EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Romania: EIRO CAR on the Changing Business Landscape in the Electricity sector and Industrial Relations in Europe

About

Country: 
Romania
Sector: 
Electrical
Author: 
Constantin Ciutacu
Institution: 
Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In the period 2005-2010, the number of employees in the sector decreased by approximately 45%, due to both the privatisation of the distribution and the economic and financial crisis. According to the national and European Strategy, the envisaged structure of the national production of electricity for the year 2020 is the following: RES – 42.9% (of which, hydro - 26.6% and other renewables - 16.3%); nuclear power – 29.6%, fossil fuel – 27.5%. Until now, no studies and analyses have been produced on the impact of energy policies on employment in the sector. After cutting by law the national unique collective agreement in 2011, the only collective agreements in force in present are those concluded and signed at company level. The social partners are currently being consulted regarding the new strategy for the period 2011-2035.

1. General background information on the energy policy in your country and employment trends

1.1. Please explain briefly the main governmental strategies/action in relation to the electricity production and energy source mix. In your answer, please include information on the following aspects, where possible:

  • Is there an outspoken policy or plan in your country for any kind of change towards an increase or decrease of electricity production with any of the different sources (coal, oil, gas, hydro, eolic, sun, etc.)?

'Romania's Energy Strategy 2007-2020' (the 'Strategy') was adopted by Government Decision no. 1069/2007.

Worth quoting from its aims are: energy security; sustainable development (by improving energy efficiency and promoting forms of renewable energy - hydro- and other renewable resources of energy - RES; mitigation of the impact the energy sector has on the environment; efficient use of energy resources), and competitiveness (by developing competition markets, including the green certificate market, and the greenhouse emission certificates market).

The Strategy was paralleled by a 'National Plan of Action for Energy Efficiency 2007-2010' (the 'Plan'), drawn up also in 2007, and laying down the concrete measures to attain the envisaged aims.

  • Which is the targeted energy mix for the future (see material provided)? How, in which subsequent steps, such targets are expected to be met?

One of the Strategy's lines of action, in harmony with the EU's energy policies is the choice of a balance mix of energy, capable to give the energy sector the requisite competitiveness and security of supply.

Table 1 shows the structure of the production of electricity, according to the Strategy.

Table 1: Production of electricity as planned for the period 2003-2020 (total production = 100.0)

Production of electricity

2003

2007

2010

2020

- in hydropower stations and other, renewable, resources
- in nuclear power plants
- in thermal power stations (running on fossil fuels)
  • 24.025.530.832.58.711.115.221.6
  • 67.3
  • 63.4
  • 54.0

Source: 'Romania's Energy Strategy 2007 – 2020', Government Decision no. 1069/2007.

Official records (National Institute of Statistics, Institutul Naţional de Statistică, INS) of electric power generation show that, in the reference years 2007 and 2009, the contribution to the total output was as follows: fossil fuels – 61.6% , and respectively 52.5%; hydro and RES – 25.9% and 27,3%; nuclear – 12.5% and 20.2%.

The national objectives related to the climatic changes by 2020 had to be reconsidered in line with the principles of the 'Memorandum for the Approval of the Final Values of Romania's Objectives for Europe 2020 Strategy', assumed by the Government of Romania in 2010.

For this purpose, currently under public debate are the 'Strategic Elements in the Energy Sector for the Period 2011 – 2035. Electricity - Trends and Strategic Objectives'.

The structure of the national production of electricity envisioned by this document for the year 2020 is the following: RES – 42.9% (of which, hydro - 26.6%, and other renewables - 16.3%); nuclear power – 29.6%, fossil fuel – 27.5%.

  • Are investments in networks (new connections, upgrade) envisaged? To what extent? With which specific goals?

The Strategy recommends a total investment of approximately EUR 34.6 bn, to be allocated as follows: EUR 2.6 bn to environmental protection; EUR 2.5 for energy efficiency; EUR 1.8 bn to RES; EUR 4.7 bn to hydro; EUR 2.2 bn to nuclear power; EUR 5.8 bn to fossil fuel energy; EUR 5.4 bn to distribution and transport of electric power, etc.

