The Norwegian government appointed new members to the Technical Calculating
Committee on Income Settlements (Teknisk Beregningsutvalg for
Inntektsoppgjørene, TBU) on 25 June 1999, an event which saw the inclusion
of additional representatives from social partner organisations. The TBU is a
body which works out a common analytical basis for wage settlements by, among
other things, estimating wage growth and the wage "carry-over" in different
sectors. The committee also provides evaluations of issues such as
developments in real income and national competitiveness. The committee does
not, however, comment on the coming wage settlements.
In early June 1999, British Steel and the Dutch steel producer Hoogovens
announced their intention to merge in a deal valued at GBP 3.9 billion. The
merged entity will be the largest steel firm in Europe and the third biggest
in the world, producing 22.5 million tonnes of steel per year. As the larger
of the two parties, British Steel's shareholders will hold a 61.7% stake in
the new group, while those of Hoogovens, including the Dutch government, will
hold the remainder. The merger follows other cross-border tie-ups in the
European steel industry: Usinor of France has joined forces with
Cockerill-Sambre of Belgium (BE9812158N ), while Arbed of Luxembourg and
Aceralia of Spain have also merged.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO)
reportedly wants to change the fundamental structure of Danish industrial
relations, according to a proposal which is still before the confederation's
executive committee for approval. It seeks the abolition of the employers'
right to direct and divide the work, enshrined in the basic agreement 
(hovedaftalen) with the Danish Employers' Confederation (Dansk
Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) which determines the fundamental rules of the
labour market, as well as a wider revision of the agreement. The background
to this proposal, entitled /Welfare is an obligation/, is that LO wants
greater flexibility in industrial relations, whereby employees and employer
at the individual workplace level would enter into a contract which
determines the quantity of work the employees have to perform and the payment
for this work. It is stated in the introduction to the proposal that "this
contract should also deal with the working environment, social
considerations, the division of profits etc. Accordingly, it would be up to
the wage earners collectively to direct and divide the work and the payment".
On 20 April 1999, the first senate of the German Federal Labour Court
(Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) issued a judgment (/1 ABR 72/98/) which
acknowledged the right of trade unions to bring court cases against employers
which they accuse of operating a company arrangement that contravenes a
collective agreement in force. In July 1999, the BAG published a
comprehensive written statement in which it sets out the reasons for its
judgment. According to the statement, trade unions have the right to ask that
employers cease an unlawful company arrangement in order to safeguard the
unions' constitutional right to freedom of association 
The Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), Ireland's
largest trade union, is in the process of establishing its own internal
employee forum which is separate from the traditional industrial relations
processes within the union. The role of SIPTU's staff representative council,
which deals with industrial relations issues such as pay and conditions, is
to remain unchanged.
The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) and the
Norwegian Society of Engineers (Norges Ingeniørforbund, NITO) have concluded
an agreement to collaborate. Fellesforbundet is the largest member union in
the private sector of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO), and unionises among others blue-collar
workers in large parts of manufacturing industry as well as the building and
construction sector. NITO has approximately 45,000 members, 60% of whom work
in the private sector. NITO is leaving its present confederation, the
Confederation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikernes
Fellesorganisasjon, AF) at the end of 1999, and has so far not made clear its
future confederal affiliation (NO9901111N ). It is doubtful that NITO
regards LO as an option in this regard, although the cooperation agreement
with Fellesforbundet shows an expressed willingness to strengthen its
cooperation with LO in the private sector. The two organisations have
cooperated on an informal basis for a long time.
Around 450 hospital orderlies and cleaners at three hospitals in the county
of Frederiksborg went on strike on 16 August 1999 in protest against a
proposal by the county council - headed by county mayor,Lars Lykke Rasmussen-
that all hospital orderly and cleaning work should be put out to tender by
private companies. The unofficial strike was a culmination of a long period
of dissatisfaction with statements from counties and municipalities in the
metropolitan area that they will outsource a large number of public tasks to
the private sector to achieve budget cuts. The Danish Confederation of Trade
Unions (Landsorganisationen Danmark, LO) organisation in the Copenhagen area
stated that the outsourcing plans indicated disdain for the municipal and
county employees and their performance over many years, and warned directly
that labour disputes might occur.
On 27 May 1999, negotiators for the Federation of Salaried Employees in
Industry and Services (Privattjänstemannakartellen, PTK) - the bargaining
cartel for white-collar workers' unions in the private sector - announced
that they could not accept a final offer from the Swedish Employers'
Confederation (Svenska arbetsgivareföreningen, SAF) on a new "contribution
pension" agreement. This agreement would have replaced the existing agreement
on the supplementary pension scheme for salaried employees in industry and
services (Industrins och handelns tilläggspensionför tjänstemän,ITP). The
negotiations over a new collective agreement on the ITP had been continuing
on off for almost five years, since 1994, and they failed because the trade
unions could not come to an understanding among themselves. Two of the
leading unions within PTK, representing more than half of the 620,000
employees covered by the ITP scheme, refused to accept. The other 26 unions
within the cartel decided, after long discussions, to follow this refusal,
although they had initially accepted the offer. The dissenting unions were
the Union for Technical and Clerical Employees in Industry (Svenska
Industritjänstemannaförbundet, SIF) and the Association of Management and
Professional Staff (Ledarna).
An agreement on teleworking was concluded in June 1999 between the
state-owned Norwegian oil company Statoil and the Norwegian Oil and
Petrochemical Workers Union (Norsk Olje- og Petrokjemisk Fagforbund, Nopef).
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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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.
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 report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
There have always been workers who have worked at different locations, on site with customers or while on the move. Companies have also developed open-plan workspaces to cut costs and foster cooperation. Cloud computing allows workers to access internal data from anywhere, while digitalisation increases the use of automated decision-making and control based on (big) data. This report addresses the extent to which place of work determines job quality.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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 gas 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 food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
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.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity 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 electricity sector in the EU Member States.