Vol.36-No.07 July 1,1997
The percentage of unions concluding collective agreements dropped below 90 percent, the Ministry of Labour said in a preliminary report. The Survey of Collective Agreements, conducted once every five years by the Ministry, was admintered to about 5,000 labor unions with 30 or more union members. The response rate was about 80 percent.
The preliminary report found that 89.2 percent of the surveyed unions had concluded collective agreements, down 2.1 points from the findings five years earlier. The percentage of collective agreements which involved personnel matters such as dismissal, shukko (a secondment to another company) and disciplinary action rose by about five points. The percentage of collective agreements concluded on dismissal rose from 41 percent five years ago to 47 percent. By union size, 98 percent of unions with over 500 members had concluded a collective agreements, only 70 percent of small unions with ten or fewer members had done so. Around 90 percent of the unions in many industries had an agreement, but only 70.8 percent of the unions in the service industries had done so.
The survey specifically asks whether collective agreements provide leave for child-care and looking after invalid family members and the extent to which part-timers are covered. It found that 48.6 percent of labor unions have concluded agreements which allow for leave for child-care, up from 20.9 percent five years ago. The figures for invalid nursing-care leave rose from 12.2 percent to 35.7 over the same five years. Regarding part-time workers, 73.8 percent of the responded labor unions said that all or part of their collective agreements applied to part-time employees.
Approximately 10 percent of the surveyed unions failed to conclude a collective agreement. However, over 60 percent of those unions felt it was necessary to have a collective agreement in place. Many indicated they were currently negotiating to conclude an agreement or were planning to do so in the near future.
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