  • What is the Government stance and what are the ongoing/envisaged action towards generation of electricity from the different broad groups of sources: nuclear /fossils /renewable energy?

The Romanian Government's Strategy purports to address:

  • security of energy supply by: augmenting the amounts invested in the technical upgrading of mining facilities for the extraction of coal, uranium, etc., and broadening geological explorations for the finding and tapping of new resources; restructuring and renewing the power generation facilities where the power plants are worth maintaining, closing down unprofitable power plants, and erecting new power generation units; upgrading the transport and distribution networks, etc.;
  • sustainable development by: encouraging investment in RES; stimulate investment in projects for the improvement of energy efficiency along the entire chain, from resources to production, transport, distribution, and consumption; promoting research and development centred on reducing the negative effects of the energy sector on the environment, etc.;
  • competitiveness by: continuing to develop and improve the open market mechanisms; taking active part in the development of the national and the European single energy market; restructuring the energy sector.

The dedicated department of the Ministry of Economy Commerce and Business Environment (Ministerul Economiei, Comerţului şi Mediului de Afaceri, MECMA) will be vested with broader powers to ensure that the aims of the Strategy are abided by, and to propose corrections of the Strategy, when necessary. The department will publish its findings regularly.

  • What are the recent employment trends in the different subsectors of power generation according to the different broad groups of sources: nuclear/fossile/renewable energy? Please indicate development since 2005 with reference to generation, distribution, and sale separately.

In the period 2005-2010, the number of employees in the sector of 'Production and Supply of Electric and Thermal Power, Gas, Hot Water and Air Conditioning' diminished from 133,000 persons to 74,000 persons (by approximately 45%), and the share of this sector in the total number of employees in the Romanian economy dropped from 2.9% in 2005 to 1.7% in 2010 (Table 2).

Table 2: Number of employees in the energy sector
 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Total employees in the national economy (thou' persons)
Employees in the Production and Supply of Electric and Thermal Power, Gas, Hot Water and Air Conditioning (thou' persons)
Share in total employees in the national economy (%)

Source: 'Romanian Statistical Yearbook', INS, Bucharest, various editions.

The most drastic personnel cuts in the sector have been made since 2008, due to both the economic and financial crisis and to the privatisation of the distribution

1.2. Government policy for increase of the share of renewable resources according to the RES directive

  • Are any subsidies being granted for different types of RES for electricity providers? If yes, please provide briefly the details

According to Directive 2009/28/CE on the promotion of use of energy from renewable sources (the 'RES Directive'), Romania forwarded to the European Commission (EC), in September 2010, 'The National Plan of Action on RES'.

According with this, the targets for RES proportion in final consumption of electricity are: 33% in 2010, 35% in 2015 and 38% in 2020.

Starting with 2004, the Plan proposes that the RES targets should be reached by compulsory quotas, combined with green certificate (GC) transactions. This promotion system will apply only after its approval by the EC.

Act 220/2008, regarding the rules to encourage the production of RES (as amended and supplemented by Act 130/2010, and Government Emergency Ordinance,'GEO', no. 88/2011), provides that energy producers will receive a number of GCs pro-rata to the quantity of energy produced and delivered according to Table 3.

Table 3: Number of green certificates received by RES producers

Type of RES

Type of power unit / unit group

Number of GC/MWh

(as per Act 220/2008, as amended and supplemented)

1. Hydropower in plants with a capacity of up to 10 MW

New plants, commissioned since 1 January 2004

3

Upgraded plants

2

Non-upgraded plants, in operation since before 1 January 2004

.

0.5

2. Eolian energy

New plants – to be commissioned by 2017

2

New plants – to be commissioned 2018 and further

1

3. Geothermal, biomass, bioliquids, biogas

New plants

2

4. Waste fermentation gas

New plants

1

5. Sludge fermentation gas

New plants

1

6. In addition to items 3,4,5 above, for high efficiency co-generation and for biomass from energy-generating crops

New plants

1

7. Solar energy

New plants

6

Source: Act 220/2008, as subsequently amended and supplemented.

