The first Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for insurance industry employees was signed on 17th May 1967 between:
- La Baloise-Incendie Luxembourg, represented by Mr Alphonse Osch
- Le Foyer S.A, represented by Mr Marc Lambert, CEO and M. Jules Keip, Director
- La Luxembourgeoise S.A., represented by Mr Tony Biever, President and Mr Robert Hentgen, Managing Director
on the one hand, and
- The Fédération des Employés Privés (FEP), represented by Mr Roger Theisen, President and Mr Marcel Wahl, Vice-President ALEBA (ALEBA had joined FEP after the Second World War, continuing to maintain a degree of independence, while remaining closely linked to FEP. FEP no longer exists)
on the other hand.
This CLA came into effect retroactively from 1st January 1967, running for two years.
This, and all subsequent CLAs have never been signed before the date they enter into force (i.e. generally 1st January).
The first CLA introduced a range of important measures: setting the amount of annual leave (e.g. 16.5 days for employees aged under 30 years); special holiday entitlement; four role groups to classify the various job descriptions; a household allowance; a thirteenth month; and additional night-work payments.
Insurance and banking CLAs were initially quite similar, but over time they have evolved to adapt to important sectoral differences and new circumstances. Thus different articles were added and removed over time to give the agreements we have today.
For many, the CLA is mainly about financial matters, such as the conjunctural bonus. However, it is important to recognise how it also works to preserve jobs and protect employees in the insurance sector.
The CLA has evolved substantially over the years: remuneration based on educational achievement; the introduction of 13 role groups, rather than four, before reverting to six; changing the household allowance into a bonus based on seniority; protection against redundancy by the doubling of notice periods for dismissal for economic reasons; additional leave days; the right to training; flexitime etc.
There was a substantial change with the signature of the 1999 CLA. The unions had to accept the same remuneration system as had been introduced in the banking sector in 1993. This came about when the President of the ABBL signed an agreement with a very small financial sector trade union, without reference to other social partners. This had negative consequences for employees. This agreement established the principle of performance assessments based simply on the manager’s discretion. This is still in force today.
Another change was due to the persistent poor performance of the financial markets. Requirements linked to employee well-being gained in prominence and importance. This includes special leave, more authorized absences from the office, increased union-work leave, and so on.
Once again this year, ALEBA will be the lead union in the coming negotiations. As ever, we will defend the interests of all those working in the insurance industry. We have called on members and other employees to give their opinions about the CLA, and this enable us to better reflect their wishes when we are negotiating with management.
ALEBA will use your opinions to complete our list of demands.