The pay stability which has served to underpin Ireland's various national
programmes since 1987 could unravel if recent public sector pay disputes
involving nurses, the police and transport employees are not resolved within
the confines of the current three-year Partnership 2000  (P2000) national
agreement (IE9702103F ).
Casual agricultural workers in Spain are covered by a separate system of
unemployment protection. Trade union calls to include them in the general
system have so far not borne fruit, and in spring and summer 1999, there have
been mobilisations of agricultural workers in protest. The debate between
supporters and detractors of a special protection regime for these workers
has been reopened.
On 6 September 1999, approximately 12 000 employees in the offshore
oil-production industry took strike action against the government's apparent
lack of initiative vis-à-vis the present crisis in the Norwegian oil sector.
There is growing uncertainty about the state of affairs in the sector, which
has generated a low rate of investments among oil companies operating on the
Norwegian continental shelf. As a consequence, significant increases in
unemployment are expected in the near future. The industries supplying oil-
and gas-related technology and products are already witnessing a crisis, with
empty order-books and approximately 4,000 employees made redundant or laid
off. The initiative to strike was taken by trade union representatives at
three large offshore companies, Aker Maritime, Kværner and Umoe Haugesund,
and followed two previous political strikes on 20 May and 1 June 1999.
Members of unions including the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions
(Fellesforbundet) and the Norwegian Oil and Petrochemical Workers Union
(Norsk Olje- og Petrokjemisk Fagforbund, NOPEF) took part in the strike,
which went ahead despite the government's proposed crisis package made public
on 3 September 1999.
Before Portugal's general election on 10 October 1999, the main political
parties set out their policies on social, employment and labour issues.
Themes such as employment creation, training and equal opportunities were
highlighted in nearly all party programmes.
Given an increasing amount of contracting out of public services and the
privatisation of state-owned corporations, and after a freeze on the new
employment of public servants which has so far lasted two years, it seems
there is no future for trade unions in solely organising public servants and
other employees in the public sector. The large public sector trade unions
have drawn this lesson and have, so to speak, moved with their old members
into the private sector, representing more and more private sector workers.
This has caused discord within the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) (DK9709129F ).
At its annual conference held in September 1999 (UK9909128N ), the Trades
Union Congress (TUC) gave strong backing to a motion  urging the
government to prepare for early UK entry into the single European currency,
despite misgivings on the part of some major unions. Delegates voted for a
motion which supported the UK having "the option of actively pursuing [euro]
entry early in the new decade through action to bring the UK economic cycle
more closely into line with that of our EU partners".
At the beginning of September 1999, Italy's Radicals political party
announced that it had collected enough signatures to hold 20 referenda in
spring 2000, with the aim of repealing various legislative provisions. Many
of the issues covered by the referenda concern trade union or labour issues,
like the collection of trade union membership dues, or individual dismissal
procedures. The trade union confederations are firmly opposed to the
Radicals' initiative, which they regard as "anti-union".
In September 1999, the Dutch petroleum company, NAM, announced a sweeping
reorganisation that could cut 450 jobs from its 2,500-strong workforce. The
trade unions expressed their intention to fight the plan vigorously. NAM,
which is based in the Netherlands' northern provinces, provides a significant
portion of employment in the region and also generates employment outside the
company. Provincial authorities responded to the plan with disappointment.
The European Commission decided at the end of July 1999 to launch or pursue
proceedings against a number of Member States in relation to poor
implementation of Community Directives in the social field. This relates
particularly to the pregnant workers' Directive (92/85/EEC) , the
Directive on minimum health and safety requirements applicable to the use of
equipment by workers (89/655/EEC) , the transfer of undertakings Directive
(77/187/EEC , amended by 98/59/EC ) and Directives on collective
redundancies (now consolidated in 98/59/EC ).
Eurofound's representativeness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
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 ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
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.