02 October 2000
The European Works Councils Directive came into force on 22 September 1996. This report examines the content of Article 6 agreements concluded following the adoption of the Directive and compares them with the voluntary agreements under Article 13, which were negotiated prior to September 1996. This is the third collaborative report on EWCs produced by the European Commission and the Foundation. It is intended to serve as a useful tool for the social partners in their negotiation of EWC agreements.
03 April 2000
EIRObserver is the bi-monthly bulletin of the European Industrial Relations Observatory. It contains an edited selection of feature and news items, based on some of the reports supplied for the EIROnline database over each two-month period. On top of this, EIRO also conducts comparative research on specific themes. This issue's comparative supplement looks at recent developments in industrial relations in the rail transport sector against the backdrop of major restructuring. It examines the industry's changing structure, the key aspects of industrial relations, the main contents of collective bargaining and industrial conflict and its regulation. The study finds falling employment levels everywhere, changes in employee status in some countries, the development of new bargaining and representation structures, and varying levels of conflict.
27 March 2000
Industrial action - strikes, lock-outs etc - is perhaps the most high-profile aspect of industrial relations, at least in terms of media coverage and public impact and attention. It is also an area where international comparisons are notoriously difficult. This is largely because the way in which statistics are produced differs greatly between countries, with the definition of the industrial action recorded varying considerably, and the data being collected by a variety of official and other bodies. For example, criteria for inclusion in the statistics may vary in terms of: the length of the industrial action required before the action is recorded; the number of workers who must be involved for the action to be recorded; the nature of the industrial action involved; or whether or not the action is official or unofficial. Some countries measure hours lost due to industrial action, while others measure days. Some countries do not appear to produce any statistics for some of the indicators of industrial action. Acknowledging these problems, in 1993, the ILO's International Conference of Labour Statisticians adopted a resolution  setting out a uniform set of definitions for the recording of statistics related to labour disputes, but it does not appear that this has been adopted in all EU Member States.  http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/res/strikes.htm
27 February 2000
Pay, of course, is at the centre of collective bargaining and many other aspects of industrial relations. It is also an area where international comparisons are of considerable and growing interest for practitioners, policy-makers and researchers, not least as EU Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) proceeds (notably through the introduction of the euro single currency) and economic globalisation deepens. However, at the same time, pay is an area where meaningful international comparisons - always problematic in the area of industrial relations statistics - are particularly difficult. The differences in national systems of pay formation, industrial relations, taxation and social security, and the divergent ways in which pay-related statistics are collected and presented, mean that there is a formidable array of pitfalls awaiting those who attempt to draw comparisons between countries.
27 February 2000
The length of working time has been a core issue in collective bargaining and labour law since their inception. At various times, the working time debate has focused on health and safety, the quality of life and, especially in recent years, employment creation and competitiveness. The relationship between the duration of working time and its organisation has been a key issue in recent years, with many cases of employers trading cuts in working hours for greater flexibility. Working time is also one of the areas of employment conditions where the EU has intervened through legislation, principally the 1993 Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time , which, among other provisions, set a maximum 48-hour working week.  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=31993L0104&model=guichett
24 January 2000
EIRObserver is the bi-monthly bulletin of the European Industrial Relations Observatory. It contains an edited selection of feature and news items, based on some of the reports supplied for the EIROnline database over each two-month period. On top of this, EIRO also conducts comparative research on specific themes. This issue's comparative supplement provides brief information on the extent of temporary agency work; examines the extent to which this form of employment is regulated by law and/or collective bargaining; outlines the key points of regulation; and looks at the views of the social partners.
07 June 1999
EIRObserver is the bi-monthly bulletin of the European Industrial Relations Observatory. It contains an edited selection of feature and news items, based on some of the reports supplied for the EIROnline database over each two-month period. On top of this, EIRO also conducts comparative research on specific themes. This issue includes a comparative supplement on industrial relations in SMEs.
27 January 1998
/EIROnline/ is a database on industrial relations in Europe which can be accessed directly through a website on the Worldwide Web. Speaking at the launch event held in Brussels on 22 January 1998, Pádraig Flynn, the member of the European Commission responsible for employment, social affairs and industrial relations said that: "I am convinced that EIROnline will be an invaluable resource for social partners, governments and EU institutions, not to mention all EU citizens with an interest in industrial relations." Mr Flynn added that "in today's ever more integrated European economy, where employment is the number one priority, industrial relations are increasingly important and practitioners and policy-makers need to keep up with developments in this field in all the countries of the Union. EIROnline goes a long way towards meeting these needs."
27 November 1997
In a globalised market, new forms of work organisation and workplace partnership are increasingly becoming a prerequisite for competitiveness and employment in high-wage economies. In Europe, there has been a significant increase since the beginning of the 1990s in a variety of new forms of work organisation with strong direct participation of employees. In four out of five workplaces in Europe management either encourages employees to make their views known on work-related matters - via "continuous improvement" programmes, for example - or gives employees increased responsibility to organise their jobs - via semi-autonomous work-groups, for instance. However, Europe still lags significantly behind its main competitors in the USA and Japan in terms of the scope and integration of different organisational change measures.