New regulations on worker representativeness in Luxembourg
REPREM (Professional Relations and Employment) CEPS/INSTEAD DIFFERDANGE, Luxembourg
On April 29th 2008, the House of Representatives of Luxembourg voted a bill concerning the ?single status? that started its effects on January 1st 2009. Around 275.000 employees are concerned by the single status in the private sector. The words, ?worker? (blue collar worker) and ?employee? (white collar worker), have disappeared from the Labour code and have been changed to ?wage earner?. In general, the single status decreases the non-wage labour costs; decreases the administrative expenses; creates by fusion a single health insurance, a single pension fund, implements equal net wages for equal gross wages; offers the same overtime payments for all wage earners in the private sector; every wage earner in the private sector pays the same insurance amount; the mutual insurance system for employers has been declared obligatory.
But, this new status also creates a single professional chamber for all wage earners in the private sector instead of the two actual chambers (one for blue collars and one for white collars). Briefly, this new status abolishes the most important differences between blue collars and white collars.
On last November 12th, ?social elections? were organized in Luxembourg. These elections have delivered the opportunity to elect the new representatives of the workers in the professional chambers, existing in the country and in the enterprises. Thus, it was the first time for the application of the new rules and criteria concerning the representativeness of the workers and the elections for the new chamber for all wage earners. Crossborder workers had the opportunity to take part in the vote.
This situation is ideal for an analysis of this topic: does this common application of new rules change something in the field of industrial relations?
The statement will focus on the following precise questions:
- Have the new rules of representativeness really changed anything for trade unions in comparison to the former situation of representativeness?
- How did trade unions present their electoral campaign to catch the voices of the wage earners, in particular to obtain the necessary strength within the new professional chamber? On which topics? With which methods?