EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Articles

EurWORK articles cover working life in Europe, in particular the fields of industrial relations and working conditions. The articles are based on quarterly reporting provided by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.

  • Topical updates summarise and update developments around selected topics, which are relevant across a number of Member States at the same time
  • Spotlight reports cover in more depth country-level events, debates and changes in regulation related to working life, aiming to provide a balanced view of all parties’ positions
  • Research in Focus articles report on important research findings (including surveys) from the national level, often, but not exclusively, in the area of working conditions
  • In brief articles are short news items drawn from the correspondents' quarterly reports
  • Country updates summarise developments at national level and are published 4 times a year

13893 items found
  • Implementation of the tripartite Pact for Employment

    The Italian Government and social partners are currently implementing their tripartite "Pact for Employment" (Patto per il Lavoro), which is intended to promote employment and foster economic development in Italy through the introduction of a wide and complex set of policies. The agreement, signed on 24 September 1996, is of the utmost political importance as it falls within within the framework of the renened social concertation strategy that has been pursued over the 1990s. The Pact earmarks a total amount of about ITL 15,000 billion for its implementation over the 1997-1999 period.
  • New sick pay legislation brings severe problems in interpretation

    On 19 February, Arbio, the employers' association for the forestry industry, sued the Swedish Paper Workers' Union before the Labour Court. Formally, the parties are arguing over a sum of less than SEK 50, though in practice the case concerns an unlimited amount of money. This is a test case, and the question that the Court has to address is: how is the collective agreement on sick pay for employees in the paper industry to be interpreted?
  • Social partner negotiations on part-time work near deadlock?

    In a recent press interview, Padraig Flynn, the European commissioner responsible for industrial relations and social affairs, expressed his unease at press reports that the social partners' negotiations on part-time work were heading for collapse, and stated that he remained hopeful of a positive outcome. Senior trade union negotiator and deputy general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Jean Lapeyre, also stated that he remained convinced that the negotiations could succeed. He stressed, however, that if part-time work was to be made more attractive and acceptable for workers, assurance of "decent social protection" had to be offered.
  • Industrial action in public administration

    Industrial action has accompanied trade unions' pay demands in Spain's public administration since late 1996, and the threat of further action has been made if negotiations are not started immediately.
  • 3,300 supply teachers reinstated in French secondary schools

    Following negotiations with the Education Minister, 3,300 unemployed supply teachers won the right in late January 1997 to be temporarily reinstated in their jobs.
  • Civil service normalises situation of its fixed-term contract workers

    With the aim of abolishing "irregular" employment in the civil service, the Portuguese Government is planning to integrate into its permanent staff lists those workers who are currently on fixed-term and other forms of precarious contract.
  • CBI sets out its plans for 1997

    At the beginning of February the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) set out its long term priorities for beyond the forthcoming general election. Its director general, Adair Turner said that "whatever happens between now and May, there are fundamental issues for business which need attention. The changing nature of the world in which we do business brings both opportunities and challenges, and the CBI should be at the heart of change."
  • Low wages in a high-wage economy

    Compared to many other western industrialised countries, Germany has the image of being a high-wage economy with a relatively low inequality of incomes and living standards. This is mainly the result of the German system of branch-level central collective bargaining (Flächentarifvertrag), where almost all employees in any sector receive the same basic payment. Nevertheless, it is not widely known that there is still a large number of sectors and areas of employment where collectively-agreed basic wages and salaries are relatively low. This is the main finding of a recent study by the Institute for Economics and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut,WSI) on low wages in Germany ("Niedriglöhne. Die unbekannte Realität: Armut trotz Arbeit", Gerd Pohl & Claus Schäfer (eds), VSA-Verlag Hamburg (1996)). The study was inspired by the European Commission which, in 1993, adopted an Opinion on an equitable wage, the main purpose of which was "to outline certain basic principles on equitable wages, while taking into account social and economic realities".
  • Unemployment as the focus for collective bargaining at national level

    In recent years pressure has mounted on all parties involved to rethink and revise the traditional policies and practices of Greek industrial relations as well as to promote social dialogue between employers and employees. As a result of changing conditions, some believe that a new era in industrial relations and social dialogue has been inaugurated in Greece.
  • National conference on youth employment

    In a context of increasingly difficult youth employment in France, and of social tension about what course of action to take, a recent national conference has defined a number of concrete objectives. These seek to secure employment for the most disadvantaged, and to expose students to the world of work for the first time. These aims are based on a series of commitments on the part of industry, Government and the social partners - who remain at odds in their analysis - the effects of which must be monitored.

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