In Luxembourg, employee representations happens on two levels: mandatory and voluntary. On the one hand, registration in one of the 5 professional chambers is mandatory. On the other hand, employees also have the option of affiliating with one of the voluntary representations, the unions.
The principle of union freedom is enshrined in article 11 of the Constitution. The law organises social security, health coverage and recreational time for the employees and 'guarantees the freedom of trade unions.'
The rate of employees in the Grand Duchy being member of a trade union is at 30% (2015).
By the Law of 12 June 1965 the trade unions received the right to conclude collective agreements, subject to certain conditions of national and sectoral representation.
The new Law of 30 June 2004 regulates labour relations. This material has now been included in the new Labour Code (Code du travail).
Every five years, social elections are organised, where every employee of the Grand Duchy votes the representatives of the sector in which he works.
Three categories of persons are to be elected:
- representatives for the health insurance funds;
- representatives for the professional chambers;
- staff representatives within companies.
The main trade union confederations
Luxembourg trade unions mainly consists of the following major confederations: the CGFP, FNCTTFEL, LCGB, OGB-L. Added to this are the FGFC and ALEBA.
Confédération générale de la fonction publique (CGFP)
Founded in 1909, the only representative public service trade union at the national level, the General Confederation of the Civil Service (CGFP) has about 17,000 members, all of whom are civil servants or public employees. Multiple professional organisations and associations regrouping public agents are affiliated to them. CGFP is affiliated to the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (Confédération Européenne des Syndicats Indépendants, CESI).
FNCTTFEL — Landesverband
The National Federation of Railroad Workers, Transport Workers, Civil Servants and Employees (Fédération nationale des cheminots, travailleurs du transport, fonctionnaires et employés, Luxembourg, FNCTTFEL, commonly called the 'Landesverband'), whose foundation also dates back to 1909, is open to all workers and represents the interests of active and retired railroad, public service and public transportation personnel. Its activities are marked by complete political and religious neutrality.
Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtleche Gewerkschaftsbond (LCGB)
The Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB) is open to all employees. The LCGB is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Onofhängege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg (OGB-L)
The Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGB-L) is a confederation of trade unions open to all employees. It is divided into 15 professional trade unions, according to the different employee groups. The OGB-L is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Association Luxembourgeoise des Employés de Banque et Assurance (ALEBA)
Founded in 1918 as a professional association of bank employees, the Luxembourg Association of Banking and Insurance Employees (ALEBA) has a culture rich in tradition and focused on the specifics of the financial sector. It works independently of all political influence.
Fédération générale de la fonction communale (FGFC)
Founded in 1912, the General Federation of the Municipal Administration (FGFC) is a union uniting local and professional organisations of municipal administrative staff and public institutions overseen by the municipalities. The FGFC represents more than 4,200 civil servants and municipal employees and carries out its work without any consideration of politics or ideology.
Confédération générale du travail du Luxembourg (CGT-L)
OGB-L and FNCTTFEL are united in the General Confederation of Work in Luxembourg (CGT-L). CGT-L's only impact is on the supranational level. Indeed, it does not have members in the company councils, does not sign collective agreements and is not involved in social elections. However, it participates in official national consultations, together with the three unions it unites.