A new paper from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), which maps out
"new ways" for trade unions to deal with challenges posed by the new
millennium, suggests that even if the social partners fail to agree a
centralised agreement to replace the current three-year Partnership 2000 
(P2000) national agreement (IE9702103F ), "partnership" remains a viable
alternative to adversarialism. The paper, entitled /Challenges facing unions
and Irish society in the new millennium/, was unveiled at the ICTU's
two-yearly conference which took place in Killarney on 6-8 July 1999
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".
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 president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Sir Clive
Thompson, has sparked controversy by warning that the much-discussed concept
of partnership may be hiding a "damaging build-up of trade union influence".
His remarks, made in a speech to an audience of employers on 23 June 1999,
have been strongly criticised by union leaders and have highlighted the
diverging interpretations placed on the idea of partnership by different
groups of practitioners and policymakers. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has
been actively promoting the concept of union-based partnership at work, but
the government and employers' organisations are unwilling to accept that
partnership arrangements necessarily require union involvement (UK9906108F
In July 1999, sectoral trade unions and employers' associations signed a new
national collective agreement for Italy's banking industry. The main
innovations in the deal concern the redefinition of the area covered by the
agreement, the creation of a new "executive middle managers" category, the
renewal of the industrial relations system, working time reduction and pay
On 14 January 1999, the central European-level social partners - the Union of
Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), the European
Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General
Economic Interest (CEEP) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) -
reached a draft framework agreement on the rights of workers on fixed-term
contracts  (EU9901147F ). The text was officially signed on 18 March
1999, after ratification by the statutory bodies of the three organisations
At the end of June 1999, trade unions and employers in private sector
industry appointed eight impartial chairs for their forthcoming collective
bargaining round. Under the March 1997 agreement on cooperation and pay
regulation in the industry sector (SE9703110N ), such impartial chairs on
their own initiative join the negotiations over a new collective agreement
one month before the existing agreement is to expire and ensure that the
negotiations end in due time. The 1997 agreement was signed by eight trade
union federations and 12 employers' associations, representing some 10,000
companies and 800,000 employees. The aims of the agreement include the
conclusion of new collective agreements without any strikes or lock-outs.
Magna International, one of the world's major automotive components
manufacturers, based in Canada, and founded and owned by a 1950s Austrian
emigrant, in 1998 acquired the Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG (SDP) for about
ATS 4 billion. At the same time, Magna continued to expand its own Austrian
operations. It has, by its own reckoning, so far invested ATS 11 billion in
Austria and created 1,300 jobs while cutting 100 jobs in one of the SDP
plants. While engineering jobs are carried out for a wide variety of
customers, much of the manufacturing output is destined for Daimler-Chrysler.
Recently, major orders were also received from BMW's Rover subsidiary, from
Opel and Saab ( the two General Motors subsidiaries), and from Volkswagen.
The latter order is expected to create another 300 jobs. Magna, however, is
threatening to divert the investment to Hungary or Germany because it feels
that its welcome in Austria has soured and its treatment has become unfair.
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.
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.
This report offers a backward look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey ‘ Living, working and COVID-19’ which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through four rounds of the survey (two in 2020 and two in 2021), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers.
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.
Platform work – the matching of supply of and demand for paid labour through an online platform or app – is gaining increasing importance in Europe. It has attracted policy attention due to its inherent opportunities and challenges. Across Europe, initiatives have been introduced by governments, social partners and grassroots organisations aimed at harnessing the potential and reducing the risks of this employment form. The areas covered include regulation, representation, advice and information provision, as well as measures addressing social protection, ratings and training.
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.