Lutz m hl secretary of the board european chemical employers group
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Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry or Finding balance between the interests of business and workers in Europe . Lutz MÜHL Secretary of the Board European Chemical Employers Group . Agenda. Introduction – ECEG and the EU Chemical Industry

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Lutz MÜHL Secretary of the Board European Chemical Employers Group

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Lutz m hl secretary of the board european chemical employers group

Social Dialogue and Collective Bargainingin the EU Chemical Industryor Finding balance between the interests of business and workers in Europe

Lutz MÜHL

Secretary of the Board

European Chemical Employers Group


Agenda

Agenda

  • Introduction – ECEG and the EU Chemical Industry

  • The EU-level Sector Social Dialogue of the Chemical Industry

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – A great variety of ideas and systems

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected

  • What do we need from you?


Organisation of chemical industry unions and employers in europe one example

Organisation of Chemical Industry unions and employers in Europe – one example

trade union

employers federation

business federation

BUSINESSEUROPE

ETUC

CEFIC(European Chemical Industry Council)

EMCEF (Europ. Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers Federation)

ECEG(European Chemical Employers Group)

national umbrella social

national umbrella business

national union(s)

chemical social

chemical business

chemical union(s)


The european chemical employers group

The European Chemical Employers Group

  • 24 member federations

  • founded as federation in January 2002 (but long history of multilateral network)

  • Independent federation for ‚Social Affairs‘, but linked to the „Cefic-family“representing the European Chemical Industry in many areas

  • Organises via its member federations more than 12,000 companies in 24 countries employing far above 1 million people

  • Run by social affairs experts from member federations


What does eceg do

What does ECEG do ?

  • Social Dialogue

  • Exchange on national social affairs and industrial relations

    • Trade unions are exchanging information on activities and even try to coordinate policies. It is essential for employers to have the same information available. Thus ECEG organises an exchange on the industry side.

  • European Social Affairs policies

    • National regulations in Social Affairs are determined by EU legislation (working time, European works councils, standards for information and consultation of employees, health and safety, temporary agency work …). Others are to come (minimum requirements for company pensions). When helpful, ECEG defines positions on the subjects and works closely together with BUSINESSEUROPE and other sectoral employers organisations within the European Employers Network (EEN).


The european chemical industry

The European Chemical Industry

  • The EU still is the world’s leading chemicals producing area

    • 2006 sales are estimated at €661 billion or 30.3% of the global market; however, at current growth rates Asia will soon take the lead

    • It employs above 1.9 million employees

  • The chemical industry is one of the EU’s most international, competitive and successful sectors, embracing a wide field of processing and manufacturing activities

  • The EU chemical industry comprises about 31,000 enterprises

    • 96% of enterprises have fewer than 250 employees and are considered as small- and medium-sized enterprises

    • SME‘s account for 30% of sales and 37% of employment

    • Just 4% of the EU enterprises employ 250 people or above; however, they generate 70% of total sales


Agenda1

Agenda

  • Introduction – ECEG and the EU Chemical Industry

  • The EU-level Sector Social Dialogue of the Chemical Industry

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – A great variety of ideas and systems

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected

  • What do we need from you?


The place of social dialogue at european level

Legislation

Mobility - Gender equality

Health and Safety

Social

Policy

Agenda

European

Social

Dialogue

European

Social

Funds

Open Method of Coordination

Employment

Social protection

The place of Social Dialogue at European level


The place of social dialogue at european level1

The place of Social Dialogue at European level

Institutional recognition

  • Article 138 of the EC Treaty

  • The European Commission

    • promotes consultation of social partners at Community level

    • facilitates their dialogue

    • ensures a balanced support of both sides

  • Article 139 of the EC Treaty

    • The dialogue between the social partners can lead, if they wish, to contractual relations, including agreements

  • Barcelona European Council 2002

    • “The European social model is founded on a healthy economy, a high level of social protection, education and social dialogue”


European social partners

European Social Partners

  • Cross-industry organisations

    • BUSINESSEUROPE (employers side)

    • ETUC (employees side)

  • Cross-industry organisations representing certain categories of workers or undertakings

    • CEC, EuroCadres (employees side)

    • UEAPME and CEEP (employers side)

  • Sectoral organisations representing employers or employees, for example in the Chemical Industry

    • EMCEF (employees side)

    • ECEG (employers side)


Levels of european social dialogue

Levels of European Social Dialogue

Tripartite dialogue

Tripartite Social Summit

once or twice a year, includes Social Partners,

EU Commission, EU Presidency, EP representatives

Bipartite dialogue

Cross-industry

Social Dialogue

Sector Social

Dialogue

Committees

Company

level

(EWC)

and ~40 other sectors


Development of social dialogue at eu level

Development of Social Dialogue at EU level

Trade Unions

Trade Unions

Commission

Commission

Employers

Employers

1985-1991

1991-2001

Trade Unions

Commission

Employers

2002-...


