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

13885 items found
  • New agreement on cooperation and bargaining procedure in Swedish industry

    On 18 March 1997, eight trade unions and 12 employers' organisations in industry concluded an agreement on cooperation and the regulation of pay. Its aim is to promote growth, profitability and competitiveness in industry. As such, claim the parties, it will provide the necessary prerequisite for a reduction of unemployment and form the basis for improvements in pay and good working conditions.
  • France and UK compete for Toyota investment

    The UK has been the main recipient of Toyota's European investment so far, at its plant in Derby. If the UK were to lose the new investment to France, it would be a huge blow to the Government which recently had to "rebuild some fences" after the company announced in February 1997 that it might switch its investment elsewhere in Europe if the UK did not join the single European currency.
  • Bill on combating exclusion under discussion.

    On 26 February 1997, the French Cabinet adopted a bill aiming at rebuilding social cohesion, which is to be debated in the National Assembly some time in April 1997.
  • More flexibility in Sunday working

    On 19 March 1997, Parliament passed a reform of the Arbeitszeitgesetz(AZG, Working Time Act) - see Record AT9702102F [1]. This necessitated minor changes to the Arbeitsruhegesetz(ARG, Leisure Time Act) which were also passed on 19 March. However, the parliamentary Labour and Social Affairs Committee, at the behest of the social partners, had introduced wording allowing more flexibility than hitherto in regard to Sunday work, causing a major public debate in its wake. In future it will be possible for the social partners to conclude collective agreements permitting exceptions from the general ban on Sunday work. They can only do so, the law states, if it is necessary in order to avoid economic disadvantage or to safeguard employment. As far as this is feasible, the collective agreement has to specify the activities to be permissible on Sundays and the time allowed for them. Until now it was not possible to grant specific exemptions from the ban on Sunday work except if the technology required continuous production. The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs could, however, permit a whole industry to work on Sundays. [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-law-and-regulation/moves-towards-greater-working-time-flexibility
  • Ministry of Employment clarifies controversial Law on Working Time Reduction

    Law 21/96, which aims to reduce the working week to 40 hours, has given rise to labour disputes in certain sectors and some controversial statements. An official communication released by the Secretary of State for Employment in March attempts to shed light on the areas of concern.
  • Trends in collective bargaining since 1994

    The major labour market reform legislation of 1994 made important changes to the framework for collective bargaining in Spain. This feature examines bargaining trends since 1994, and analyses the positions of the parties involved and the results of the reform.
  • Employment alliance signed at Mercedes Benz

    On 27 February 1997, a company-wide employment alliance (Beschäftigungspakt) was signed at the automobile manufacturer Mercedes Benz. A whole package of instruments should boost competitiveness and save the jobs of the 134,000 employees working for Mercedes Benz in Germany. The background to the agreement is the increasing international competition between different potential production locations, and the resulting need to cut costs.
  • Talks open on change and share plan at Telecom

    A joint management/trade union Joint Strategic Consultative Group (JSCG) has been established to tackle the job of negotiating an agreement to help to transform state-owned Telecom Eireann to meet current and future competitive challenges. The key issues which the JSCG expects to address before the end of April 1997 are a five-year, IEP 110 million cost reduction plan, change and flexibility proposals and the question of an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), first proposed by the trade unions.
  • Commission underlines the role of the social partners in fighting racism

    Over the past decade there has been increasing concern among the institutions of the European Union about the rising tide of racism across the member states. In a recent address to a conference on combating racism organised by the ETUC, social affairs commissioner Padraig Flynn highlighted the importance of the fight against racism in "achieving improved working conditions, creating jobs, improved industrial relations, the use of human resources to the best possible effect, social justice, equal opportunities, wealth and tolerance".
  • 1996 saw the lowest number of unofficial strikes in the 1990s

    According to the yearly wage statistics from the Danish Employers' Confederation (DA), 1996 was the most conflict-free year for the private sector labour market in the 1990s. From 1995 to 1996, the number of unofficial strikes - defined as those in contravention of a collective agreement - fell from 1,740 to 791 and the number of working days lost decreased by 70% to 52,808 in 1996. Although there was an overall decrease in working days lost, the proportion of working days lost due to wage disagreements increased from 45% to 52% and conflicts related to redundancies and dismissals increased from 5% to 13%. Between 1995 and 1996 secondary action fell drastically, from 34% to 9% of the total number of working days lost. This can be attributed to the 1995 bus conflict ("RiBus-konflikten"), one of the longest disputes in post-war Danish industrial relations.

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