Social dialogue and collective bargaining
There is currently no framework for tri-partite social dialogue, and “collective bargaining at national level has been virtually non-existent for years”.
In April 2009 a national collective agreement was signed between unions and employers – the first for more than 10 years – with some very general provisions, which the ITUC hopes might lead to the establishment of a tripartite body. This is one of the aims of the ILO ‘Decent Work’ programme for Armenia, and the ILO is encouraging Armenia to look at Lithuania as a model.
Armenia has ratified ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98 and the labour code, so workers technically have the right to form unions, collective bargaining, and strike action (except for civil servants). However, in practice, these rights are rarely implemented: “The Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia (CTUA) reports large-scale employer resistance to unionising and collective bargaining, meaning that all decisions are taken between the employer and the individual worker due to the lack of trade union presence or bargaining rights.” The Labour Code also states that if a company is privatised the existing collective agreement is nullified.
Union organisation and density
The only national confederation of unions in the country is the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia (CTUA). It was founded in 1992. In 2007 it had 23 sectoral unions. In 2009 it became an associate member of the ITUC.
The CTUA states that in 2007 it had 296,650 members. This is about half the membership of 544,182 it claimed to have had in 2002. The ITUC uses the CTUA figure of 296,000 members to estimate an overall union density of 20%. It notes that the CTUA “is well represented in the education sector in particular”. There are no separate density figures for the waste, water and energy sectors.
Pay, holidays, hours The national Labour Code specifies that normal working time should not exceed 40 hours a week, or eight hours per day; and the maximum duration, including overtime work carried out at the request of the employer, should never exceed 48 hours per week and 12 hours per day.
For holidays, the labour Code provides for three categories of annual paid leave – minimum, extended and additional. The minimum annual paid leave is 28 days; extended and additional paid annual leave of up to 35 days (or up to 48 days in some exceptional cases) are granted to workers performing work in hazardous conditions, or in conditions of intellectual or emotional stress. A list of professions and positions where extended or additional paid leave is specified by the Government.
Main source: Unions and industrial relations in energy, water and waste sectors in eastern neighbourhood and enlargement countries, David Hall , Vladimir Popov and Stephen Thomas, PSIRU, 2011
Other sources and further information