Social partners

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'Definition' Employers' associations and trade unions forming the two sides of social dialogue. Sometimes the government is included due to the tripartism.


'Origination' 1.The concept of ‘social partner’ originates in France and Germany and was subsequently taken up in EU circles,then it spread to the whole world.

2.The concept of ‘social partner’ initially originates from Industrial Revolution owing to the disorder and dispute between employers and employees.

After the World War II, many opinions sprang up about social partner. They advocate ‘Peace-oriented’and respecting representative of others side.

3.Primary Union law for the first time refers to the notion of ‘social partners’ in Article152 TFEU: ‘The Union recognises and promotes the role of the social partners at its level, taking into account the diversity of national systems. It shall facilitate dialogue between the social partners, respecting their autonomy.’


'Process' With the approaching of globalization, companies must bear more pressure from the competitive between countries, more issues coming up such as the environment issue, the society problem and the income distribution problem after the globalization.

At the same time, new technology had replaced the status of traditional industries that cause structural unemployment to amount of the Low-skill labors.

Also the relation between employee and employer become more complicated as the atypical employment turn into main stream in the employment market。Because of these circumstances, relation between labor and employer has become more like partners. And this new idea of social partners had taken shape through International Labor Organization (ILO1) and Europe social partnership system.

But there are quite few research and example about social partners in the US,the reason is that noun ”social partner” come up after WW2, that made European understand the importance of peace in every way, this new concept helped Europe rebuild the economy after the damage of war.

There is an inextricable connection between social partners and social dialogue, but what makes a good social dialogue? 1. Powerful and independent organization of labor and employer 2. Both employee and employer have the willing to talk equally 3. Respect the freedom of association and the collective bargaining 4. Appropriate institutional support


'Influence' The Treaty of Lisbon (Article 152 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU) recognises the role of the social partners in labour relations and European social dialogue.

They represent their members during consultations with the Commission and the negotiation of collective agreements.

They also sit with the European Economic and Social Committee, alongside other organisations representing civil society.

The social partners play a key role in implementing the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, by launching projects and initiatives at European and national level.

European social partners have had a considerable influence on the preparation of the following Commission proposals: • Revamping the rules to protect EU workers from harmful electromagnetic fields; • The new framework Directive on the establishment of the European Works Councils; • The Directive implementing the revised Framework Agreement on parental leave; • The recommendation on a smoke-free environment


'Countries for instance' 1. Poland: The role of governments and social partners in keeping older workers in the labour market In view of Poland’s ranking as lowest in the EU professional activity indicators for people aged 45+, the government and social partners see the need for actions boosting occupational development of this group.

Poland has a universal plan called ‘Generations’ Solidarity: Actions for Increasing Occupational Activity of People Aged 50+’, developed within the social dialogue institutions. So far it has been implemented through legislation, most importantly with regard to the pension system, and specifically raising and equalising the statutory retirement age for men and women and restricting access to early retirement schemes. Very few actions revolve around improving the quality of work of older workers.

2. Korea Labor Foundation, which was founded in April 2007 under the tripartite consensus on the importance of social partners' autonomous contribution to a more stable and advanced labor relations, is one and the only public institution that is engaged in the programs and activities to promote the labor relations in Korea.

The programs and activities of the Foundation, which are all designed to help and guide social partners to work together with responsibility and for their common benefits, include: financial assistance for social partnership education and joint programs; workplace innovation consulting to increase competitiveness at workplace; employment generation, by creating selective worktime jobs, improving the long work practice and promoting flexible work schemes; outplacement services for retirees in their 40s or older; counseling and education to prevent and remedy unreasonable discrimination in employment; and international exchanges in the field of labor relations.

3. Portuguese The Portuguese government is meeting its social partners on Monday to discuss the latest assessment of the debt-laden country's implementation of its 78 billion euros (107.7 billion U.S. dollars) bailout program.

The troika of international creditors—European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) -- will arrive in Lisbon on Tuesday.

Portugal passed its 11th review in January but had to present further cuts of 1.4 billion euros to close the assessment. The deal was finally concluded last Friday, after which the IMF approved the country's next tranche of 851 million euros that Portugal will receive on June 29.

After meeting with social partners, the Portuguese government will issue its first long-term debt since 2011. Its plan is to issue between 500 million euros and 750 million euros in 10-year bonds.

Portugal has seen a successful string of bond sales recently, but it will be its first time issuing long-term debt without a banking syndicate. The country attracted strong demand during its last bond issue in January.

During the financial crisis, Portugal was considered risky for investors due to its high debt burden. But recent bond sales are a sign the worst is over as the country nears the end of its bailout program signed with the troika in May 2011.

Portugal is due to end the three-year financial package on May 17.


'Role of social partners' Social partners have a vital role to play in reaching out to workers and owners of enterprises and in particular those of SMEs and the informal economy, and in general, increasing the representation of their membership to ensure deeper and broader benefits of association, representation and leadership, including in the field of public policy advocacy, its formulation and implementation.


Questions in Taiwan:'''' Why does the concept of social partner seldom exist in Taiwan? Because the act of social dialogue does not enact in Taiwan,and lacking of law results in the consequence. In contrast, the act of social dialogue had been enacted in European Union in early years.


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