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/In Norway, new rules to protect hired labourers have been introduced. Both
trade unions and the Labour Inspection Authority have been given greater
powers to ensure that the hiring of labour complies with the law. Employer
organisations are highly critical of the changes made to the legal framework,
particularly the right of petition for trade unions. A Conservative Party
spokesman has said that the changes will be reversed when the Conservative
coalition takes office.
The chemical company Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea was, until 2012, the flag
bearer of the Romanian chemical and petrochemical industry. It had a
reputation as a national brand and had a workforce of 3,200, some based at
the primary site in Râmnicu Vâlcea and the rest 60 kilometres away at the
petrochemical site at the former Arpechim refinery in Piteşti.
In April 2012 the social partners in the EU hairdressing sector, the
employers’ organisation Coiffure EU  and employees’ union UNI Hair &
Beauty , signed a framework agreement on health and safety in hairdressing
(4.6MB PDF)  (*EU1205031I* ). The social partners asked the European
Commission, under Article 155  of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union, to make the agreement legally binding in all EU Member
States, by issuing an EU Directive.
Following the signing of a new company agreement (*IT1102019I* ,
*IT1007029I* , *IT1111029I* ), the Fiat Group withdrew from the
collective bargaining framework for the metalworking industry, which had been
in effect since 1 January 2012.
An agreement between Luxembourg's social partners in the banking sector
reached on 9 July 2013 (published September 2013) sets out the conditions of
the national agreement on harassment that are specifically aimed at this
The Czech Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS ) has called on
the government to immediately address the plight of health and social care
services and spas. According to ČMKOS, the situation is more serious than
ever. Around 30 hospitals do not have money to pay for medicines, medical
supplies or salaries, according to the President of the Trade Union of Health
Services and Social Care (OSZSP ), Dagmar Žitníková. In addition, some
spa resorts have already become bankrupt (*CZ1309019I* ), and several more
are on the brink of failure. On 9 October 2013, OSZSP declared that it was
ready to take strike action.
The State Employment Agency (NVA ) in Latvia has released the results of
its study Flexicurity in the Labour Market and The State Employment
Agency’s Role in Implementing the Concept of Flexicurity in Latvia’s
Labour Market (1.38MB PDF, in Latvian) .
For the fourth time since the bail-out of Portugal by the Troika, the
country’s Constitutional Court  has rejected austerity measures proposed
by the centre-right Government of Portugal .
The Government of Hungary  has been negotiating deals with large
multinational companies in the manufacturing sectors. These ‘strategic
agreements’ are intended to guarantee cooperation and mutual support
between the Hungarian authorities and the companies involved. However, both
trade unions and employer organisations have questioned the methods of
consultation and bargaining employed.
The banking sector’s national collective agreement was renewed on 19
January 2012 (*IT1202039I* ), just over a year after the expiry of the
previous one in December 2010. Negotiations were concluded quickly and with
little difficulty, and were signed by the Italian Federation of Insurance and
Credit Workers’ Unions (FISAC-CGIL ); the Italian Banking and Insurance
Workers Federation (FIBA-CISL ); the Union of Italian Credit, Collection
and Insurance Workers (UILCA-U ); the Independent Federation of Italian
Banking Workers (FABI ); the General Union of Credit Workers (UGL CREDITO
); the National Trade Union Association for Credit, Financial and Banking
Management Staff (DIRCREDITO ); and the National Federation of Independent
Trade Unions – Credit, Finance and Insurance Personnel (SINFUB ). The
agreement was welcomed by employers and unions and included an annual average
pay increase of €170 over three years.