In October and November 1997, based on proposals by Martin Bangemann, the
commissioner responsible for industry, the European Commission adopted
communications to the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and
Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, aimed at
improving the competitiveness of two sectors of European industry -
textiles/clothing and construction.
In late 1997, trade unions representing Portuguese lorry drivers began the
process of bargaining over a new collective agreement for 1998. In contrast
with their French counterparts, Portuguese lorry drivers seem unlikely to
take high-profile industrial action in support of their demands.
In September/October 1997, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs
(Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales, BMAGS) published a
report based on commissioned research undertaken by Birgit Buchinger, Ulrike
Gschwandtner and others on the use and prevalence of performance-based wage
systems in Austria. "Leistung lohnt sich nicht"/. Zur Dekonstruktion des
Mythos Leistungslohn/ ("Performance doesn't pay"/: The deconstruction of the
myth of payment by results/) is available free of charge from the Ministry as
Research Report in Social and Labour Market Policy No. 60. What follows is a
summary of the report's contents and findings.
The merger of two of Ireland's largest dairy companies, Avonmore and
Waterford, to form the new Avonmore Waterford Group (AWG), which was approved
during the summer of 1997 by shareholders, is to involve a major
rationalisation programme, details of which were announced on 24 November.
The company is looking for at least 750 job cuts from a total workforce of
6,500 in Ireland. It is now the fourth largest dairy company in Europe and
the fourth largest in terms of worldwide cheese production.
The Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union organised a special
Employment Summit  European Council meeting on 20-21 November 1997
(EU9711168F ). In order to prepare for the event, the Belgian Government
and social partners organised a conference aimed at formulating the point of
view of the Government and the social partners with respect to the four
priorities proposed by the European Commission for discussion at the Summit
in Luxembourg, as follows.
A recent decree, approved in November 1997, has significantly reformed the
system of employers' representation for collective bargaining within the
Italian public administration. This article discusses the changes made to the
structure and tasks of Aran, the agency which negotiates with trade unions in
the public administration. An important effect of these changes will be a
greater role for individual units of the public administration in the
Four large Dutch trade unions, which already cooperate in the FNV
confederation, have recently decided to merge. The merger is to be finalised
in January 1998, resulting in a union with almost half a million members. For
the first time, those receiving social benefits and older people will be
incorporated into the organisation as a distinct industrial group. This
merger has also prompted more intensive cooperation between other Dutch
Trade unions and management at Mercedes Benz's Spanish operations agreed in
mid-1997 to create a pool of working hours aimed at achieving greater
flexibility in the use of labour and avoiding redundancies. They have also
agreed to convert temporary contracts into permanent contracts and to
introduce a retirement procedure.
The European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted a
report in October 1997 on the framework agreement on part-time work 
concluded by the European-level social partners on 6 June 1997 (EU9706131F
). The agreement is currently being given legal force via a draft Council
Directive (EU9707139N ) The Committee's report expresses the European
Parliament's support for enshrining the principle of non-discrimination
against part-time workers in legislation, but criticises the fact that the
agreement is limited to part-time work and does not cover other forms of
"atypical" employment. The agreement also excludes social security matters
which, it argues, need to be covered by legislation. In this respect the
agreement falls short of the standards enshrined in International Labour
Organisation (ILO) conventions. The report argues that, without such a basis,
the agreement allows exceptions to the principle of non-discrimination on the
basis of "technical" or "objective" reasons, such as part-time workers who
work only on a casual basis, or who do not qualify because of certain
thresholds based on length of service, working time and salary conditions.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaped workplace practices and work organisation across the EU. This report explores changes that occurred as a result of or during the COVID-19 pandemic in areas such as technological transformation, decision-making and remote working. The research sets out to learn from company experiences and measures that have proved critical to keeping businesses running. It aims to inform policymakers, employers and trade unions on how to make businesses, workplaces and workers more resilient in the face of a crisis such as COVID-19.
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 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.
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.