The 1997 collective bargaining round for the 1.3 million employees in the
German construction industry started on 27 February. In contrast to most
branch-level bargaining, which takes place at regional level, negotiations in
the construction industry are traditionally held at national level. The
collective bargaining parties - the construction union IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt
(IG BAU) and the two employers' associations, Hauptverband der Deutschen
Bauindustrie (HDB) and Zentralverband des Deutschen Baugewerbes (ZDB) - had
to find new agreements on at least four main issues:
On 3 June 1997 the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) representing
9,000 British Airways ground staff and BASSA, the cabin crew union (linked to
the TGWU) representing a further 9,000 employees, began balloting members
over whether to take industrial action. On 9 June, they were joined by 4,500
members of the GMB general union. If the ballots support strike action, it is
likely to take place in mid-July.
In June 1997, the Norwegian Parliament turned down a legislative proposal
which would provide employees with a right both to choose their own
organisation or not to be organised. The aim of the proposal was primarily to
prohibit collective agreements with closed shop clauses. This would have had
a particular impact on employees in enterprises affiliated to the labour
An agreement concluded in the Italian banking sector in June 1997, with
government mediation, provides for the creation of an employer-financed fund
to support redundant workers, and for negotiations on cost reductions.
Immediately following the Left's victory in France's May/June parliamentary
elections, Peugeot's management announced a new mass redundancy programme,
cutting 2,816 jobs, to the company-wide works council.
A traditional characteristic of Sweden's trade union movement has been that,
with rare exceptions, the unions do not compete with each other for members.
It is true that there is a revolutionary syndicalist union that organises all
categories of workers, but it is no real competitor to the others. So if a
worker wants to join a union, it has often been more or less self-evident
which organisation he or she should belong to. For example a blue-collar
worker in the paper industry would apply for membership of thePaper Workers'
Union, a non-graduate white-collar worker in the same enterprise would join
the Union for Clerical and Technical Employees in Industry (SIF) while the
company's graduate engineers would belong to the Association of Graduate
Engineers (CF). The employer is thus bound by different collective agreements
for different categories of employees.
The renewal of the Spanish system of occupational classification is marked by
the change from the old system of "Labour Ordinances", which were established
by law, to a new classification system based on occupational groupings, which
is the result of collective bargaining. This process has been accelerated by
the labour reforms of the 1990s: the 1994 reform established a deadline for
the replacement of the Ordinances, and the 1997 reform established an
agreement on occupational classification for those sectors in which one had
not yet been established.
The Luxembourg Government has recently announced plans to legislate to reform
the civil service pension scheme, following inconclusive negotiations with
the civil servants' trade union. The aims are to cut costs and bring about a
degree of convergence between private and public sector pensions - an issue
which has been politically controversial for some years.
The Unemployment Insurance Act (Arbeitslosenversicherungsgesetz, AlVG) makes
benefit entitlements, but not contributions, dependent on nationality. On 16
September 1996 the European Court of Human Rights found this inequality to be
in violation of human rights, creating the need to amend the law, and on 11
June 1997 Parliament passed the requisite act.
The recession affecting Portuguese companies from 1991 to 1994 showed that
the difficulties faced by the country stemmed not just from economic
circumstances. Rather, the roots were far more complex and called for
structural changes to competitive factors involving the very fabric of
business and a general remodelling of managerial capacity, vocational
qualifications and financial structure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
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.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
As part of its response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU swiftly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine – enabling displaced persons to settle in the EU and have access to the labour market and basic public services. This policy brief highlights the main barriers encountered by these refugees (over 5 million people to date) when seeking a job and provides suggestions on how to facilitate their integration.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2022 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2022. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.
The term ‘hybrid work’ became popular due to the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is performed both from the usual place of work (normally the employer’s premises) and from home (as experienced during the pandemic) or other locations. However, the concept of hybrid work is still blurry, and various meanings are in use. This topical update brings clarity to this concept by exploring available information from recent literature and the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Housing affordability is a matter of great concern across the EU. Poor housing affordability leads to housing evictions, housing insecurity, problematic housing costs and housing inadequacy. These problems negatively affect health and well-being, create unequal living conditions and opportunities, and come with healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private market tenants face particularly large increases in the cost of housing.
Eurofound's annual review of minimum wages reports on the development of statutory and collectively agreed minimum wages across the EU and the processes through which they were set. The focus of this year’s report is on the impact of high inflation on the setting of minimum wage rates. In addition, new figures on the net value of minimum wages are presented, along with the latest policy-relevant research in the EU Member States and Norway.