From 29 June to 2 July 1999, 500 delegates from 33 countries attended the
ninth Statutory Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in
Helsinki. Issues debated ranged from the importance of combining Economic and
Monetary Union with employment and social progress, to the role of trade
unions in a changing world of work, equality of opportunity, union
participation in the process of enlargement and the provision of aid for
economic and democratic reconstruction in Kosovo.
At the end of 1998, membership of the Austrian Trade Union Federation
(Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) stood at 1,480,016, or 17,568
less than at the end of 1997. This is a reduction of 1.2%. The number of
women members decreased by 0.7% to 471,091, while the number of men fell by
1.4% to 1,008,925. The share of women among ÖGB members thus climbed to
31.8%, the highest since 1945. The number of young people (below the age of
22) and apprentices increased by 4.2% to 51,972, after having fallen below
50,000 in 1997. The number of (white-collar) salary earners in membership
dropped by 1.0%, compared with 4.2% in 1997. In the public sector (including
the railways and posts/telecommunications) membership declined by 2,228 or
0.4% to 588,269 while the number of (blue-collar) wage earners in the private
sector declined by 12,038 or 2.0% to 577,501 following a loss of 2.9% in
On 7 July 1999, the trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers, initiated
consultations with employer and trade union organisations on two proposed
amendments to the Working Time Regulations 1998, which seek to implement the
EU working time Directive (93/104/EC). The amendments - relating to the scope
of the derogation for "unmeasured working time" and the record-keeping
requirements for workers who have signed an "individual opt-out" from the
48-hour limit on average weekly working hours - are intended to "help
employers come to terms with the Regulations". The government's move follows
extensive complaints from employers' groups that the working time
Regulations, which came into force in October 1998 (UK9810154F ), have led
to confusion and increased bureaucracy.
It is expected that the fate of the Forges de Clabecq steelworks will be
sealed on 15 June 1997. However, whatever the outcome of the recovery
operation by the Swiss-Italian industrial concern, Duferco, something will
have changed in this Belgian enterprise located some 15 miles from Brussels
in the province of Brabant. Beyond the event in itself - the closure of a
firm leading to the loss of 1,800 jobs - which has not itself been
exceptional over the last few months in Belgium, it is the style of activity
undertaken by the Forges de Clabecq union delegation  that has revealed a
new union climate.
A survey of the most important collective agreements signed in the
Netherlands so far in 1999, published in June, finds moderate average pay
increases of 2.7%. The number of agreements on training, flexible pension
schemes and the accumulation time off has increased in recent years. While
employers and, to a lesser extent, trade unions are in agreement on the
issues to be addressed in negotiations during the coming year, both sides
criticise aspects of the Netherlands' consultation and consensus-based system
- the "polder model".
In June 1999, the Institute of Labour of the Greek General Confederation of
Labour (INE-GSEE) published a study examining the prevalent orthodox thinking
in Greece that increases in real wages reduce profitability, investments,
employment and competitiveness. The study claims that this belief is not
borne out by the statistical data for Greece.
At a time when industrial accidents are an increasingly important problem in
Spain, in June 1999 the CC.OO and UGT trade union confederations claimed that
the government is failing to fulfil its commitments on the prevention of
/It seems inevitable that increasing economic integration and competition
within Europe will have some influence on national collective bargaining. The
aim of this comparative study is to provide an assessment, as of summer 1999,
of the extent to which the processes and outcomes of bargaining in the 15
Member States of the EU, plus Norway, are developing a cross-border, European
dimension. The study outlines the diverse processes, both implicit and
explicit, which can be said to be leading towards a "Europeanisation" of
collective bargaining. Developments across the 16 countries concerned are
examined at intersectoral, sectoral and enterprise levels, with a special
focus on metalworking and financial services, and the views of the social
partners are summarised./
The collective agreement for France's banking sector has to be renegotiated
by 1 January 2000, following the decision in 1998 by the AFB employers'
organisation to terminate the accord. In June 1999, AFB tabled a draft of a
new agreement, which has been deemed unacceptable by all the trade unions
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.
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.
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.
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.