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 Latvia

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

Trade Unions

 

There is one trade union confederation in Latvia, the LBAS, and almost all significant unions belong to it. Union density is relatively low, at about 12%, and is much higher in the public than in the private sector.

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Collective Bargaining

 

Company or organisational level bargaining is the most important level of bargaining in Latvia, with relatively few industry-level agreements, although a generally binding agreement for the construction industry was signed in 2019.

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Workplace Representation

Employee representation at the workplace is either through unions or through elected workplace representatives. However, with low levels of union membership, particularly in the private sector, and a reluctance among employees to elect workplace representatives, most workplaces have no employee representation at all.

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Board-level Representation

There is no legislation on employee representation at board level in Latvia.

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European-level Representation

Latvian representatives on European bodies, both European Works Councils and the European Company are in most cases chosen by the existing employee representatives – either the unions or the authorised workplace representatives.

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Health and Safety Representation

Elected “trusted representatives”, who then receive training in health and safety, are the key figures representing employees in the area of health and safety. They can be elected at companies with five employees or more, with more being elected at bigger workplaces. There are no joint employee/employer health and safety structures, although the trusted representatives, who are elected for three years, should participate with the employer in a range of health and safety activities.

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Financial Participation

During the period of privatisation in the early 1990s employee share ownership was relatively widespread. Today, however, they do not play a significant role in the Latvian economy. Other forms of workers’ financial participation – in the context of cooperatives and profit-sharing schemes – are not well developed in Latvia.

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