EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Articles

EurWORK articles cover working life in Europe, in particular the fields of industrial relations and working conditions. The articles are based on quarterly reporting provided by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.

  • Topical updates summarise and update developments around selected topics, which are relevant across a number of Member States at the same time
  • Spotlight reports cover in more depth country-level events, debates and changes in regulation related to working life, aiming to provide a balanced view of all parties’ positions
  • Research in Focus articles report on important research findings (including surveys) from the national level, often, but not exclusively, in the area of working conditions
  • In brief articles are short news items drawn from the correspondents' quarterly reports
  • Country updates summarise developments at national level and are published 4 times a year

13800 items found
  • The future of the social dialogue at Community level

    On 18 September 1996, the European Commission adopted a /Communication Concerning the Development of the Social Dialogue Process at Community Level/ (COM(96) 448 final). Launching the Communication, the commissioner responsible for social affairs, Padraig Flynn, said that the time had come to reform and adapt the social dialogue in view of the new challenges facing the European Union in years to come. The Commission was" aiming at a rationalisation of structures and an optimal allocation of the resources available".
  • Two-fold increase in the minimum wage

    The statutory minimum wage in Luxembourg has been increased by 3.2% from 1 January 1997, as a result of legislation, and additionally by 2.5% from 1 February 1997, under the terms of an index-linked mechanism.
  • Reform of the apprenticeship system agreed

    The Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) and the Austrian Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) agreed the outlines of a reform of the apprenticeship system on 1 March 1997. The precise details are to be agreed in a working group comprising officials of the social partners, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of the Economy, and experts from other, as yet unspecified, organisations.
  • Controversial changes in Employment Security Act provide for more bargaining at company level

    Late in 1996, Parliament passed legislation providing for changes in the Employment Security Act that aroused the anger of the trade unions. Although most of the new provisions apply from 1 January 1997, the most controversial modification, in Section 2 of the Act, will not come into force until 1 July. This will give trade unions and employers more time to adapt to the new rule in the legislation which deals with the level of central bargaining and collective agreements.
  • Future of the Post Office under debate

    In February, the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) launched a consultative paper aimed at influencing the pre-election commitments of both the Conservative Party and Labour Party. The union, which is firmly against privatisation of the Post Office, has called for legislation to turn it into an independent corporation, with the level of dividends pegged at 40% of post-tax profits. The union feels that its proposals will have equal appeal to all political parties because of the weight of public opinion opposing privatisation.
  • New national agreement on continuing training

    At the end of 1996, the major trade unions and employers' associations signed the Second National Agreement on Continuing Training (II Acuerdo Nacional de Formación Continua), which was later endorsed by a tripartite agreement between these organisations and the Government. The new agreements build on certain basic aspects of the continuing training system in Spain that was started in 1993, though they also introduce some important innovations.
  • Government ends pay guidelines to nationalised companies

    At the end of January 1997, the Prime Minister ended the practice of issuing pay guidelines to France's nationalised companies.
  • Employers and unions disagree on the duration of new collective agreements

    1997's collective bargaining in the private sector is concentrating on three main issues: 100% wage compensation during maternity leave; further negotiations over the pension scheme initiated in 1991; and a limited wage increase to allow for inflation. The social partners in the different bargaining areas are largely in agreement on the content of the new collective agreements, but the central social partner organisations - the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and the Danish Employers' Confederation (DA) - still cannot agree whether the new collective agreements should be of two or three years' duration.
  • New collective agreements in printing

    On 6 February 1997, the Bundesverband Druck employers' association and the Industriegewerkschaft Medien trade union signed two new nationwide collective agreements for the 130,000 manual workers in the German printing industry. The first agreement covers the general developments of wages, and the second agreement is a renewal of the sector's general framework agreement on employment conditions [1] (Manteltarifvertrag). [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/framework-agreement-on-employment-conditions
  • National nurses strike averted as pay offer is accepted

    Nurses had threatened industrial action on 10 February 1997 in pursuit of a claim for a major overhaul in their pay structures and an improved early retirement scheme. However, the action was called off when the nurses accepted an IEP 85 million formula drawn up by the Labour Court, which includes the creation of a commission which will examine a range of issues related to the nursing profession. Four trade unions representing over 26,000 nurses were involved in the dispute, the largest being the 16,000-strong Irish Nurses Organisation (INO).

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