Following the recent demonstrations by unemployed groups, the French Prime
Minister, Lionel Jospin, announced in February 1998 the main measures that
the Government will be implementing to assist those most affected by
The revised Basic Agreement between Norway's LO trade union confederation and
NHO employers' organisation was approved in February 1998. The attempt to
extend the agreement's new provisions on the minimum level of members
required for a union to enter into a collective agreement to other basic
agreements, has led to complications in the negotiations between NHO and the
YS vocational union confederation.
On 11 June 1997 Parliament instructed the Ministry of Labour, Health and
Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales,
BMAGS) to devise, by the end of the year, amendments to the Works
Constitution Act (Arbeitsverfassungsgesetz, ArbVG) that would remove
citizenship as a criterion for eligibility in works council elections. A
similar amendment was demanded for the Chamber of Labour Act
(Arbeiterkammergesetz, AKG) (AT9706121N ). One week late, on 8 January
1998, the Ministry circulated draft amendments to the AKG for review by the
social partners, other ministries, and provincial governments. In the
covering letter, the Ministry asked for comments not only on the Chamber of
Labour Act but also on similar proposed changes to the ArbVG. The review
period ended on 9 February 1998 but some organisations were still working on
their response by the end of the month, one of them being the Austrian Trade
Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB).
Here we highlight two cases of company-level negotiations in Portugal over
working hours and revision of wages. There is a relative lack of knowledge in
Portugal about the scope and content of such informal, company-level
collective bargaining, and of the significance of this type of bargaining for
the country's industrial relations.
On 20 January 1998, the company works council (Gesamtbetriebsrat) and the
executive board of Adam Opel AG- the German subsidiary company of the General
Motors Corporation (GM) - signed a new works agreement on future investments,
safeguarding employment and reduction of labour costs. After more than 10
months of negotiations, this so-called "site pact" (Standortvertrag) was
concluded for the more than 44,000 employees at the three west German Opel
production sites at Rüsselsheim, Kaiserslautern and Bochum. In the pact,
Opel management commits itself to making new investments to secure the
existing German production sites until the end of 2001 and promises,
furthermore, that no redundancies on economic grounds (betriebsbedingte
Kündigungen) will be made until the end of 2002. In exchange, the company
works council agreed to further cuts in the company's "payments above
contract wages" (übertarifliche Leistungen).
In December 1997, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Confederation of
British Industry (CBI) agreed a joint statement identifying the key areas of
agreement and disagreement between them on the statutory trade union
recognition rules that the Government is committed to introducing (UK9801194F
). However, February 1998 saw a full-scale disagreement break out between
the social partners over how the Labour Party's pre-election manifesto
commitment to legislate on recognition should be interpreted (UK9704125F
). The argument centres around the wording in the manifesto, which states
that unions should be recognised "where a majority of the relevant workforce
vote in a ballot for the union to represent them".
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has expressed concern about a
proposal issued by the European Commission, which seeks to ensure the free
movement of goods within the European Union during periods when an industrial
dispute is taking place in a Member State.
Public transport employees went on strike in Helsinki on 2-8 February 1998 in
a dispute arising from the contracting-out of public services. The sector's
social partners reached an agreement after the confederations - SAK for the
unions and and TT for the employers - joined in the negotiations. The dispute
highlights Finnish employees' fear of new procedures and
"internationalisation" of the labour market.
In February 1998, the presidents of the main French and Italian employers'
organisations signed a common declaration stating their disagreement with the
laws in both countries which will reduce the working week to 35 hours.
In late January 1998, the Dutch social partners reconsidered their jointly
agreed position to give priority to employees in the use of healthcare
facilities, soon after reaching it, following opposition from some member
trade unions of the FNV confederation. The proposal was also rejected,
following consideration, by the Government. This issue has sparked heated
debate in political circles and in the healthcare sector.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
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.
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).
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
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.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.