Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Proposed Merger of Trade Unions.

29.

asked the Minister for Labour, in light of the proposed merger of the two largest unions, the ITGWU and the FWUI, if he will outline the number of trade unions with negotiating licences in this country at the end of January 1989; if he will list them by name and respective membership, the sectors or industries in which they operate; and the approximate number of unions per sector.

60.

asked the Minister for Labour the total number of trade unions licensed to operate in each member state of the EC: and if he will list them country by country.

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 29 and 60 together.

There are at present 67 trade unions of workers which hold negotiation licences with a total membership of 481,000. These are listed together with their membership in the tabular statement which I am circulating. The unions are grouped into the following categories: General Unions (4), White-Collar Unions (36) and Craft and other Unions (27). As many unions and in particular the general unions operate in a large number of sectors, it is not possible to say how many unions operate in each sector or industry.

Figures on the number of unions are not available for all EC countries. The position in each member state is outlined in a separate statement which I am also circulating.

Number of Unions in EC Countries

A report entitled: "Trade Union Membership — methods and measurement in the European Community" by Kenneth Walsh and published by Eurostat concluded that, because not all of the nine countries examined had strict definitions for what constituted a trade union, simple comparison of international figures on the number of unions was not possible. The Irish system of licensing is not the norm in Europe. A number of other European countries have a strong confederated structure with affiliated organisations that by themselves would not be considered separate unions in the context used in other countries. Extreme caution is advisable in drawing precise conclusions from the information which follows as it was gleaned from a wide range of published sources with different publication dates.

In Belgium, there are three major confederations. The two larger federations between them are organised into 31 national trade unions. Figures are not available for the number of trade unions in the third federation.

In West Germany there are four confederations of unions. The two largest confederations have 17 unions each. There are also two smaller confederations — one for white collar workers and one for public service workers.

In Denmark, there are 115 unions with over 500 members each, affiliated to six confederations. There are also a number of unions which are not affliated to any confederation.

In Spain, there are five confederations of unions and two main unions. Three of the federations for which information on structures is available are organised into about 50 national industrial federations.

There are five representative trade union confederations in France which have special legal status. There are four other trade union confederations.

In Greece, the trade union system is organised into three tiers. The first tier is comprised of 3,500 associations, the next tier of 108 worker centres and 120 federations. The third tier is comprised of confederations of worker centres. Confederations of worker centres are bodies which can conclude national collective agreements.

In Italy, there are three confederations with 104 affiliated organisations.

There are at present 67 licensed workers, trade unions in Ireland. These are listed in a separate tabular statement.

In Luxembourg, there are three main confederations. Eight trade unions account for the bulk of trade union members.

In the Netherlands there are three confederations with 48 affiliated unions and there are a further 243 trade unions which are not affiliated to any of these confederations, giving a total of 281 unions.

There are 360 registered trade unions in Portugal.

In the United Kingdom 367 trade unions were on the list of trade unions held by the British Certification Officer on 31 December 1987. There are at present seven trade unions registered in Northern Ireland, giving a total of 374 unions.

Trade Unions Holding Negotiation Licences as at 31 January 1989.

General Unions

Name of Union

Membership

Year to which Membership Relates

1. Irish Transport & General Workers Union

155,198

1987

2. Federated Workers Union of Ireland

44,559

1987

3. Amalgamated Transport & General Workers Union

20,631

1987

4. Marine Port & General Workers Union

3,500

1987

A total of four unions with 223,888 members.

White Collar Unions

Name of Union

Membership

Year to which Membership Relates

1. Irish National Teachers Organisation

19,238

1987

2. Manufacturing, Science & Finance Union

18,590

1988

3. Local Government & Public Services Union

15,565

1987

4. Irish Distributive & Administrative Trade Union

15,338

1987

5. Irish Bank Officials Association

13,845

1987

6. Civil & Public Services Staff Union

12,234

1988

7. Nurses Union of Ireland

12,000

1988

8. Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland

11,700

1986

9. Teachers Union of Ireland

7,396

1987

10. Union of Professional & Technical Civil Servants

6,000

1986

11. Irish National Union of Vintners, Grocers & Allied Trades Assistants

4,600

1987

12. Public Service Executive Union

4,491

1988

13. Electricity Supply Board Officers Association

2,886

1987

14. Transport Salaried Staffs Association

2,672

1987

15. Irish Medical Organisation

2,500

1986

16. National Union of Journalists

2,242

1987

17. Psychiatric Nurses Association

2,057

1987

18. Irish Postmasters Union

1,933

1987

19. Prison Officers Association

1,849

1987

20. Irish Tax Officials Union

1,630

1987

21. Association of Higher Civil Servants

1,595

1987

22. Communication Managers Union

1,356

1988

23. Irish Federation of University Teachers

1,214

1986

24. Dairy Executive Association

1,000

1987

25. Irish Federation of Musicians & Associated Professions

812

1987

26. Sales Marketing & Administrative Union of Ireland

800

1988

27. Irish Veterinary Union

700

1988

28. Guinness Staff Association

656

1986

29. Irish Customs & Excise Union

650

1987

30. Telecommunications Officials Union

353

1986

31. Veterinary Officers Association

324

1986

32. Irish Airline Pilots Association

319

1986

33. Association of Professional Officers

241

1988

34. Association of Irish Traditional Musicians

160

1987

35. Post Office Officials Association

78

1988

36. Union of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland

65

1986

A total of 36 unions with 169,089 members

Craft and Other Unions

Name of Union

Membership

Year to which Membership Relates

1. Electrical Trades Union

10,284

1987

2. National Engineering & Electrical Trades Union

10,000

1986

3. Postal & Telecommunications Workers Union

9,915

1987

4. Communications Union of Ireland

8,721

1986

5. Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians

8,654

1987

6. Amalgamated Engineering Union

5,689

1987

7. Building & Allied Trades Union

4,960

1989

8. Bakery & Food Workers Amalgamated Union

3,573

1987

9. National Graphical Association

3,075

1987

10. Irish National Painters & Decorators Trade Union

3,010

1986

11. Automobile General Engineering & Mechanical Oper- atives Union

2,700

1987

12. Irish Municipal Employees Trade Union

2,558

1988

13. Irish Print Union

2,392

1987

14. Operative Plasterers & Allied Trades Society of Ireland

2,133

1987

15. National Busworkers Union

2,089

1988

16. Electrical, Electronic Telecommunication & Plumbing Union

1,980

1986

17. Seamen's Union of Ireland

1,220

1986

18. National Union of Tailors & Garment Workers

1,100

1987

19. National Union of Sheetmetal Workers of Ireland

1,048

1987

20. Union of Motor Trade Technical & Industrial Employees

1,124

1988

21. Furniture, Timber & Allied Trades Union

350

1986

22. National Union of Seamen

300

1987

23. National League of the Blind of Ireland

297

1986

24. Cork Operative Butchers Society

200

1987

25. Association of Cinematograph, Television & Allied Technicians.

153

1988

26. Professional Footballers Association of Ireland

131

1984

27. Irish Electrical Technicians Association

27

1986

A total of 27 unions with 87,683 members.