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  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Following the special Jobs Summit [1] which took place in Luxembourg on 20-21
    November 1997 (EU9711168F [2]), the European Commission adopted a final
    proposal for Guidelines for Member States' employment policies for 1998 [3]
    on 3 December 1997. The proposal, which was adopted by the Council of Labour
    and Social Affairs Ministers on 15 December 1997 (EU9712175N [4]), launches
    the European employment strategy agreed at the Amsterdam European Council
    meeting in June 1997 (EU9706133N [5]). These guidelines now have to be
    incorporated into national employment action plans drawn up by the Member
    States in the form of national objectives. Member States are committed to
    submitting these plans in time for their examination by the European Council
    meeting to take place in Cardiff in June 1998. The implementation of these
    guidelines will be monitored regularly and an annual report will be produced
    by the Commission. This approach draws on the existing practice of
    multiannual surveillance established after the December 1994 Essen summit, to
    monitor the implementation of the recommendation drawn up at that meeting.

    [1] http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/elm/summit/en/home.htm
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/employment-summit-agrees-limited-package-of-measures-to-combat-unemployment
    [3] http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/elm/summit/en/papers/guide2.htm
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/social-affairs-council-adopts-directive-to-implement-part-time-work-agreement
    [5] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/amsterdam-summit-agrees-new-draft-treaty

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The economic situation in Austria proved stable in 1997, with growth rates
    reaching 2% in real terms. These are expected to rise further to 2.7% in
    1998. Economic growth was largely export-driven as the increase in domestic
    incomes was limited. Inflation was reduced to 1.4% and is expected to remain
    at this level in 1998. The level of unemployment was steady at 4.4% and is
    expected to decrease only slightly in 1998. The budget deficit amounted to
    2.5% of GDP, which is half of the 1995 level, and it is expected that this
    decrease will continue.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    It was with confidence that the Social Democrat Government presented its
    report on the Swedish economy in 1997. When it took office in 1994, Sweden
    had one of the biggest public sector deficits in the European Union. In 1997,
    it was reduced to 0.4% of GDP, measured by EU accounting principles, and the
    consolidated debt ratio had fallen for three consecutive years. "This is a
    signal to other countries that Sweden's decision to stay outside the monetary
    union at the start is not because of a wish to pursue a less responsible
    policy than other EU member states," the Minister of Finance, Erik Åsbrink,
    commented.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    An agreement was concluded on 10 October 1997 between Norway Post and the
    Joint Federation of Postal Employees.The latter is the cooperation body for
    the two unions that organise the majority of employees in the postal service,
    the Norwegian Union of Postal Employees (DNP) and the Norwegian Union of
    Postal Workers (NPF), both of which are affiliated to the Norwegian
    Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The agreement aims at creating a new
    infrastructure for postal operations, which involves a reduction in the
    number of sorting offices in operation. Also included in this agreement are
    measures to safeguard the jobs of approximately 1,500 employees adversely
    affected by this reorganisation.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    On 15 December 1997, the employers' association for newspaper publishers,
    Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV) and the two trade unions
    which organise journalists, IG Medien and Deutscher Journalisten-Verband
    (DJV), signed new collective agreements for the 17,000 or so journalists on
    daily newspapers. The negotiations, lasting more than three months, were
    overshadowed by strong demands for further cost reductions by the employers
    on the one hand, and accompanied by several union protest actions and warning
    strikes (Warnstreiks) on the other hand. Finally, the collective bargaining
    parties agreed on the following provisions:

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) was one of the key privatisation
    measures of the Conservative governments of 1979-97, which brought much
    insecurity into the lives of those who provided services to local
    authorities. Much to the joy of local authority workers and trade unions, in
    June 1997 the new Labour Government announced that the rules on CCT would be
    changed after a wide-ranging consultation exercise (UK9706141N [1]). On 21
    November 1997, local government minister Hilary Armstrong laid before
    Parliament new regulations which amend the existing framework for CCT to make
    it more flexible, and encourage local authorities to move to a "Best Value"
    based approach to service delivery, in which value to customers would take
    priority over competition per se. She said: "In due course we will be
    replacing CCT with a new legislative framework on Best Value. In the
    meantime, I want local authorities to develop Best Value ahead of primary
    legislation."

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-relaxes-compulsory-competitive-tendering-rules

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    A confidential interim report into industrial and employee relations in An
    Post, Ireland's state-owned postal company, highlights the adversarial nature
    of its industrial relations structures and practices and how these are
    inhibiting the development of a more customer focused business. The report,
    which was submitted to the company's chair, Stephen O'Connor, in February
    1997 was carried out by a subsidiary of the Irish Business and Employers
    Confederation (IBEC) - Employee Relations Services (ERS). It was featured in
    the industrial relations weekly, /Industrial Relations News/, in December
    1997.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Luxembourg has continued to experience a period of economic growth. The
    public debt accounted for 6.7% of GDP in 1997, and projections for 1998 are
    in the order of 7.7%. Eurostat calculates a public spending surplus of 1.7%
    in 1997 and the state budget for 1998 is virtually balanced. The population
    is 418,300 (of whom 142,800 are foreigners), while total employment stood at
    224,000 at the end of 1997, of whom 63,200 are cross-border workers.
    Unemployment is rising slowly and stood at 3.6% at the end of 1997. The rate
    of inflation was 1.4% in 1997.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Meeting in Brussels on 15 December 1997, the Council of Labour and Social
    Affairs Ministers unanimously adopted a Directive to implement the framework
    agreement on part-time work [1] concluded by the Union of Industrial and
    Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), the European Centre of
    Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic
    Interest (CEEP) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on 6 June
    1997 (EU9706131F [2]). This agreement aims to institute the principle of
    non-discrimination for part-time workers and to facilitate the development of
    part-time work on a voluntary basis and to contribute to the flexible
    organisation of working time in a manner which takes into account the needs
    of employers and workers. It also seeks to ensure that the equal treatment of
    part-time workers in terms of pay (pro rata) and working conditions is
    applied, unless there are "objective reasons" for differential treatment.
    Clause 5 of the agreement calls upon Member States to review any obstacles
    which may limited opportunities for part-time work and, where appropriate, to
    eliminate them.

    [1] http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/soc-dial/social/parttime_en.htm
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/social-partners-reach-framework-agreement-on-part-time-work

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