Social dialogue and social partnership in the chemical industry

Social Dialogue and Social Partnership in the Chemical Industry

Interests of employers and employees differ of course to a certain extent in areas like wages, working time etc. Here both have the task to find compromises acceptable to both sides, enabling the companies to be competitive in the markets and the employees to have a decent living.

Employers

Employees

But there are also areas of common interest between both sides. This may be issues regarding the competitiveness of the industry, training, international trade, etc.


Where is the added value for eu level sector social dialogue 1

Where is the added value forEU level Sector Social Dialogue ? (1)

  • New and stronger possibility to work together between industry and employees representatives for the best of our industry on EU level

    • Enables Social Partners to formulate and pass on positions and ideas on subjects dealt with politically at European level

    • In Europe like everywhere: only if you are an active player on the pitch, you may influence the result of the match

  • Commission has to consult acknowledged Social Partners before taking new initiatives in the area of Social Affairs

  • Commission did agree in talks before starting the dialogue to be open for consultations in other political areas as well (which opened additional advocacy possibilities in areas like REACH, Industrial Policy, etcetera)


Where is the added value for eu level sector social dialogue 2

Where is the added value forEU level Sector Social Dialogue ? (2)

  • Formalised Social Dialogue in a Sector Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) has a high rating „in Brussels“ when talking to MEPs, Council, Commission DGs etc.

    • Leads to a better possibility to pass our messages

    • Helps not only EMCEF and ECEG (and its national members), but Cefic and other Chemical Industry players as well (“improved image for the industry”)

  • In the medium and long term we may be able to contribute to the strengthening of the influence of Social Partners in the EU and thus to gradually push back a legislation-minded approach

  • EU-Commission pays for meetings and travel expenditures of participants to SSDC meetings

    • Enables more colleagues from both sides to participate in the meetings and thereby strengthens the results, as the meetings become more representative


Structure of the dialogue example 2008

Structure of the Dialogue (example 2008)

Annual Social Partner Conference~ 50 participantsfrom each side

Plenary Meeting (2 per year)

~ 25 members from each side

Working Group

“Training / Lifelong Learning”

~ 15 membersfrom each side

Working Group

“Industrial Policy, Competitiveness, Employment”

~ 15 membersfrom each side

Working Group

“ResponsibleCare, Health & Safety”

~ 15 membersfrom each side

ProjectHealth and Safety

ProjectRestructuring

Projects …


Results of sector social dialogue 2003 to 2007

Results of Sector Social Dialogue 2003 to 2007

  • Joint Memorandum of Understanding on Responsible Care between Cefic, ECEG and EMCEF signed in 2003

  • Position papers on REACH have been agreed in 2003, 2005 and again in 2006 throughout the legislative process

  • Conferences on REACH and its (social) consequences have been organised in 2006

  • Good practice in health and safety related to chemical products is being promoted together with „downstream user“ sectors via several brochures and projects since 2005

  • Report on training and education systems with ten recommendations based on survey of national social partners has been published in 2006


Most recent achievements 1

Most Recent Achievements (1)

  • Joint “lessons learned” on Restructuring agreed in 2008

    • accepted need for restructuring and gave commitment not to try to avoid or to slow down necessary restructurings

    • Good practice and related recommendations are included and all actors are asked to take those into account

  • Brochure on experience of informing and involving employees and their representatives in Responsible Care Programmes

    • Including statement from V. Špidla (EU Commissioner)“… The joint promotion of occupational health and safety by the chemical industry Social Partners on European and national level has turned out as a big success and this path should be followed further. With Responsible Care, the chemical industry is running a unique initiative for continuous improvement on environment, health and safety as well as on stakeholder dialogue. …”


Most recent achievements 2

Most Recent Achievements (2)

  • ECEG and EMCEF managed to have the EU Commission organising a special Plenary Meeting of the Social Dialogue on ETS on 29 September 2008, just a few days before the crucial vote in the ENVI Committee of the EP

    • A joint position paper of the Social Partners on the revision of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) has been signed on 29 September at the occasion of the Plenary Meeting supporting the industries advocacy work


Agenda2

Agenda

  • Introduction – ECEG and the EU Chemical Industry

  • The EU-level Sector Social Dialogue of the Chemical Industry

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – A great variety of ideas and systems

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected

  • What do we need from you?


