Labour Research July 2011

European news

Members’ subs deliver bulk of confederation’s income

Just over three-quarters of the income of the CFDT, one of France’s main trade union confederations, is made up of members’ subscriptions and other income generated by the union, such as rents and sales of publications.

While 76% of the CFDT’s income was made up this way in 2010, only a quarter (24%) came from non-union sources — primarily the government and, indirectly, the employers.

This is one of the key details to emerge from the CFDT’s 2010 accounts which, for the first time under new rules, have had to be certified and published.

The new obligation to provide these figures is the result of legislation passed in 2008.

This requires unions and employers’ organisations to provide details of their financial affairs.

The accounts published by the CFDT, the first of the big union confederations to do so, show that members’ subscriptions are the source of the bulk of the confederation’s income.

The 24% coming from non-union sources comes from payments received from the government for trade union training, and for union involvement in joint bodies, such as the unemployment insurance agency Unédic.

It also takes account of individuals who, under the French system of time off for trade union duties, continue to be paid by their employer but work full-time for the confederation nationally.

In total, 25 of the confederation’s 263 employees — just under 10% — are in this position.