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Trade Unions

Union membership in Lithuania is low – about 9% of all employees. The unions are divided into three main confederations, LPSK, LDF and Solidarumas, divided – historically at least – on ideological grounds. However, the unions are now working together more closely.

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Board-level Representation

Employee representatives in companies at board level have now largely disappeared in Malta, and are now only found in companies belonging to the union or the Malta Labour Party.

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Health and Safety Representation

Safety representatives, chosen directly by the employees in smaller organisations, and by the existing trade union structures in those with more than 15 employees, provide representation for employees in the area of health and safety in Italy. There is no structure of joint employer/employee safety committees, other than a meeting with the employer and health and safety staff once a year or when there are major changes. However, Italy does have a structure of area safety representatives who cover smaller companies without their own safety representatives.

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Health and Safety Representation

 

In workplaces where they negotiate with the employer, unions have the right to appoint safety representatives to represent the interests of employees in the area of health and safety. In non-union workplaces the employer decides whether employee representatives for health and safety should be elected, or alternatively whether employees should be consulted directly. Non-union health and safety representatives have fewer powers than those appointed by the union, as they cannot undertake workplace inspections. Union safety representatives, but not non-union ones, can also require the employer to set up a safety committee.

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Financial Participation

The current level of employee financial participation in Italy is one of the lowest in Europe. Although several reforms during the 1990s tried to overcome the main obstacles to a more widespread implementation of financial participation in Italy, the unanimous attitude towards such systems on the trade unions’ side and existing company legislation tend to hinder such developments. Although the plan for a new law on workers’ participation was discussed in Italy in 2011/2012, it has still not been implemented.

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Financial Participation

The first employee financial participation schemes were not introduced into Great Britain until the end of the 1970s. The Labour Party, employer associates and trade unions were united in their opposition to any form of employee financial participation up till the end of the 1970s. By contrast, the Liberal Party, later followed by the Conservatives, lobbied for profit-sharing and employee share ownership in companies and were finally successful in winning over their erstwhile opponents. Since then a number of different employee financial participation schemes have developed.

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Key Facts

Population2,041,763
Collective Bargaining Coverage 34%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 13%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining

company

Workplace Representation

union – although possible to elect other representatives

Board-level Representation

no

Company Board Structure

dualistic

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken

 United Kingdom
 Italy

Key Facts

Population63,256,141
Collective Bargaining Coverage 29%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 26%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining

company

Workplace Representation

union – but other structures are possible and since 2005 these can be triggered by employees

Board-level Representation

no

Company Board Structure

monistic

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken