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".
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.
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 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.
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).
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).
A summary of the results of research on the relationship between employment status and health. A bibliographic review was undertaken and data from the 1996 Second European Survey on Working Conditions complemented by Eurostat data was also analysed.
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 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.
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 examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2020 yearbook, provides a snapshot of what is happening in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2020. The scope is broad, from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and on people’s well-being to the inequalities in the working conditions of women and men. It also highlights the connections between Eurofound’s work and EU policy priorities in the coming years.
The third round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded in February and March 2021, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people after nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions: How are people doing? What is their outlook on life? How has the availability of vaccinations changed their perceptions? This report presents an overview of the main findings and tracks the developments across the 27 EU Member States since the survey was first launched in April 2020.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.