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  • 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


  • 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

  • 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.


  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Dismissed trade union delegates and the management of Boston Scientific, a
    medical equipment company which relocated operations from Belgium to Ireland
    in 1997, are still fighting it out in the Belgian courts at the end of the
    year. This legal battle is part of a union strategy to fight closures and
    relocations carried out by multinationals.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The leaders of the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) and the
    Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (AF), Yngve Hågensen (LO)
    and Magne Songvoll (AF), made headlines on 1 December 1997 when they called
    for their members to boycott Norway's largest commercial bank, Den Norske
    Bank (DnB). This followed DnB's decision to introduce new service charges and
    to raise existing service charges from 1 November 1997. This is only the
    latest of many clashes between the trade unions and the banking sector in
    Norway on the issue of service charges. An opinion poll commissioned by LO
    and AF revealed that a majority of the people asked expressed dissatisfaction
    with existing service charges in the banking sector in general. The proposed
    boycott was not directed at the DnB alone, but the bank was made the main
    target due to its size and the scale of its service fees. DnB later
    reconsidered its original decision, and decided to lower charges on some

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    According to the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt), German
    real GDP grew at a rate of 2.2% in 1997. As regards the Maastricht
    convergence criteria, the budget deficit reached 2.7% of GDP, whereas public
    debt amounted to 61.3% of GDP. On average, unemployment stood at 11.4% of the
    civilian labour force - 9.8% in the west and 18.1% in the east. Inflation, as
    measured by the consumer price index, amounted to 1.8%.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The introduction of a statutory National Minimum Wage (NMW) was one of the
    commitments of the Labour Government that came to power in May 1997
    (UK9704125F [1]), and the National Minimum Wage Bill was published on 27
    November and received its first reading in Parliament. Margaret Beckett, the
    President of the Board of Trade, who is responsible for the bill, said that
    it would set the framework within which the Government would introduce the
    NMW, once it had carefully considered the recommendations of the Low Pay
    Commission [2] (LPC). The bill, she stated, will enable the Government to
    introduce a NMW which is as simple and universal as possible (UK9711177F



  • European Restructuring Monitor

    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.

  • European Working Conditions Telephone Survey 2021

    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.

  • Developments in working life, industrial relations and working conditions in the EU

    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.

  • COVID-19

    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.

  • Sectoral social dialogue

    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.

  • Minimum wages in the EU

    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.  

  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    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.

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    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.

  • European Company Survey 2019

    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. 

  • National social partners and policymaking

    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).

Forthcoming publications