The GCs will be transacted on the open competition market, within the EU price range of EUR 27-55/GC, which, starting from 2011, will be updated to the average inflation index for the preceding year, calculated for the Euro Zone, and published by Eurostat.

RES producers will be deemed sellers, and the energy suppliers to end users will be deemed buyers.

  • Have subsidies for RES been cut recently? Was this a result of the crisis, of budget constraints, or the result of a policy revision (following a policy assessment, due to a disproportionate use of subsidies, etc.)? Please provide brief details.

GEO 88/2011, which amended Act 220/2008, reduced the number of GC/MWh for geothermal energy and for biomass from 3 to 2, and for the waste fermentation gas, and the gas obtained through fermentation of sludge from waste water treatment plants from 3 to 1.

  • Are there any other forms of support foreseen for promoting electricity generation of RES?

During the debates on the targets and the lines of action to achieve them in the electricity sector (2011-2035), the producers requested new forms of support, and complained of the excessive bureaucracy affecting the access to European funds for the development of the RES energy.

  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding the state of play and the future prospects of RES in your country.

1.3. Are there any studies and documents assessing the employment impact of energy policies and of prospective changes in the energy mix within the electricity sector? This could include, for instance,

  • Employment effects resulting from the unbundling of activities (production from distribution)
  • Employment effects (on quantity and quality of work) resulting from the possible shifts within the electricity production sector from traditional sources to RES
  • Employment effects from investments in infrastructure (renewal of grids, introduction of smart meter technology, district heating)
  • The need for retraining of workers or provision of new qualifications linked to the sector transformations
  • Possible spatial mobility of workers as a result of more decentralised production (linked both to new activities and to restructuring of existing ones)
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding prospective impacts on employment and industrial relations

Official statistics reveal that, between 2005 and 2010, the number of employees involved in the production and supply of electric power, thermal power, gas, hot water, and air conditioning diminished by almost 50,000 persons.

On the one hand, this reduction of personnel was the effect of the decrease of generation of energy though combustion of fossil fuels, and the increase of the production of RES.

On the other, the redundancies were caused by the unbundling of production from distribution, and the privatisation of distribution services through takeovers by multinational companies, which triggered further dismissals.

The National Energy Regulatory Authority (Autoritatea Naţională de Reglementare în domeniul Energiei, ANRE) publishes an annual Monitoring Report on RES Promotion System (the 'Report'), which explains what the RES promotional system consists of and how the GC market in Romania operates.

The Report makes no reference to development in employment, qualification/requalification, and spatial mobility of workers in the energy sector.

Until now, no studies and analyses have been produced on the impact of energy policies on employment in the sector.

1.4 To what extent are the social partners involved or consulted concerning the governmental energy policy, notably in relation to employment impacts? Has this happened on an ad-hoc basis or on a structural, permanent basis? Is there a special tripartite social dialogue body for such consultations? Did consultation take place at national level, at sector level, or at the initiative of individual companies? Please briefly provide details.

The MECMA has a Social Dialogue Committee, the members of which represents the Government, the national representative employer organisations, and the national trade union confederations, or the sectoral union federations, and are duly appointed by them.

The Committee is permanent and convenes every time consultations and debates on draft regulations, including those concerning the electric power sector, are needed.

No collective agreement covering the energy sector is in force in 2011. The last one expired in 2009. In energy sector there are in force collective agreements at group of units' level and at company level.

The 2009-2013 'Collective Agreement at group of units level in the production of electric and thermal power' applies to 23 companies, most of which operate in the thermoelectric power subsector.

2. Composition, structure and employment trends for the different resources used for electricity production

2.1 Please give an overview of the current sectoral composition of electricity production in your country, by giving for each of these seven groups of energy sources, the NAME of the three largest producing, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

For all companies listed, as a summary, please indicate:

  1. Total production and its distribution across different energy sources
  2. Total employment and its distribution across different energy sources
  3. Production plants and their respective energy source(s)

In 2009, the production of electric power based on fossil fuels accounted for 52% of the total national production of electricity.

All the companies in this sector are the full ownership of the State. The five largest such companies, in 2010, hired 16,685 employees, in the following decreasing order: Complexul Energetic Turceni – 4,515 employees; Complexul Energetic Rovinari – 4,489 employees; Electrocentrale Bucureşti – 3,237 employees; Complexul Energetic Craiova – 2,294 employees; Termoelectrica Bucureşti – 2,150 employees.

Hydropower production, which, in 2009, held a share of 27% of the national production of electric power, is provided, in a proportion of 95%, by Hidroelectrica SA, a state-owned company that had 5,227 employees in 2010.

Adding to these are the micro-power stations built in the recent years, whose market share and number of employees are statistically insignificant.

Nuclear power is supplied by Nuclearelectrica, a state-owned company, and the only producer, which, in 2009, contributed 20% of the entire national production of electric power.

In 2010, Nuclearelectrica had 2,179 employees.

In other words, in 2010, the energy sector as a whole had a force of 30,000 employees.

Our estimation is that, leaving aside the energy producer Hidroelectrica, the RES segment might provide jobs to a maximum of another 1,000 persons.

Tabel 4: Electricity production

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

FOSSIL FUELS

Electrocentrale Bucureşti: turnover in 2010 – RON 1,935,786,200

3,237

2010

Public

Complexul Energetic Craiova: turnover in 2010 – RON 1,097,808,500

2,294

2010

Public

Complexul Energetic Turceni: turnover in 2010 – RON 1,043,705,600

4,515

2010

Public

NUCLEAR

Nuclearelectrica: turnover in 2010 – RON 1.514.720,300

2,179

2010

Public

HYDRO

Hidroelectrica Bucureşti: turnover in 2010 – RON 3,273,700.000

5,227

2010

Public

WIND

CEZ Romania

NA

NA

Private

ENEL Green Power Romania

NA

NA

Private

Tomis Team SRL: turnover in 2010 – RON 52,644,600

8

2010

Private

BIOMASS

Holzindustrie Schweighofer: turnover in 2010 – RON 1,287,854,200

Main scope of business: wood cutting and planning

1,231

2010

Private

Bioelectrica Transilvania SRL: turnover in 2010 – RON 22,447,200

17

2010

Private

General Electric SRL: turnover in 2010 – RON 2,413,600

41

2010

Private

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

NA

NA

NA

NA

Source: Balance sheet data, Ministry of Public Finance ( Ministerul Finantelor Publice, MFP).

2.2 Please provide an overview of the current organisation of electricity distribution in your country. Is there a single distributing company/body? Are there multiple companies? At national or territorial level?

The energy produced as above is transported by Transelectrica SA, a state-owned company, which, in 2010 had 2,185 employees.

The distribution network has been the object of major privatisation transactions in the past years, most of it being now in the hands of multinationals like ENEL, E.ON and CEZ.

One other important supplier and distributor of electric power is Electrica Distribuţie with its three regional subsidiaries: Transilvania Nord, Transilvania Sud and Muntenia Nord.

In 2009, Electrica had a personnel of over 15,100 (compared to 23,800 in 2005), a number slashed to less than a half in 2010, distributed among its subsidiaries as follows: 2,014 employees with Transilvania Nord, 2,074 employees with Muntenia Nord, and 1,814 employees with Transilvania Sud.

In 2010, Electrica held: 25% of the market of electric power suppliers to end users; 39% of the regulated default market; and 15% of the open competition market.

The status of the distributors of energy in Romania, in 2010, was as follows:

CEZ had 1,456 employees (from 2,934 in 2005), with a market share of 8% on the market of suppliers to end users, a share of 13% on the regulated market of implicit suppliers, and a share of 3% on the open competition market.

E.ON Moldova had 1,654 employees (from 2,640 in 2005), with a market share of 8% on the end-user market, 13% on the regulated market, and 3% on the open competition market.

ENEL Distribuţie had 1,273 employees (from 1,975 in 2005) in its Banat Subsidiary, 1,354 employees in the Muntenia Subsidiary (from 2,093 in 2005), and 1,036 in the Dobrogea Subsidiary (from 1,615 in 2005).

The three multinationals held in 2010 an aggregate share of 20% on the market of end-user suppliers, 35% on the regulated market, and 4% on the open competition market.

2.3 Please indicate the NAME of the three largest distributing companies, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

Table 5: Distribution companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

Distribution GRID

ELECTRICA (3 subsidiaries), turnover in 2010: RON 1,699,130,900

5,902

2010

Public

ENEL Distribuţie (3 subsidiaries), turnover in 2010: RON 1,679,836,700

3,663

2010

Private

CEZ Distribuţie (one subsidiary), turnover in 2010: RON 789,086,500

1,456

2010

Private

Source: Authors’ own compilation of MFP data and information.

2.4. Where there any significant developments/changes since 2008 for a specific company or source of electricity production in numbers of employees or in their public/private status? Was this due to the current economic crisis? Were there any instances of unbundling or mergers? With what consequences in terms of employment and industrial relations?

After Romania’s accession to the European Union (1 January 2007), distribution and sales of electric power were split.

The topmost position among the first three electric power companies was held in 2010 by ENEL, with a total turnover of EUR 1.75 bn., of which 23% was generated by distribution operations, and 77% by sales; next comes Electrica, with a turnover of EUR 1.3 bn., of which 30% comes from distribution, and 70% from sales; CEZ is the third, with a turnover of EUR 0.5 bn, of which 36% comes from distribution, and 64% from sales.

There is a visible imbalance between the number of employees working in distribution and the number of them working in sales.

The distribution of labour between the two types of operations leads to major discrepancies in point of productivity. In Electrica, for example, the 2010 average turnover per worker in distribution was in the region of EUR 68,000/year, while in sales, the average turnover per employee was approximately EUR 816,000/year.

In ENEL, the 2010, average turnover per employee was EUR 110,000 in distribution, and EUR 1,121,000/year in sales.

In Electrica, the number of employees for both lines of business increased by 1.4% (up by some 100 persons from 2005), while in ENEL the turnover doubled (at the annual average RON/EUR exchange rate), and the number of employees was reduced by some 14%; in CEZ, the turnover grew by 47%, and the number of employees was reduced by 49% during the same reference period. In E.ON Moldova, the increase of the turnover by 15.7% was paralleled by a decrease of the number of personnel by 37% (Table 6).

Table 6: Turnover and number of employees in the main electricity distributors and sellers

Group

2005

2010

Turnover

thou’ RON /thou’ EUR

Number of employees

Turnover

thou’ RON /thou’ EUR

Number of employees

Electrica        
Distribution

3,344,011.9/

922,893.4

6,920

1,699,130.9/

403,603.6

5,902

Sales

-

-

3,836,889.1/

911,396.7

1,117

Total

3,344,011.9/

922,893.4

6,920

5,536,020/

1,315,000.3

7,019

ENEL        
Distribution

3,113,208.9/

859,195.5

5,683

1,697,896.7/

403,296.2

3,663

Sales

-

-

5,672,562.2/

1,347,433.9

1,202

Total

3,113,208.9/

859,195.5

5,683

7,370,398.9/

1,750,730.1

4,865

CEZ        
Distribution

1,274,217.3/

351,663.4

2,934

789,086.5/

187,435.9

1,456

Sales

-

-

1,385,744.2/

329,163. 2

54

Total

1,274,217.3/

351,663.4

2,934

2,174,830.7/

516,599.1

1,510

E.ON        
Distribution

1,076,155.3/

297,001.5

2,640

626,211.9/

148,747.5

1,654

Sales

-

-

1,456,692/

343,778.3

337

Total

1,076,155.3/

297,001.5

2,640

2,082,903.9/

492,552.8

1,991

Source: Authors’ own compilation based on MFP data and information.

3. Industrial relations in the electricity sector: Actors

3.1 Please provide details on the membership in the electricity sector and membership of the top 3 producing and distributing companies in employer’s organisation (see questions 2.1-2.3 above). Please provide information on the name of the trade unions organising in this subsector and the level of their membership, or otherwise provide overall data but please include indications on differences in membership densities across subsectors.

The electricity production and distribution sectors are unionised in a proportion of over 80%, which is largely greater than the average rate of union affiliation in the national economy (40%).

Table 7: Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation in producing companies
FOSSIL FUELS

Electrocentrale Bucureşti (part of the Termoelectrica)

Termoelectrica is affiliated to the APEN Employers Organisation (Asociaţia Patronală EnergiaAPEN), which is member of the Energetica Employers Federation (Federaţia Patronală EnergeticaFPEN)

Trade union (approx. 3,200 members) affiliated to the Termoelectrica Federation (Federaţia Termoelectrica – approx. 7,000 members), and a member of the National Free Trade Unions Confederation from Romania Frăţia (Confederaţia Naţională a Sindicatelor Libere din România Frăţia, CNSLR Frăţia)

Complexul Energetic Craiova

.

Affiliated to FPEN

One trade union (1,154 members) affiliated to the Mining Energy Federation Craiova (Federaţia Energie Mină Craiova, FEM)

One trade union (460 members) affiliated to the National Mining and Energy Federation (Federaţia Naţională Mine Energie, FNME, 19,000 members)

One trade union (365 members) affiliated to the Energetica Federation

One trade union (350 members) affiliated to Termoelectrica Federation (approx. 7,000 members)

Complexul Energetic Turceni

Affiliated to FPEN

One trade union (4,430 members) affiliated to (FNME)

One trade union (261 members) affiliated to Termoelectrica Federation

NUCLEAR

Nuclearelectrica

Company affiliated to APEN which is member of FPEN

The Operatom Trade Union (Sindicatul Operatom, 495 members) affiliated to the Univers National Trade Unions Federation of Electricity (Federaţia Naţională a Sindicatelor din Electricitate Univers, National Federation Univers )

One trade union (910 members) affiliated to FNME

One trade union (193 members) affiliated to Termoelectrica Federation

One trade union (165 members) affiliated to Energetica Federation

HYDRO

Hidroelectrica Bucureşti

Company affiliated to APEN which is member of FPEN

Trade Union Federation Hidrosind (Federaţia Sindicală Hidroelectrica Hidrosind, Hidrosind – 4,800 members) affiliated to CNSLR Frăţia

One trade union (368 members) affiliated to National Federation Univers

WIND

CEZ România

Association of Companies of Energy Supplier (Asociaţia Companiilor de Utilităţi din Energie, ACUE), a professional association

Trade union affiliated to the Univers National Federation

ENEL Green Power Romania

ACUE

Trade union affiliated to the Univers National Federation

Tomis Team SRL

-

 
BIOMASS

Holzindustrie Schweighofer

-

-

Bioelectrica Transilvania SRL

-

General Electric SRL

-

PHOTO-VOLTAIC

-

-

-

Source: Trade unions and employer organisations representatives and organisations websites.

Table 8: Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation in distributing companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(largest 3 in market share)

Membership to employers organisation

(indicate the name of the relevant employers organisation)

Trade union presence per sub-sector

(indicate the name of trade union(s) and the level of their membership in this subsector companies)

Distribution GRID

companies

ELECTRICA (3 subsidiaries)

Company affiliated to APEN which is member of FPEN

Trade union affiliated to the Univers National Federation

ENEL Distribuţie (3 subsidiaries)

ACUE

Trade union affiliated to the Univers National Federation

CEZ Distribuţie (one subsidiary)

ACUE

Trade union affiliated to the Univers National Federation

Source: Trade unions and employer organisations representatives and organisations websites.

