The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO)
celebrates the 100th anniversary of its creation in 1998. The celebration
will be most noticeable through a wide range of cultural and union activities
unfolding throughout the year (which will be reported in subsequent EIRO
records), and here we take the opportunity to look at recent developments in
LO's organisation, membership and political links.
In the past decade, Ireland has developed a system of social participation
which plays a major role in the conduct of economic and social policy. This
approach began in 1987, with a three-year agreement  between the
Government, the trade union movement, employers and agricultural interests.
This lifted the country from the deep economic and social crisis of the 1980s
and facilitated a return to growth. That agreement was followed by three
further social partnership programmes, the latest of which is /Partnership
2000/ (IE9702103F ). These agreements determine the growth of pay in both
the public and private sector, but also embody a negotiated approach to a
wide range of economic and social policies. The consensus which underpinned
these agreements was, to a large extent, developed in the National Economic
and Social Council (NESC), a deliberative body in which the social partners
and senior civil servants undertake analysis and discussion of strategic
issues. Following agreement on the strategic priorities, negotiation of the
programmes was undertaken in a separate body, the Central Review Committee,
which also monitors the implementation of the programmes.
The Spanish trade unions and employers' organisations which signed the
important labour market reform agreements in April 1997 (the "April
agreements") have carried out a review of their results over the first six
months, which was published in January 1998. The social partners agree in
general that the results are positive, but have reservations on some points.
A report on the service offered by the Greek public administration, released
in January 1998, contains proposals aimed at achieving greater efficiency,
greater responsibility amongst public servants, better management of the
workforce and a better response to citizens' needs.
In 1992, the Municipal Workers' Union (Kommunalarbetareförbundet) and the
Swedish Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet) agreed to change
the collective agreement on pensions then in force, with the effect that the
pensioners did not receive the benefits they had counted on (SE9709136F ).
A former sheet-metal worker, Knut Törling, sued his former employer, the
City of Stockholm, claiming in all SEK 7,794, plus interest on overdue
payment. Mr Törling argued that pension rights are the workers' acquired
rights which a trade union cannot dispose of without a special authorisation
from each member concerned, and he had never given such an authorisation to
the Municipal Workers' Union. Therefore the City of Stockholm could not
invoke the new collective agreement against him.
A collective agreement on working time was concluded in the construction
industry on 9 August 1996. Although it became effective retroactively from 1
July 1996, its first impact was felt only in 1997. The main aim was to reduce
the industry's reliance on the national unemployment insurance system though
workers being laid off during the winter, and to distribute the cost of doing
so between enterprises and employees. It is now possible to make a first
assessment of the deal's effects.
In December 1997, management and company works council  at the German car
producer Audi AG concluded a works agreement on the introduction of a new
permanent profit-sharing system for all employees, which comes into effect
from 1998. This is the latest in a number of new personnel policies that have
been introduced since 1988. Furthermore, both sides agreed the continuation
of the 1996 agreement entitled /Audi for work and maintenance of the
production location/ (Audi für Arbeit und Standortsicherung).
Recent statistics from Danmarks Statistik, the official statistical office,
show that unskilled male workers' share of total employment in Denmark has
remained unchanged at 18% over the period from 1980 to 1996. Overall, the
share of all unskilled workers dropped from 23% in 1980 to 20% in 1996. The
largest change has occurred for unskilled female workers, whose share dropped
from 26% in 1980 to 21% in 1996. Out of a workforce of 2.8 million,
approximately one million workers are categorised as "unskilled" or
"lower-skilled" in Denmark.
A "High-Level Group" has advocated the continuation of the non-legalistic,
"voluntarist" approach to industrial relations in Ireland, in a set of
proposals aimed at tackling disputes over trade union recognition  rights
for workers. The High-Level group, drawn from representatives of Government,
state agencies, employer and trade union interests, was established in
accordance with the current /Partnership 2000/ agreement between the social
partners, which runs from January 1997 to March 2000 (IE9702103F ).
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.
This report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.
Following improvements in economic growth and labour market participation after the global financial and economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a new, unprecedented challenge for the EU. The crisis threatens to pose an existential challenge to the EU’s cohesion and legitimacy. The subject of upward convergence is once again centre stage in the European policy debate. Expanding on work done on this topic in previous years, this flagship report traces developments in economic and social indicators between the economic crisis and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
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 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.
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.
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.