At the beginning of February 1998, the media reported that the 56-year-old
managing director of the Stora forestry company, who was about to leave his
job after six years, would receive a "golden handshake" (or severance
package) worth SEK 58 million. In the first two years following his
resignation, he would receive SEK 2.8 million and from the age of 60 a large
pension. What made the information conspicuous, apart from the large sum, was
that the managing director was said not to have been dismissed but to have
left on his own initiative, and that his terms of resignation had been
renegotiated and improved shortly before he had made his decision.
Owing to the use of "social shock absorbers" to ease the blow of
redundancies, the restructuring of Italian industry - especially in the 1980s
- has proceeded without excessive social costs, though with substantial
economic costs to the state. A reform of these measures is envisaged as part
of the current reform of the welfare state and broader redefinition of
employment policies. Moreover, a still unresolved issue is the definition of
new measures to deal with the employment crisis in the service sector.
Following the breakdown of talks with employers' representatives,
Luxembourg's two main trade unions approached the Government in January 1998
and set out their proposals for transposing the EU Directive on parental
At the end of January 1998, German unemployment reached a new post-war record
high, with more than 4.8 million people registered as unemployed. The
announcement of the latest unemployment figures on 5 February was accompanied
by nationwide protests of unemployed people all over Germany. The protests
were organised by independent organisations of jobless people, self-help
groups and trade unions' jobless committees and groups. The unions played an
important role in coordinating, organising and supporting the protests.
January-February 1998 saw a dispute at the Spanish airline, Iberia, organised
by the pilots belonging to the SEPLA trade union. The grounds for the dispute
related to the planned restructuring of the company.
In February 1998, it was announced that the Government is to draw up a
voluntary code on combating age discrimination in recruitment. The statement
came as the charity, Age Concern, launched an "Age discrimination awareness
campaign". A survey conducted for Age Concern estimates that more than 18
million adults have experienced age discrimination in employment, health or
welfare. The study found that 70% of the population believe age
discrimination exists, while only half of those who reported it were aged
over 45, showing that it is a problem that affects most ages.
The Federation of Transport Workers' Unions in the European Union (FST) and
theEuropean Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA) agreed a joint text on
working time and time off aboard ship in December 1997. The approximately
128,000 EU nationals and 26,000 non-EU nationals employed in the maritime
sector are among the workers excluded from the provisions of the EU Directive
(93/104/EC) on certain aspects of the organisation of working time.
In August 1997 the authorities rejected a bid made by a group of activists
from the Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) to
form an association called the Austrian Free Trade Union (Freie Gewerkschaft
Österreichs, FGÖ) (AT9705113N ). They argued that its proposed name
might give rise to confusion with a social democrat organisation, the
Austrian Federation of Free Trade Unions (Österreichischer Bund freier
Gewerkschaften, ÖBFG). The ÖBFG is dormant but social democrat trade
unionists have kept the name alive in order to have something to fall back on
in case the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB), the sole formal trade union existing in Austria,
should ever disband.
Belgium proudly boasts one of the oldest consumer prices indices in the
world. Since the First World War, the government has carefully monitored how
much Belgians spend on their daily consumption needs. What started as a
rather rough indicator in 1914 has developed over the years into a refined
instrument for measuring the price increases of different consumer products
and the inflation rate.
On 3 February 1998, France's AFB banking employers' organisation gave notice
of termination of the collective agreement which has regulated the banking
sector since 1947. Negotiations on updating this agreement have been
unsuccessful, and representatives of employers and staff now have until 1
January 2000 to agree a new package.
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2003, the first edition of the survey.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2012, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
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 EWCS 2005, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
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 EWCS 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
This report will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
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?