Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Paper industry - Poland

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Employee representation,
  • Social partners,
  • Published on: 26 March 2012



About
Country:
Poland
Author:
Piotr Sula
Institution:

The Polish paper industry has been expanding over the past few years, as measured by employment growth, for example. However the trend has not been accompanied by strong social dialogue. Social dialogue in the paper sector is decentralised and operates exclusively at the company level. It is difficult to assess how many workers are covered by collective agreements, for reasons described in this report..

1. Sectoral properties

Economic background

The social partners in the Polish paper industry agree almost unanimously that the economic crisis has been less of a threat than other problems challenging the stability and development of the industry. In their opinion, the issues of working conditions and working time are more pressing, as is vocational training. These opinions, as well as statistical data, confirm that the sector is in fairly good condition. The number of active paper companies increased from 286 1998 to 393 in 2009 (the fastest-growing were medium-sized enterprises, employing 50–249 people). Medium-sized enterprises are still predominant in this sector (in 2009, of a total of 393 entities, 183 had 10–49 employees, 180 had 50–249 employees, and 30 had more than 249 employees).

Development of employment

Table 1: Sectoral properties
 

1998

2008

Number of companies in the sector

286

341

Source of company data

Central Statistical Office (Główny Urząd Statystyczny, GUS)

Central Statistical Office

     

Aggregate employment

39,000

45,914

Male employment

0

30,874

Female employment

0

15,040

Share of sectoral employment in %

0.3%

0.33%

Source of employment figures

Statistical Bulletin (only printed version from 1998 and 1999 is available).

Employment in national economy in 2008); interviews with social partner representatives.

Aggregate employees

39,000

45,914

Male employees

0

30,874

Female employees

0

15,040

Share of sectoral employees in %

0.4%

0.045

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)

(ii) trade 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

There are no sector-related employer organisations involved in collective bargaining in Poland.’

(iv) employer associations (business associations) which are a member of the sector-related European Employer/Business Federation (i.e. CEPI – Confederation of European Paper Industries)

Association of Polish Papermakers (Stowarzyszenie Papierników Polskich, SPP)

2a Data on the trade unions

Table 2: Union fact sheet: Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarność’ – National Section of Paper Industry Workers (NSZZ ‘Solidarność’)
Affiliation to multinational organisations

International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Unions (ICEM)

Affiliation to European-level organisations

European Chemical Workers Federation (EMCEF)

Affiliation to national-level organisations

‘Solidarność’

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

no

Type of membership

voluntary

Consultation in sector-related matters

no

Union's domain with regard to sector

sectionalism

Domain overlap with other unions in sector

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

Trade Unions Federation of Chemical, Glass & Ceramic Industries (OPZZ)

 

2010

‘Active’ union members total (in employment)

2,100

Union members (incl. non-employed), total

2,200

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

4–5%

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

4–5%

Female membership as % of total members

25%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Est. by Social Partner

Union density – active members

10–15%

Sectoral density – active members

4–5%

Sectoral domain density – active members

4–5%

Union density – total members

4–5%

Sectoral density – total members

4–5%

Sectoral domain density – total members

4–5%

Description of union’s domain with regard to sector

National Section of Paper Industry Workers, which constitutes a part of NSZZ ‘Solidarność’, unites paper industry workers representing all subsections of NACE 17, except 17.23, 17.24 and 17.29.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

Only employees

Table 3: Union fact sheet: All Poland Alliance of Trade Unions – Trade Unions Federation of Chemical, Glass & Ceramic Industries (Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych – Federacja Związków Zawodowych Przemysłu Chemicznego, Szklarskiego i Ceramicznego w Polsce, FZZPChSziC)
Affiliation to European-level organisations

European Chemical Workers Federation (EMCEF)

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych, OPZZ

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

no

Type of membership

voluntary

Consultation in sector-related matters

no

Union’s domain with regard to sector

sectional overlap

Domain overlap with other unions in sector

yes

Domain overlaps occur with the following unions in the sector

The Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarność’, National Section of Paper Industry Workers

 

2010

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

225

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

225

Female membership as % of total members

46%

Source of sectoral membership figures

Est. Social Partner

Union density – active members

Very low: 0–9%

Sectoral density – active members

Very low: 0–9%

Sectoral domain density – active members

Very low: 0–9%

Union density – total members

Very low: 0–9%

Sectoral density – total members

Very low: 0–9%

Sectoral domain density – total members

Very low: 0–9%

Description of union's domain with regard to sector

The Trade Unions Federation of Chemical, Glass & Ceramic Industries operates in one plant under NACE 17. The plant in question manufactures sanitary hygiene products. Outside NACE 17 the union also operates in the chemical, glass and ceramic industries, where most of its members are employed. In the paper industry only 225 people are union members.

