The industrial restructuring plan announced in July 1999 by Tabacalera, the
Spanish tobacco firm, will involve a reduction in the number of factories and
a 15% reduction in the workforce. The plan has met with a negative response
from the trade unions, the regions affected and the government.
The reduction in the level of unemployment in France over the past two years
accelerated during July 1999. This development has fuelled government
optimism, but trade unions and employers' organisations were more varied in
In July 1999, as part of an investigation into the employment and industrial
relations implications for the UK of EU Economic and Monetary Union (EMU),
and specifically the single currency, the House of Commons employment
subcommittee heard evidence from senior management representatives of two
leading manufacturing companies in the UK - Unilever and Vauxhall Motors.
Following a meeting with the governor and deputy governor of the Bank of
England in May, which explored the macroeconomic implications of EMU, the
Members of Parliament (MP s) on the subcommittee were keen to discuss the
practical implications for firms in the UK. The witnesses invited to give
evidence were Bruce Warman, director of personnel at GM Vauxhall Motors UK,
Richard Greenhalgh, chair of Unilever-UK Ltd, and Michael Samuel, UK national
finance director of Unilever plc.
In September 1999, the closure was announced of Op Computer, an important
Italian information technology company, created two years previously from a
division of Olivetti. The courts decided not to grant any further reprieves
to the company's management and declared the firm bankrupt. Workers then
occupied the premises in protest.
The Netherlands' 1996 Working Time Act granted hospitals until 1 January 1999
to meet its requirements. In summer 1999, the health and safety inspectorate
drew up an official report on nine hospitals that had still not properly
arranged their schedules in line with the Act. The long working weeks of
physicians' assistants raised special concern, partly due to the fact that
their schedules are modelled on specialists' working weeks. Occupational
disability amongst this category has risen dramatically over recent years,
particularly due to emotional problems resulting from excessive on-the-job
pressure. Preventive measures, including a more normal working week, are now
The way now seems to be clear for the creation of Union Network International
(UNI), bringing together four existing International Trade Secretariats: the
International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical
Employees (FIET); the Communications International (CI); the Media and
Entertainment International (MEI); and the International Graphical Federation
(IGF). The new "super-union" would bring together up to 800 unions with over
15 million members from more than 140 countries around the globe in the
rapidly converging fields of new technology, communications and services.
Comparative Study 
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  and should be read in conjunction with it.
In autumn 1999, a law revising the Labour Procedural Code has been approved
by Portugal's Council of Ministers and now awaits affirmation by the
President of the Republic and official publication. The upcoming changes in
procedures for court cases on labour and employment issues involves a
considerable broadening of trade unions' abilities to act in such cases.
In Germany, collective agreements are directly binding only for the members
of the trade union and the members of the employers' association (or the
individual company) signing the agreement. By means of an official procedure
called an "order imposing extension" (Allgemeinverbindlicherklärung),
however, the applicability of an existing collective agreement can be
extended to include employees and employers not bound by the agreement. Such
a generally applicable agreement then has the same direct and mandatory force
for these employees and employers as it has for the employment relationships
already bound by the agreement by virtue of membership of a signatory
organisation. The rationale behind this incorporation of non-union members
and non-organised employers is that otherwise there could be a situation
where many employees were not covered by any collective agreement, especially
in sectors such as the building industry or retail trade with a large number
of small enterprises whose owners are not members of any association.
In early September 1999, the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE)
presented its positions on pensions. The trade unions downplay the importance
of demographic trends, taken alone, and stress the importance of economic
policy and renewal of the labour force.
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 2003, the first edition of the survey.
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 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
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 2012, the third 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 2005, the fourth 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 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the textiles and clothing sector in the EU Member States.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.