3.2 To what extent are employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) covered by trade union representation? Has there been any impact of the crisis on trade union representation?

The last 'Collective Agreement for the Electric, Thermal Power, Petroleum, and Gas Sector', which was extended by an Addendum, came to an end in 2010.

It was bargained and signed, for the electric power component, by the following entities:

The Univers National Trade Unions Federation of Electricity (Federaţia Naţională a Sindicatelor din Electricitate 'Univers'), an organisation established in 1990, which, for national representation purposes, is affiliated to the National Trade Union Bloc (Blocul Naţional Sindical, BNS). The Federation claims a membership of 27,800 workers, from 92 trade unions, most of which come from: ENEL, E.ON, CEZ, Electrica (electric power distribution), Transelectrica (electric power transport), and Nuclearelectrica (production of nuclear energy);

The Energetica Free and Independent Trade Unions Federation, Energetica Federation (Federaţia Sindicatelor Libere şi Independente Energetica, Federaţia Energetica), affiliated to BNS, which reports approximately 14,000 members and 20 trade union affiliates from electric and thermal power company producers; and

The Hidrosind Federation (Federaţia Hidrosind), affiliated to CNSLR Frăţia, with approximately 6,000 members (of whom 4,800 work with Hidroelectica, the hydropower producer), on the one hand,

and

The Energetica Employers Federation (Federaţia Patronală Energetica, FPE), a member of the Concordia Employers Confederation (Confederaţia Patronală CONCORDIA, formed of three founding members: Energia Employers Association; The Romanian Energy Union (Uniunea Energetică Română), and the ELCO Employers Association (Patronatul ELCO), and other 13 employers associations. Of all these, the largest employers organisation is the Energia Employers Association (Asociaţia Patronală Energia, APEN), with 142 employers organisations affiliated.

Although not a signatory to the sectoral collective agreement, the National Mining and Energy Federation (Federaţia Naţională Mine Energie, FNME) is another important organisation in the sector, with members from the mining and energy sector. According to the statements of its representatives, in 2010, FNME had some 19,000 members, of whom 6,000 members were working in energy.

3.3 Have there been major reorganisations/splits/mergers of trade unions or employers organisations in the sector during the last five years?

In 2007, 16 companies operating in the private energy and gas distribution and supply sector became the founding members of the Association of Companies of Energy Utility Provider (Asociaţia Companiilor de Utilităţi din Energie, ACUE).

3.4. Have new actors (trade unions or employers organisations) been founded in recent years, especially in the newly evolving RES industries? Or is the industry covered by established actors?

In March 2009, 40 RES companies, most of them small and medium enterprises, united in an Employers Association for New Sources of Energy (Asociaţia Patronală Surse Noi de Energie, SUNE), which is a member of APEN, affiliated to FPEN.

3.5. Have the established sectoral actors (both trade unions and employer organisations) started any initiative to extend their representation to the new emerging parts of the sector? Please describe such initiatives and their results so far.

APEN took the initiative of inviting SUNE to join them.

4. Role of collective bargaining and social dialogue

4.1 Please provide information on the structure of collective bargaining in the electricity sector. Please, briefly mention the main characteristics of collective bargaining:

  • At what level are collective agreements within the subsectors of the electricity sector (traditional providers, newly emerging providers) concluded (company, sectoral level and/or inter-sectoral level)? Is there a difference between the producers and the distributors?

Until 2010, the trade unions and employer organisations representing companies operating in the Electric and Thermal Power, Petroleum and Gas branch negotiated and signed a collective agreement at branch level. Since then, no such agreement has been signed.

The only collective agreements in force in present are those concluded and signed at company level.

  • Estimate the coverage rate of collective bargaining in terms of companies and employees: are there any differences in coverage across different subsectors of electricity production?

In all companies with a number of minimum 20 employees, collective bargaining and the execution of collective agreements is compulsory by the effect of law.

