Brief Description of Employees’ and Employers’ Associations
Employees‘ and employers’ organisations are structured by level: starting from the company level, where there are unions as organisations; sectoral level where there are employers’ organisations and union federations; and the national level where there are employers’ organisations and union confederations.
Rights and Importance of Trade Unions
The representative trade union is entitled to receive from employers, any necessary information for the negotiation of the collective labour agreements and other agreements related to the employment relations. Since a union needs 50%+1 of the company’s employees to be representative, and only a limited number of unions can reach the required number of members in order to become representative, Romanian law also allows union federations that are representative at the sectoral level (representing at least 7% of the employees in the sector) to participate in collective negotiations at the company level, representing an affiliated union. As the law does not restrict the number of unions within a company and in some sectors, there are at least 3 representative union federations, a company might negotiate with more than one union federation.
The trade unions play a key role in collective bargaining, but they also have significant consultation and information rights. Also, based on a specific empowerment from their members, trade unions have the right to register petitions and to sustain their members’ interests before the local courts. The representatives enjoy some of the rights that the representative unions have in gaining access to relevant information and being consulted in specific matters (such as when the employer wants to implement a new internal regulation).
Other Types of Employee Representative Bodies
European legislation on works councils was transposed in Romanian legislation, but few companies actually have such representative bodies. The role of works council in the employer-employee relationship is reduced. Most of the rights that the works councils have involve only receiving information from the company on important matters.
Health and safety committees have an important negotiation role. The employer’s representatives and the employees’ representatives discuss and agree upon health and safety measures, but also on social and economic matters within these structures.