

4. The system of collective bargaining

Yes the system of collective bargaining exists

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).

6.02%

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 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.)

The collective agreement is signed by BTC and covers only the companies that are members of the Bulgarian Tourist Chamber. There are no other employers' organisations or companies that have signed the agreement.

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

No.

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

No.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2009 (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.

In Bulgaria there is no separate negotiation concerning wages, but there is a section concerning wages in the collective agreement.

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

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2009 (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. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

Table 6: Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered

Bargaining parties

Purview of the agreements

 

Sectoral

Type of employees

Territorial

BCA: ITUFECCTCS, FITUT and Bulgarian Tourist Chamber /BTС/

sectoral

Fixed-term employees

All territory

Podkrepa Services Union and Markets ‘Vazrazhdane’

company

Fixed-term employees

All territory

TU of CITUB and CC - Varna

company

Fixed-term employees

All territory

BTC and Bulgarian Association of the tourist Agencies and CITUB

company

Fixed-term employees

All territory

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? If yes, which associations?

Yes.

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 representatives in them:

Table 7: Sector-specific public policies*

Name of the body and scope of activity

Bipartite/tripartite

Origin: agreement/statutory

Trade unions having representatives (reps)

Employer associations having reps.

Trade unions and Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism (MEET) and Bulgarian

Traders Union

tripartite

Social cooperation

CITUB and CL Podkrepa

BTC

Trade unions and Bulgarian

Traders Union

Bipartite

Negotiation of MEET and BCA

CITUB and CL Podkrepa

BTC

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

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6a Statutory regulations of representativeness for trade unions

6a.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? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

At sectoral/branch level only nationally represented organisations of employees can conclude collective agreements.

The Labour Code defines the criteria for trade union representativeness at national, branch and sectoral level:

Worker organisations recognised as representative at national level are those organisations that have:

• at least 50,000 members;

• at least 50 organisations with at least five members in more than 1/3 the sectors according to the National Sector Classification;

• local authorities in more than half the municipalities in the country and a national governing body.

Two trade union confederations meet the representativeness criteria: CITUB and CL ‘Podkrepa’.

Under the Labour Code, all subdivisions of trade union organisations recognised as representative at national level are also recognised as representative at national level. In this sector the following federations are representative: - ITUFECCTCS, FITUT and NFTSCT.

6a.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? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

No data supplied

6a.3 Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

Not applicable

6b Statutory regulations of representativeness for employer organisations

6b.1 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation 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.

The criteria for representativeness for employer organisations are defined in the Labour Code. These are:

  • at least 750 members with no less than 10 employees and no less than 15,000 employees in the members;
  • 30,000 employees in all members of the association;
  • organisations with no less than 10 members, in more than one-fifth of the sectors defined in accordance with the National Sector Classification;
  • local bodies in more than one-fifth of the municipalities and a national governing body.

There are six recognised representative employer organisations at national level:

  • - the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA);
  • - the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI);
  • - the Union of Private Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria ‘Vuzrazhdane’ (UPEB);
  • -the Union for Economic Initiative (UEI);
  • -the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG);
  • - the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA).

BTC is member of BIA

6b.2 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation 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.

The same rules for representativeness mentioned above: the entitlement to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies.

6b.3 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.

Not applicable.

7. Commentary

Despite the good social dialogue between the Bulgarian Tourist Chamber, CITUB and Confederation ‘Podkrepa’ 50%–60% of economy in this sector is hidden. There are several reasons for this.

  • Statistics are still very wide of the reported real data.
  • Many large hotels have their assets in other companies in other sectors, which are also not included in the statistics.
  • There is no centralised information system for tourism revenues.
  • There many cases of under-payment and unrealistic contracts, due to the lack of legal regulation of temporary work.

CITUB has been demanding, for more than three years, legal regulation of temporary Horeca workers.

Violeta Zlateva, ISTUR

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