Collective bargaining in eu chemical industry a great variety of ideas and systems 1

Collective Bargaining in EU Chemical IndustryA great variety of ideas and systems (1)

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry is determined by national systems, ideas and traditions

  • One can find all different kind of ways of organising bargaining procedures in the EU Chemical Industry

    • A number of countries have collective bargaining at national sector level with strong chemical industry specific organisations

      • Examples are Germany or Finland

    • Some smaller countries do collective bargaining at national level for either the whole economy or all industrial sectors

      • An example is Denmark

    • Other countries do all bargaining at company level

      • Examples are the United Kingdom or Poland

    • Some countries mix all levels and have very individual systems

      • An example is Belgium and to a certain extent Italy as well


Collective bargaining in eu chemical industry a great variety of ideas and systems 2

Collective Bargaining in EU Chemical IndustryA great variety of ideas and systems (2)

  • According to the level on which bargaining takes place, different players are involved

    • In most bigger countries business and employers federations specific to the Chemical Industry exist, they represent the interests of the chemical industry and are involved in sector collective bargaining where it exists

    • In a number of smaller countries Chemical Industry is represented by ‘umbrella federations’ organising all industrial sectors

    • On the trade union side the picture is more divers according to national traditions, most countries have a number of competing trade unions mostly not specific to the Chemical Industry, but with Chemical Industry branches


Agenda3

Agenda

  • Introduction – ECEG and the EU Chemical Industry

  • The EU-level Sector Social Dialogue of the Chemical Industry

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – A great variety of ideas and systems

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected

  • What do we need from you?


Collective bargaining in the eu chemical industry recent trends to be detected 1

Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected (1)

Decentralisation

  • For a number of years in most EU countries the level of negotiating agreements has moved closer to the workplace

  • However, this took place in different forms

    • Some countries have stopped national or sector collective bargaining and handed over responsibility to company level

    • Other countries have kept (or actually introduced) sector level bargaining, but have integrated special clauses into their sector agreements to give freedom for company specific deviations from the sector agreements (so-called opening clauses or flexibility clauses)

    • Some recent agreements are even more like a toolbox providing the company level with different solutions to choose from


Collective bargaining in the eu chemical industry recent trends to be detected 2

Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected (2)

New items on the agenda

  • Those countries which have kept national sector level collective bargaining have even introduced agreements in completely new areas like

    • sector pension funds run by the Social Partners;

    • sector health care funds run by the Social Partners or

    • agreements

      • on training, lifelong learning and the way in which apprentices are handled, how much further training is provided, etcetera

      • on how to handle the demographic development in the companies (need to accommodate for more elderly employees; to find ways for a step by step retirement; etcetera)


Collective bargaining in the eu chemical industry recent trends to be detected 3

Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected (3)

Joint activities outside of traditional collective bargaining

  • A number of countries have – sometimes influenced by the EU-level Sector Social Dialogue Committee – started closer co-operations between Social Partners on issues outside the scope of traditional collective bargaining

  • Those activities for example include

    • Joint advocacy activities on Industrial Policy

    • Agreements and joint action programmes on exercising responsibility (CSR) and supporting the acceptance of the market economy as the basic pillar of our wealth

    • Organisation of issuing health and safety / security certificates for external contractors working on Chemical Industry sites

  • This development is not limited to the countries with full-scale sector level collective bargaining


Collective bargaining in the eu chemical industry recent trends to be detected 4

Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected (4)

Summary

  • In the EU Chemical Industry collective bargaining one CANNOT find

    • one big trend or a development towards one single collective bargaining system for all countries

    • a move towards EU-level collective bargaining, be it on the sector or the company level

  • However, in general terms one CAN find

    • more bargaining takes place today closer to the workplaces, but often within the limits or possible options agreed on sector or national level

    • Social Partner activities do include areas formerly not traditionally covered, but in which joint interests do exists; this development in many countries has been supported by EU-level Sector Social Dialogue


Agenda4

Agenda

  • Introduction – ECEG and the EU Chemical Industry

  • The EU-level Sector Social Dialogue of the Chemical Industry

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – A great variety of ideas and systems

  • Collective Bargaining in the EU Chemical Industry – Recent trends to be detected

  • What do we need from you?


What we need for continued success of eu level social dialogue

What we need for continued successof (EU level) Social Dialogue

  • Support from national federations and trade unions, be proud !

  • Support for meetings, be present !

  • Allow technical experts from member federations, trade unions, member companies or works councils to support the EU level leadership on specific projects, events, etcetera,e.g. release them (expenses often paid) for Social Dialogue Working Group meetings

  • Commitment

  • Tell us what issues you would like worked on

  • Carry on the items we discuss on EU level to the national level

  • Organise follow-up events, meetings, agreements on national, local or company level on the items we have agreed on EU level


Thank you for your attention

Thank you for your attention

Lutz MÜHL

Secretary of the Board ECEG

Questions, please!


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