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  • Article
    27 april 1998

    On 2 February 1998, a so-called "concertation table" (Tavolo di
    concertazione) on child labour was officially established in Italy. This
    institution is meant to be a forum where the social partners can tackle
    issues related to child labour. Many other institutions, such as the
    ministries and the governmental bodies involved, participate in this
    concertation process alongside trade union organisations, the Confindustria
    employers' confederation, trade and crafts associations and representatives
    of the International Labour Organisation and UNICEF.

  • Article
    27 april 1998

    When the votes were counted on 12 April 1998 in the election for a new
    general secretary, it emerged that members of the Services Industrial
    Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) had elected John McDonnell, the
    first non-Dubliner to assume the post, ahead of his closest challenger,
    Brendan Hayes. With some 200,000 members, SIPTU is Ireland's largest trade
    union. Cork-born Mr McDonnell, a political moderate, replaces the influential
    Bill Attley, who also served as president of the Irish Congress of Trade
    Unions (ICTU) and was a key figure in devising the trade union strategy to
    re-enter tripartite national agreements in 1987.

  • Article
    27 april 1998

    6 April 1998 saw the national launch of the Government's GBP 3.5 billion "New
    Deal" programme of "welfare to work" aimed at putting young unemployed people
    into employment (UK9707143F [1]). The first stage of the programme will
    involve up to 118,000 young people aged 18-24, who have been unemployed for
    more than six months, being interviewed for participation in the scheme. Over
    4,000 private sector companies have signed up to participate in the scheme
    (UK9710175N [2]). However, the launch was overshadowed by a leaked document
    which indicated that the scheme could run into financial problems because not
    enough young people are finding unsubsidised jobs.


  • Article
    27 april 1998

    Over the early months of 1998, the CC.OO and UGT trade union confederations
    have made serious criticisms of the Spanish Government's economic policy
    (ES9804250F [1]), and in particular its National Action Plan [2] on
    employment drawn up in response to the EU Guidelines for Member States'
    employment policies 1998 [3], following the Luxembourg"Employment Summit" in
    November 1997 (EU9711168F [4]). The unions state that the growth and economic
    stability reflected in macroeconomic indicators are accompanied by an unequal
    distribution of wealth, leading to greater social inequality. The unions
    believe that the current economic situation is favourable to the creation of
    employment, especially in a context of low inflation.


  • Article
    27 april 1998

    Greece's state-owned airline, Olympic Airways (OA) is the first in a series
    of public corporations to be restructured in the framework of the measures
    accompanying the devaluation in March 1998 of the drachma (GR9803161F [1]),
    by which the Government is seeking to achieve Greece's participation in EU
    Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). On 9 April 1998 - in a general national
    climate of tension which culminated in a nationwide strike on the same day
    called by the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the
    Confederation of Public Servants (ADEDY) - Parliament passed the law that
    will regulate terms and conditions of employment and other labour matters in


  • Article
    27 april 1998

    Apart from Austria, the Netherlands had the lowest level of strikes amongst
    EU Member States in 1997. Figures from the Central Statistical Office
    (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS) show that in 1997, for every 1,000
    employees, only one working day was lost because of strikes. The total number
    of days lost for 1997 was 15,000, approximately two and a half times the
    figure for the previous year (6,000 lost days). Remarkably, 11 of the 17
    strikes counted by the CBS started as unofficial/wildcat strike [1] s.
    However, trade unions were usually involved: they were party to the
    negotiations related to 13 of the strikes. In 1997, three-quarters of the
    strikes took place in the industrial sector. Disputes also arose in the
    transport, storage and communications sectors.


  • Article
    27 april 1998

    On 15 April 1998, the Austrian Government agreed the country's National
    Action Plan [1] (NAP) on employment (AT9802164F [2] and AT9803172F [3]). All
    EU Member States were required to draw up such plans based on the EU
    Guidelines for Member States' employment policies 1998 [4], following the
    Luxembourg"Employment Summit" in November 1997 (EU9711168F [5]). The plans
    are to be submitted to the Cardiff European Council in June 1998. In addition
    to the four areas which the NAP had to cover (employability,
    entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities) - and for which 19
    guideline policies were drawn up by the Government - the Austrian plan
    defines five additional areas outside the immediate realm of employment and
    labour market policy in which action is to be taken.


  • Article
    27 april 1998

    The "social sector", which has also been labelled the "care", "social-profit"
    or "quartiary" sector, is of growing importance for the Belgian economy in
    terms of employment. About 10% of all paid employees and 7.9% of the
    self-employed work in this sector, which includes voluntary and social
    services. Since the mid-1980s, the sector has witnessed a growth of
    employment of about 25%. A further steady increase in employment is expected
    as the population grows older and other client groups receive more services.
    This sector also has a number of typical features in its employment
    structure: about 80% of all employees are women, in contrast to about 40%
    amongst the general labour force, while a fairly high degree of flexibility
    characterises work organisation in the sector - weekend work, shiftwork and
    changing work schedules are typical.

  • Article
    27 april 1998

    On 30 March 1998, the German Food and Restaurants Workers' Union
    (Gewerkschaft Nahrung Genuß Gaststätten, NGG) and the employers'
    association for the east German soft drinks industries concluded a new
    framework collective agreement (Manteltarifvertrag) for about 4,000
    employees. The most important part of the new agreement is a reduction in
    weekly working time from 40 to 38 hours. Furthermore, the new agreement
    contains the following provisions:

  • Article
    27 april 1998

    The Cgil, Cisl and Uil trade union confederations and the Confindustria
    employers' organisation - with the participation of the Minister of Labour,
    Tiziano Treu- signed an agreement on 16 April 1998 defining the rules and the
    procedures to be applied in order for enterprises to use temporary agency
    work (lavoro interinale). Temporary agency work is a new phenomenon in Italy,
    having been introduced by law for the first time in 1997 (IT9801147N [1])



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  • European Restructuring Monitor

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  • European Company Surveys

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  • European Quality of Life Surveys

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Forthcoming publications