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
/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
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
The integrated police law adopted in December 1998, based on agreement
between Belgium's main political parties, provides for the overhaul of the
various law-and-order forces (the gendarmerie, criminal-investigation
department and municipal police), establishing federal and local levels and
defining a new unified statute for the entire force. Because of the
importance of the issues at stake, the police reform has caused an
unprecedented labour dispute during 1999 between police unions and the
Interior Ministry, leading to a breakdown in negotiations and highlighting
the complexity of police trade unionism in Belgium.
At a conference on 10 June 1999, Hans Skov Christensen, the managing director
of the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI) presented a
proposal for a new system of collective bargaining in Denmark. "It has to be
a marked exception that a dispute breaks out, and if it occurs it has to be a
logical consequence of the system's rules", said Mr Christensen. While,
undoubtedly, disputes could still occur, the possibility of traditional
industrial action would not not be the basis for all bargaining. Such action,
according to DI, belongs to the past. Accordingly, DI proposes that the
current automatic process, whereby notice of an impending dispute is issued
during the bargaining round, be reconsidered.
On 20 July 1999, the national council of the Confederation of British
Industry (CBI) adopted a policy statement  reaffirming that the CBI is "in
favour in principle of UK entry into European Economic and Monetary Union
once key conditions for success are in place". The CBI believes that UK
membership of EMU"has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the UK
economy", but that further progress is needed towards "sound fiscal
conditions in all major euro-zone countries", together with a shift in labour
market policies towards more flexibility. The new policy statement is the
culmination of a three-month consultation process involving voting on CBI
regional and national committees and a survey of wider membership opinion
carried out by polling organisation MORI.
In June 1999, a first agreement was signed between Italian (Fillea-Cgil,
Filca-Cisl, Feneal-Uil) and German (GHK) trade unions representing wood and
furniture workers. The agreement calls for the establishment of a European
collective bargaining committee aimed at defining common bargaining
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.