In 2008, production, transport, distribution and sale of electricity were provided by 341 corporate entities, of which 80% had less than 10 employees. In other words, the coverage rate of collective bargaining in respect of companies stands somewhere between 15% and 20%.

In terms of employees, the coverage rate of collective bargaining is estimated to be over 90%.

4.2 Please comment on the most recent collective agreements reached at sector level and at company level. Please address the following topics:

  • Pay and working time: level and trends relative to the national average and significant differences across subsectors of the electricity industry.

According to INS data, in October 2008 and in October 2010, the average salary in the sector of Production and Supply of Electric and Thermal Power, of Gas, Water and Air Conditioning, was 65%, and, respectively, 92% above the national average; in October 2010, the national gross average salary was RON 1,846 (up by 2.8% from October 2008), while the gross average salary in the energy sector was RON 3,453 (up by 19.3% from October 2008).

At company level, the first three state-owned electric power companies were paying, in 2010, the following gross average monthly salaries: Nuclearelectrica – RON 7,420; Hidroelectrica RON – 5,020 and Electrica – RON 4,809.

The same year, the complex power plants paid the following monthly gross average salaries: Complexul Energetic Turceni – RON 3,960; Complexul Energetic Rovinari – RON 3,770; and Complexul Energetic Craiova – RON 3,610.

The national minimum gross wage was RON 600 in 2010 and RON 670 in 2011.

4.3. Cooperation between the social partners and government

  • Have the government started any social dialogue or social concentration in the electricity sector since 2008? Please illustrate the features and results of any such initiatives.
  • Have bipartite and/or tripartite bodies dealing with specific issues of the electricity industry been created since 2008?
  • Have there been since 2008 any joint initiatives of cooperation between social partners to influence or steer the energy policy developed by the government in your country? Or have such initiatives been taken separately by certain social partner organisations?
  • Have the social partners been involved in the making of the national action plan to reach the 2020 target, or in issues aiming to secure the supply of enough electricity?

The Social Dialogue Committee in the MECMA is formed of the nationally representative trade union and employers confederations.

The federations in the electric power subsector take part in the meetings of the Committee, based on the powers vested in them by the national union and employers confederations to which they are affiliated.

At present, the social partners are expected to issue their opinions on the 'Elements of Energy Strategy for the period 2011 – 2035. Strategic Lines of Action and Objectives for the Electricity Sector', a document that the MECMA has submitted to public debate, inviting the social partners to express their views in the Committee and through any other available channels of communications.

4.4. Please provide information about the views of the trade unions and employer organisations on the main changes regarding employment and working conditions affecting the sector since 2008 and especially on the impact of the current crisis (for instance on employment trends, quality of jobs, working hours, wages, fixed-term employment, part-time, temporary agency work, participation in training, outsourcing, subcontracting etc.).

Since the onset of the economic crisis in 2008, many companies in this sector be they state-owned or privately-owned, resorted to collective redundancies, which deteriorated the relations between the social partners.

The Social Dialogue Act 62/2011 triggered significant changes in the area of industrial relations:

  • it abolished the national unique collective agreement, which applied to all workers in the national economy, including workers in companies with a personnel of less than 20 employees, where collective bargaining is not mandatory;
  • it replaced branch collective agreements with sectoral agreements.

According to the Act, the economic sectors are yet to be defined by a Government decision, which is late to appear. As soon as the sectors are known, the social partners will have to regain representativeness based on criteria that will be others than before.In this context, collective bargaining can only be held at company level.

5. Commentary

The new forms of renewable energy, particularly solar and wind are generally obtained at facilities operated by a very low number of employees. The same Act 62/2011 stipulates that the establishment of a trade union requires at least 15 members working in the same company, and that collective bargaining is mandatory only for companies of 20 and more employees, which is why the coverage rate of collective bargaining may be much lower for the entities operating in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that, in the future, the social partners’ involvement and contribution to the development of the sector of renewable energies should increase, particularly having in view the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Constantin Ciutacu, , Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy