On 27 November 1997, the Finnish Firefighters' Union (Suomen Palomiesliitto,
SPAL) called a strike which continues at the time of writing (11 December).
The action arises from disagreements about firefighters' pay system, working
hours and retirement age. An attempt at conciliation ended without results
and the national conciliator, Juhani Salonius, came to the conclusion that
the parties stood so far apart that not even a proposal for a settlement
could be made.
In December 1997, the Italian State Railways signed an agreement with
transport workers' trade unions on the management of redundancies. The
agreement provides for the creation of a fund to deal with redundant staff by
means of "mobility" procedures, the Wages Guarantee Fund, job-security
agreements and early retirement. An important aspect of the agreement was the
mediation by the Government.
At the end of 1997, the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament rejected a
proposal to give employees the legal right to work part time. Employers
opposed the bill, while the trade unions were divided on the subject.
EUROCADRES (the Council for European Professional and Managerial Staff)
represents over 4 million professional and managerial staff in Europe who are
members of trade unions affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation.
The organisation hosted a conference on 2-3 December 1997 to showcase what it
sees as the underpublicised problem of long working hours among Europe's
managers. Trends in working hours for these workers, who are potentially
excluded from the coverage of much of the 1993 EU Directive on certain
aspects of the organisation of working time (93/104/EC ), have run counter
to the general trend towards a reduction of working hours. The conference,
which was attended by 150 individuals from among EUROCADRES' member
organisations and other European and national social partner organisations
and institutions, focused on the findings of a report on /Professional
employees' working hours in Europe/ produced by Jean-Yves Boulin (University
of Paris-Dauphine) and Robert Plasman (Free University of Brussels).
On 11 November 1997, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgment in
case of Hellmut Marschall v Land Nordrhine-Westphalia (C-409/95) ,
according to which a national law which guarantees priority for women in
promotions in the public sector in cases where there are male and female
candidates who are equally qualified for the post in question does not
conflict with Community law provided that certain conditions are satisfied.
HK/Industri- the industrial section of the Union of Commercial and Clerical
Employees in Denmark (Handels- og Kontorfunktionærernes Forbund, HK) - has
published a comprehensive proposal on a "European collective industrial
relations system". The aim is to initiate a debate on how European-wide
industrial relations issues can be resolved. The union proposes the
conclusion of transnational agreements, with an industrial tribunal to
adjudicate on matters of dispute. These proposals were presented at a
conference in Denmark on 28-29 November and at a press conference in Brussels
on 8 December.
Meaningful pay negotiations at the Portuguese operations of Rhode, a
prominent German transnational footwear company, have been delayed, prompting
strike action in November-December 1997. Management is waiting for the
conclusion of the sectoral agreement before opening the process of
Sweden's present act against ethnic discrimination in working life is
ineffective and should be replaced by a new act as from 1 January 1999. This
is the conclusion of a committee appointed by the Government to review the
legislation, which issued its proposals on 1 December 1997.
Work on Sunday is in principle prohibited in Austria. However, the law
permits exemptions to be made by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
for basic necessities or for economic or technological reasons, and by the
heads of provincial governments for exceptional regional supply purposes. New
legislation in 1997 also opened the door for the social partners to conclude
collective agreements permitting Sunday work if this is deemed necessary in
order to safeguard or create employment (AT9703107N ). If the proposed
Sunday work is to be only temporary and connected with the introduction of
new technology, an exemption can also be granted by the Central Labour
Inspectorate (Zentrales Arbeitsinspektorat). Recently, a number of
enterprises - some industrial, some in retailing, some in other services -
have made demands for such exemptions. This has, in turn, led to a debate
among the social partners and the broader public about the use and abuse of
Sunday work regulations.
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.
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 fifth round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded from 25 March to 2 May 2022, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe two years after COVID-19 was first detected on the European continent. It also explores the reality of living in a new era of uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and rising energy prices.
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 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.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. 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 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 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 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.
Between 2021 and 2023 Eurofound is carrying out a pilot project on minimum wage on behalf of the European Commission. The question of how minimum wages and other forms of pay can be fixed for the self-employed is investigated as a part of this project through mapping national and sectoral approaches. Out of concern for the challenging conditions that the self-employed face, some Member States have established or are discussing establishing statutory forms of minimum pay for certain categories of self-employed.
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.