Representation of other groups than employees in the sector

Only employees

2b Data on the employer associations

Table 4: Employers’ organisation fact sheet: Association of Polish Papermakers (Stowarzyszenie Papierników Polskich, SSP)

Affiliation to multinational organisations

ICFPA (International Council of Forest and Paper Associations)

Affiliation to European-level organisations

CEPI; FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers)

Affiliation to national-level organisations

Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza (KIG)Forum CO2 Bran¿owych Organizacji Gospodarczych (Forum CO2 BOG)Forum Odbiorców Energii Elektrycznej i Gazu (FOEEiG)Federacja Stowarzyszeñ Naukowo Technicznych Naczelna Organizacja Techniczna (Federacja SNT NOT)Polska Platforma Technologiczna Sektora Leœno – Drzewnego (PPTSL-D)

Engagement in sector-related collective bargaining

no

Consultation in sector-related matters

no

Type of membership

voluntary

Organisation's domain with regard to sector

sectional overlap

Domain overlap with other organisations in sector

no

Domain overlaps occur with the following organisations

n.g.

 

2009

Number of member companies, total

41

Number of employees in member companies, total

n.g.

Number of member companies in sector

41

Number of employees in member companies in sector

n.g.

Source of membership figures

Est. Social Partner

Description of organisation’s domain with regard to sector

The Association of Polish Papermakers embraces large and medium enterprises (41 companies and institutes in 2009). Some SPP members (e.g. Instytut Technologii Drewna, Instytut Biopolimerów i W³ókien Chemicznych, Kemira) operate outside the paper sector.

Representation of particular subgroups of enterprises

The organisation is concentrated on representing large and medium companies.

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

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

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?

Rivalries and competition do not exist as OPZZ is represented in only one company.

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

n.a.

3b Inter-employer association relationships

As the only employer organisation is the Association of Polish Papermakers (Stowarzyszenie Papierników Polskich, SPP) there are no inter-employer association relationships.

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

n.a.

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?

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

4. The system of collective bargaining

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).

Between 10% and 15%, but this number could be higher. The estimate can only be made on the basis of the few examples cited in this report.

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.)

There are no multi-employer agreements. Single-employer agreements cover 90% of workers in companies where trade unions are present.

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?

n.a.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2008 (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.

n.a

Sector-related multi employer wage agreements

Bargaining parties

Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements

 

Sectoral

Type of employees

Territorial

       
       
       

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2008 (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 5: Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered

Bargaining parties

Purview of the agreements

 

Sectoral

Type of employees

Territorial

Stora Enso

Single-employer

All workers of the company with the exception of members of the board.

Year of the agreement – 2000. Agreement covers 1,800 workers at present.

International Paper Kwidzyń

Single-employer

All workers of the company with the exception of members of the board.

Year of the agreement – 1998. Agreement covers 1,350 workers at present.

Modni Świecie

Single-employer

All workers of the company with the exception of members of the board and some others (about 50 people).

Year of the agreement – 1997. Agreement covers 900 workers at present.

DS Smith Polska S. A.

Single-employer

All workers of the company with the exception of members of the board.

Year of the agreement – 1999. Agreement covers 700 workers at present.

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?

No.

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:

No

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.
         
         

* 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.

The sector trade unions have to abide by the Labour Code (Kodeks Pracy) regulations. The Code states the criteria to be met in order to be a party in a collective agreement: it has to be an employer and a trade union organisation uniting employees for whom the agreement is being concluded. In case of the multi-employer agreement which has not been concluded in the sea and coastal water transport sector, the Labour Code clearly specifies its parties:

• On the part of the employees – the trade union organisation must be a national trade union, an association (federation) of trade unions or a national inter-union (confederation),

• On the part of the employers – the statutory body of the employers’ organisation.

Polish labour law differentiates two levels of collective agreements:

The first one (the Labour Code Art. 24114), is the so-called ‘industry-level collective agreement’ which is concluded by unions with membership from more than one company.

An additional necessary condition is that the mentioned union should meet criteria of representativeness (the Labour Code Art. 24117) as follows:

  • representativeness according to the rules mentioned in Act on Tripartite Commission on Socio-Economic Affairs and voivodeship (district) commissions of social dialogue (, or
  • it groups at least 10% of all employees who fall into the scope of the statue, but no fewer than 10,000 workers, or
  • the organisation joins the biggest number of workers for which such a collective bargaining agreement is to be concluded.

