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  • Article
    17 Srpen 2003

    In July 2003, a large-scale strike occurred at the Belgian Post Office,
    triggered by the implementation of a new system for organising delivery
    rounds, which is one of 10 measures being introduced by management in the
    context of the EU-wide liberalisation of the postal sector. At the end of the
    month, trade unions and management concluded a pre-agreement that halted
    industrial action until mid-September, when the outcome of further
    negotiations will be known.

  • Article
    17 Srpen 2003

    There are currently almost 10,000 private security companies employing some
    600,000 people within the existing borders of the EU, and these figures will
    be roughly doubled when the Union is enlarged. A European-level social
    dialogue process has been underway in the sector for around a decade
    (EU9906179F [1]), with a formal sectoral dialogue committee in place since
    1999, resulting in the conclusion of a number of joint texts by the
    Confederation of European Security Services (CoESS), representing employers
    in the industry, and UNI-Europa, the European regional organisation of Union
    Network International (UNI), representing trade unions. On 18 July 2003, the
    two organisations signed a code of conduct [2], reflecting a belief that the
    rules governing their sector need to be harmonised across the EU and that
    this will be particularly important when 10 new Member States join the EU in
    May 2004. At the moment, national regulations and practices vary widely
    between Member States and are sometimes, in the social partners' view,
    inadequate or even non-existent, with the result that there are huge
    variations in the quality of service provided and that the sector is unable
    to take full advantage of European integration.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/joint-social-partner-conference-highlights-challenges-facing-european-private-security-industry
    [2] http://www.coess.org/documents/code_de_conduite.pdf

  • Article
    17 Srpen 2003

    Around 500 British Airways (BA) customer service workers, including check-in
    and ticket-desk staff, went on strike at the company’s Heathrow hub on 18
    July 2003, in protest at the introduction of an automated swipe-card system
    for recording their attendance. The strike led to the cancellation or
    diversion of more than 500 flights affecting some 100,000 passengers, many of
    whom were left stranded at the airport. Staff returned to work after two days
    but the disruption continued as the company struggled to reposition aircraft
    and crew. Three unions had members involved in the stoppage, the Transport
    and General Workers’ Union (TGWU), GMB and Amicus, though the strike was
    unofficial and not endorsed by them. There were threats to escalate the
    dispute by balloting members for further industrial action. However, talks
    between BA and the unions continued until a settlement was reached on 30
    July.

  • Article
    17 Srpen 2003

    In the light of the fact that the European Union will admit 10 new Member
    States in May 2004, thus enlarging its membership from 15 to 25 countries,
    work has been progressing on a revision of the various EU Treaties. The aim
    is mainly to streamline the workings of the EU but also to simplify the
    Treaties and make the EU more accessible to its citizens. The European
    Convention- chaired by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the former French
    President - was charged with reviewing the Treaties and proposing changes.
    The Convention [1] began its work in February 2002 (EU0305203N [2] and
    EU0201231N [3]) and concluded it with the presentation of a complete draft of
    a new constitutional Treaty in the summer of 2003. A preliminary version of
    the draft was submitted to the Thessaloniki European Council meeting in June
    2003 (EU0307204F [4]), after which a final version was published on 10 July
    2003 and submitted to the President of the European Council in Rome on 18
    July.

    [1] http://european-convention.eu.int/index.asp
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/european-convention-issues-draft-reform-proposals
    [3] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/laeken-council-endorses-employment-strategy-and-prepares-for-further-treaty-reform
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/draft-eu-constitution-presented-to-thessaloniki-council

  • Article
    14 Srpen 2003

    On 13 June 2003, after a lengthy negotiating process in which the public
    conciliator became involved, the Estonian Hospitals Association (Eesti
    Haiglate Liit, EHL [1]) employers’ organisation and three trade unions -
    the Estonian Medical Association (Eesti Arstide Liit, EAL [2]), the Trade
    Union Association of Health Officers of Estonia (Eesti Keskastme
    Tervishoiutöötajate Kutseliit, EKTK [3]) and the Federation of Estonian
    Health Care Professionals Unions (Tervishoiutöötajate Ametiühingute Liit,
    ETTAL [4]) - signed a pay agreement for healthcare workers. The main
    objective of the agreement is to set minimum wage rates for the various
    categories of employee and to harmonise differences in minimum wages between
    regions and different types of hospitals. According to the new agreement, the
    hourly minimum wages were to increase to EEK 50 for doctors (a 25% increase),
    EEK 25 for nurses and EEK 16 for care assistants (an 18.5% increase) from 1
    July 2003, assuming that the reference prices for medical services increased
    simultaneously. This increase in reference prices would enable the Estonian
    Health Insurance Fund [5] (Eesti Haigekassa) to find the additional money
    required for the agreed wage increases.

    [1] http://www.haiglateliit.ee/
    [2] http://www.arstideliit.ee/
    [3] http://www.kutseliit.ee/
    [4] http://www.hot.ee/ettal
    [5] http://www.haigekassa.ee/

  • CAR
    13 Srpen 2003

    The comparative study was compiled on the basis of individual national
    reports submitted by EIRO's national centres. The text of each of these
    national reports is available below in Word format. The reports have not been
    edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living
    and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a
    questionnaire [1] and should be read in conjunction with it.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/sites/default/files/ef_files/eiro/2002/08/word/tn0204q.doc

  • CAR
    13 Srpen 2003

    The comparative study was compiled on the basis of individual national
    reports submitted by EIRO's national centres. The text of each of these
    national reports is available below in Word format. The reports have not been
    edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living
    and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a
    questionnaire [1] and should be read in conjunction with it.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/sites/default/files/ef_files/eiro/2002/08/word/tn0204q.doc

  • Article
    13 Srpen 2003

    Following several years of steady growth in sickness absence levels, new
    figures [1] published by Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå, SSB) in
    summer 2003 show that the growth came to a halt in the year to the first
    quarter of 2003. Furthermore, figures produced by the Federation of Norwegian
    Process Industries (Prosessindustriens Landsforening, PIL), a member
    association of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry
    (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO), indicate a marked decline in the
    number of working days lost due to sickness absence in companies that have
    entered into so-called 'inclusive working life' agreements.

    [1] http://www.ssb.no/sykefratot/

  • Article
    13 Srpen 2003

    On 30 June 2003, a new collective agreement for electricians was concluded by
    the Swedish Electricians' Union (Svenska Elektrikerförbundet, SEF) and the
    Swedish Electric Contractors' Association (Svenska Elektriska
    Installatörsorganisationen, EIO), ending several months of negotiations,
    mediation and industrial action. SEF had cancelled the previous collective
    agreement a year in advance, as permitted by the agreement, and presented a
    list of 29 demands to the employers. The most important of the demands
    related to decreasing stress in the building sector, where electricians are
    reportedly being given less and less time to perform their work, which occurs
    towards the end of the building process. EIO immediately rejected the union's
    demands. Mediators were called in and drew up a proposal that was rejected by
    SEF in late April 2003. The negotiations seemed to have reached a deadlock .

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