In February 1998, the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) appealed
to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other international
organisations and national bodies, with a view to repealing a new law which
provides for labour relations in some public corporations to be governed by
law rather than collective bargaining.
On 22 January 1998, the Guarantee Authority for the enforcement of Italy's
law on strikes in essential public services (law 146/90) issued new
regulations on the right to strike on the railways, which have received
criticism from some quarters.
Recent reforms of the labour market in Spain propose new forms of
institutional control over dismissal for objective reasons, through
collective bargaining. However, a December 1997 subsectoral local agreement
in the Vilafranca del Penedès wine-making sector has revealed certain
constraints on the power of workers' representatives to negotiate and monitor
In his speech traditionally delivered on New Year's day, the Prime Minister,
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, emphasised the need for improved conditions for
families with small children, and state that the social partners should play
a more prominent part in this regard.
The parties in bargaining over the pay and conditions of Swedish ships'
officers are the Swedish Engineers Officers' Association (Svenska
Maskinbefälsförbundet, SMBF) the Swedish Ship Officers' Association
(Sveriges Fartygsbefälsförening, SFBF) and the Sea Officers' Union
(Föreningen Sjöbefälet), on the one hand, and the Swedish Ship Owners'
Association (Sveriges Redareförening, SRF) on the other. When the 1998 talks
started, the trade unions called for pay increases which would increase the
employers' costs by 11% - far beyond what other unions have claimed in the
1998 bargaining round.
The 1969 Night Work of Women Act (Frauen-Nachtarbeitsgesetz, FrNArbG)
originally ruled out the employment of women over an 11-hour period including
that from 20.00 to 06.00. The bulk of the law comprised detailed exemptions
and exceptions. When Austria acceded to the European Economic Area on 1
January 1994 the law was amended to permit night work indiscriminately from
the year 2001. Driven by employment concerns, new legislation was enacted in
late 1997 permitting the social partners to conclude collective agreements on
the night-time employment of women from 1 January 1998 provided that the
right to return to a daytime occupation in case of a proven health hazard
were included along with measures to compensate for the burdens of night work
or to alleviate them. Special consideration has to be given to any necessary
care of children up to the age of 12 (AT9711148N ). Collective agreements
may empower plant-level agreements to make exceptions to the ban on night
The death in hold-ups of three Belgian security guards collecting and
delivering cash sparked off a general strike in the sector in January 1998,
which continues at the time of writing (mid-February). Demanding better
security and the recognition of risks specific to this kind of job, security
guards are seeking to define the conditions for the practice of this new
profession. However, these demands, which result in new costs for the
employers (the security and patrol companies) jeopardise their business. The
principal customers, banks and large stores, are pressing for a reduction in
the costs of these services and seeking ways of doing without them, and jobs
On 14 January 1998, procedures began for the definitive dissolution of
Intersind, the organisation representing the publicly-owned enterprises of
Italy's Iri Group. The companies belonging to Intersind will now "directly
and totally" join the main Confindustria organisation, a move which marks the
end of the experience of public sector employers' associations in Italy.
A month-long dispute over industrial restructuring hit Spain's publicly-owned
coalmining companies in December 1997-January 1998. The dispute arose
following the Government's amendments of agreements reached in May 1997,
following the release of a critical report by the European Commission. A
satisfactory settlement was eventually reached on 27 January 1998.
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.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
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.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
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.
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.