The commerce and distribution sector encompasses all types of wholesale trade (agricultural produce, non-food consumer goods, industrial equipment, etc.) and retail trade (large supermarkets, shops selling food, pharmaceuticals, perfumery, etc.), including the motor vehicle trade.
An initial “informal working group” was set up in 1985 by the social partners in the commerce sector, who had first made contact with one another in 1983. At that time the participants were Euro-FIET (now UNI-Europa) for the trade unions, and three employers’ organisations – CECD, Fewita and GEDIS – which founded EuroCommerce in 1993. This embryonic social dialogue was officially recognised by the European Commission in 1990.
Commerce could be said to be in a league of its own among the 36 sectors currently organised into Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees. The momentum achieved by the social partners in this sector is quite unlike any other.