On 13 August 2003, the police raided the Fredericia shipyard and seven
illegal workers – five Polish and two Philippine nationals – were
arrested. This action was the result of several months’ investigation based
on information from an alleged organiser of a network of illegal workers. The
raid followed a tip-off from the local branch of the General Workers’ Union
(Specialarbejderforbundet i Danmark, SiD) which had discovered that illegal
workers employed by a subcontractor were to work on the surface treatment of
a ship. The illegal workers at Fredericia were paid around DKK 45 per hour,
irrespective of the time of the day and the day of the week when they were
working. This is about one-third of the wage paid to Danish workers under the
relevant collective agreements.
Special 'tripartite sector teams', made up of representatives of the social
partners and government, have been created in Poland since the 1990s to deal
with the problems of selected industries (such as coal mining, metalworking
and power generation) facing restructuring, privatisation and reorganisation.
The teams are responsible for drawing up guidelines on restructuring within
these sectors, including 'social packages' for employees. This article
examines the operation of the tripartite sector teams up until the end of
The Union of Wood, Industrial and Building Workers (Træ-Industri-Byg, TIB)
has announced that it will establish an affiliated organisation to recruit as
trade union members self-employed 'sole operators' working in the
construction industry. These sole operators work alone without any employees
and do not meet the conditions to be considered as companies, as all they
provide is their own labour - ie in reality they work as normal wage earners
(they are known as 'arme og ben-firmaer', or 'arms and legs firms'). TIB
estimates that there are around 11,000 such sole operators, and the number is
increasing. According to the union, their presence in the industry results in
'dumping' in terms of prices and safety. Typically, they work at lower wages
than employees covered by a collective agreement, and TIB and the trade union
bargaining cartel in building and construction, (Bygge-, Anlægs- og
Trækartellet, BAT-kartellet) see this as a serious problem. Together the
unions are aiming to combat this phenomenon, both through unionising the more
'serious' of the self-employed sole operators and closing down the less
serious 'arms and legs firms'.
On 30 April 2003, the centre-right coalition government published a
parliamentary white paper on family policy, in which it recommends changes to
the present regulations on parental leave (St Meld. nr 29 (2002-3) ). The
main objective of the government’s proposals is to encourage men to spend
more time at home with their children. To this end, it proposes to extend the
so-called 'father quota', which is the part of the parental leave period
reserved for the father. It also proposes to improve the compensation level
for self-employed women during parental leave .
From 1 July 2003, the Labour Code of the Republic of Hungary was amended by
Act XX of 2003. The modifications include the transposition of five European
Union Directives on: working time (2000/34/EC ); fixed-term work
(1999/70/EC ); part-time work (1997/81/EC ); transfers of undertakings
(2001/23/EC ); and the working time of seafarers (1999/63/EC ).
Since the coalition government of the conservative People’s Party
(Österreichische Volkspartei, ÖVP) and the populist Freedom Party
(Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) took office for the first time in
February 2000 (it started a second term in February 2003), it has launched
several initiatives to restructure the state-owned Austrian Federal Railways
(Österreichische Bundesbahnen, ÖBB). The government’s aim has been to
reduce the financial burden on the state arising from its legal obligation to
compensate for ÖBB’s deficits. However, so far the two governing parties
have not managed to reach a joint agreement on how to reorganise this public
company. Recent ÖVP plans (presented in January 2003) to transform ÖBB into
a holding company, heading several independently-operating enterprises
specialising in sales, infrastructure, financing, personnel management etc,
were strongly opposed by the Union of Railway Employees (Gewerkschaft der
Eisenbahner, GdE) (AT0302201N ). The union argues that splitting up ÖBB
would pave the way for the privatisation and sell-off of the company’s
divisions one by one. With GdE threatening industrial action in the event of
ÖBB being dismantled (AT0211201N ), restructuring measures such as those
planned by ÖVP and – in principle – supported by the management have
hitherto been blocked.
The total number of women in employment (employees and self-employed)
increased by more than 1.7 million in the period from 1995 to 2002, according
to a study providing an overview of major labour market trends for the whole
of Germany since unification in 1990, published by the German Federal
Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland, Destatis) in July
2003 (German labour market trends. In the spotlight , Destatis, 2003). At
the same time, the share of women in overall employment has been growing
constantly since the mid-1990s. The report argues that these increases
reflect a general trend towards a decreasing gap between men and women in the
German labour market, although the total female employment rate has not yet
reached the male level. However, data from the 2002 EU Labour Force Survey
indicate that regional discrepancies still prevail: in the western part of
the country, about 46% of women aged between 15 and 65 were in employment (ie
either self-employed or an employee), compared with 61% of men; while in the
east of Germany, this difference was less pronounced with some 44% of the
female population and 53% of the male population in employment.
On 27 May 2003, representatives of all trade unions affiliated to the the
Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB)
signed a package ofnational cross-sector collective agreements  for
temporary agency workers with the Federal Association of Temporary Employment
Agencies (Bundesverband Zeitarbeit Personal-Dienstleistungen, BZA), whose
members include some of the major companies in the sector. Thepackage 
consists of a general framework collective agreement on employment conditions
(Manteltarifvertrag) - the final version of which was signed on 11 June 2003
- a framework collective agreement on pay grades (Entgeltrahmentarifvertrag)
and a collective agreement on pay (Entgelttarifvertrag). Two days later, on
29 May 2003, a similarpackage  of collective agreements was agreed by the
DGB affiliates and a second employers' association, the Association of German
Temporary Employment Agencies (Interessengemeinschaft Deutscher
Zeitarbeitsunternehmen, iGZ), representing a number of small and medium-sized
July 2003 saw a wave of protests by trade unions represented at Polish
National Railways (PKP) against the planned closure of loss-making local
services. Faced with the unions' threat of a general rail strike, PKP
management and the government agreed to cut the number of services to be
axed. However, the continuing restructuring of PKP, which is facing major
financial difficulties, suggests that further unrest cannot be ruled out.
A study published jointly in June 2003 by the Research Institute for the
Finnish Economy (Elinkeinoelämän tutkimuslaitos, ETLA) and the Labour
Institute for Economic Research (Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos) examines views
on the Finnish wage bargaining system. The study, based on a questionnaire
survey, asked employers and three categories of employees - blue-collar
workers, white-collar workers and higher-level workers - about their views on
the present system and its future development. The same questions were also
put to private and public sector social partner organisations. The questions
dealt with issues including local bargaining, profit-sharing, taxation and
social security. The firms concerned were examined in terms of 12 variables,
including size, sector, ownership, international activities, workforce age
structure and share of women and temporary employees in the workforce.
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
This series brings together publications and other outputs of the European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which tracks structural change in European labour markets. The EJM analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels, etc.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2016, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2015, the sixth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 1996, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2001, which was an extension of the EWCS 2000 to cover the then 12 acceding and candidate countries. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2000, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the first edition of the survey carried out in 2004–2005 under the name European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.