The second level of collective agreement (Labour Code Art. 24123), is the so-called ‘company-level collective agreement’ which is concluded by a particular company and the union within this company.

The union that concludes such an agreement also has to meet the following criteria of representativeness at company level (the Labour Code Art. 24125a):

1. party that is an organisational unit or a member of industry union organisation regarded as representative on the basis of Art. 24117 and Art. 24125a of Labour Code (cited above) if it represents at least 7% of workers employed by one employer, or

2. union organisation if it represents at least 10% of workers employed by one employer.

Two trade unions represented in the sector are entitled to conclude collective agreements: NSZZ ‘Solidarność’ and OPZZ.

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.

Such regulations are stated in the Act of July 2001 on the Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs and on the Voivodeship Commissions for Social Dialogue. However, informal sectoral consultations are not regulated by any law. Out of 12 tripartite sectoral bodies operating on a similar basis, one (see 5.2) deals with sea and coastal water transport issues.

According to Art. 6 of the Act of 6 July 2001 on Tripartite Commission on Socio-Economic Affairs and voivodeship (district) commissions of social dialogues, nationwide trade unions, nationwide federations of trade unions and nationwide organisation are regarded for representative inter-union organisations (confederations), which fulfil the following criteria:

  • they unite more than 300,000 members who are recognised as workers, and
  • they operate in national economic entities operating in the national economy, whose main activity is specified in more than half the sections of the Polish Classification of Activities (PKD) referred to in the provisions of official statistics,
  • in determining criterion one (referring to size), no more than 100,000 union members are taken into consideration, who are employed in national economy entities whose primary activity is defined in one section of the Polish Classification of Activities, as referred to in the provisions of official statistics.

Two organisations represented in the sector meet the representativeness criteria and are entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies: NSZZ ‘Solidarność’ and OPZZ. This does not mean that these organisations are effective in terms of influencing the decision-making process.

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.

No regulations.

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.

According to the Labour Code (Art. 24114), the collective bargaining agreement at the industry level is concluded on the employees’ part through a group comprising unions from more than one company.

The collective bargaining agreement at company level (the Labour Code Art. 24123) is concluded by the employer and the company’s union organisation.

There are no representative employer organisations in the sector.

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.

Art 7 of the Act of 6 July 2001 on Tripartite Commission on Socio-Economic Affairs and Voivodeship (district) Commissions of Social Dialogue states that the employers’ party in the Commission comprises representatives of the representative employers’ organisations. Employers’ organisations are regarded as representative if they fulfil all the criteria below:

  1. They unite employers who employ more than 300,000 employees
  2. They are recognised as a nationwide organisation
  3. They operate in national economic entities operating in the national economy, whose main activity is specified in more than half the sections of the Polish Classification of Activities (PKD) referred to in the provisions of official statistics
  4. In determining criterion one (referring to size) no more than 100,000 employees employed by the employer organisations are taken into consideration, for which (the employer’s) primary activity is defined in one section of the Polish Classification of Activities, as referred to in the provisions of official statistics.

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.

No regulations

7. Commentary

Trade union coverage in paper industry is slightly lower than in other economic sectors. Statistical data provided by the Public Opinion Research Centre (Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej, CBOS) poll of August 2010 demonstrate that 15% of all workers are members of trade unions. However, the identified low density of trade union membership in the paper industry is not fully verified. This is because the 5% union membership ratio had been determined based on the data provided by the two biggest trade union organisations and this is how it is documented. Information provided by the leaders of NSZZ ‘Solidarność’ suggests that there are registered unions in a number of paper companies that do not belong to any federation and are not involved in collective bargaining Therefore, it can be assumed that trade union coverage in the paper industry is actually higher, albeit that is it impossible to estimate it precisely. In enterprises with active NSZZ ‘Solidarność’ and OPZZ structures, trade union coverage extends to between 40% and 85%, according to information provided by the social partners. As for trade union activity in the sector, it is notable that OPZZ is present in only one enterprise, while all other trade union members, making up the 5%, are members of NSZZ ‘Solidarność’.

As regards the employers’ side, their interests are represented by one organisation only. The paper sector is characterised by lack of any relations between trade unions and employers’ representation.

The social partners claim unanimously that government actions give very little or no consideration to the opinions of social partners.

Piotr Sula, Institute of Public Affairs

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