1093 items found

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  • CEOE sets out views on economic and labour issues

    In November 2004, the chair of the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organisations (CEOE) set out a number of strategic recommendations for the coming year. CEOE makes an unfavourable diagnosis of the competitiveness of the Spanish economy and calls for more flexibility, lower taxes and reduced labour and social costs. The trade unions disagree with this analysis.
  • Government disregards social partner proposal on unemployment insurance contributions

    The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund [1] (Eesti Töötukassa) is governed by a tripartite council. The council consists of six members, of whom: two represent the Estonian Employers’ Confederation (Eesti Tööandjate Keskliit, ETTK [2]) (EE0310102F [3]); one represents the Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions (Eesti Ametiühingute Keskliit, EAKL [4]) (EE0308101F [5]); one represents the Estonian Employees’ Unions’ Confederation (Eesti Teenistujate Ametiühingute Keskorganisatsioon, TALO [6]); and two represent the government. In October 2004, the central social partner organisations called for unemployment insurance contributions to be cut in 2005, whereafter the Unemployment Insurance Fund made a proposal to the government to decrease the employers’ contribution from 0.5% of gross payroll to 0.35% and the employees’ contribution from 1% of pay to 0.7% (EE0411101N [7]). However, the government refused to cut the amount of the unemployment insurance contribution. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
  • Pilot projects on more flexible working time assessed

    In recent years, a number of municipalities have initiated experiments with flexible forms of working time organisation. An experiment with employees alternating three days of work and three days off - the so-called '3-3 model'- was completed in November 2004 in the municipality of Præstø, to the south of Copenhagen. The project was reportedly not a success. Only one third of the employees involved now wish to continue to work on the basis of the new model, and when the pilot project was launched about a year previously, about one third of the employees chose to change to another job because they did not want to work under the new working time schedule. The model of alternating periods of three days work and three days off was copied from a scheme in Sweden, where the results are good, with lower sickness absence and greater job satisfaction. However, the outcomes have not been the same in Denmark.
  • Chemicals social partners defend collective bargaining autonomy

    On 18 November 2004, the Mining, Chemicals and Energy Industrial Union (Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie, IG BCE) and the German Federation of Chemicals Employers' Associations (Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie, BAVC) held a joint press conference at which they defended the current system of sectoral collective bargaining. The press conference took place against the background of a new public debate on the future of the collective bargaining system, which was triggered by proposals raised by the conservative and liberal opposition parties - the Christian Democratic Union (Christlich Demokratische Partei, CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP) - to decentralise the collective bargaining system by way of new legal provisions on 'opening clauses' in sectoral agreements (DE0403104F [1] and DE0312202F [2]). [1] [2]
  • New legislation seeks to tackle discrimination

    On 1 October 2004, a new Act on Employment (no. 435/2004) came into force; at the same time, a further 54 related regulations, including the Labour Code, were amended. Act no. 435/2004 merges and amends Acts nos. 1/1991 on employment, and 9/1991 on employment and the powers of the authorities of the Czech Republic in the area of employment, which set out binding rules for all parties on the labour market.
  • Union discontent at Bulgarian Telecommunication Company

    In late 2004, trade unions at the newly privatised Bulgarian Telecommunication Company (BTC) announced that they were pulling out of the Council for Reconciliation of Interests (CRI), the social dialogue body for the communications sector, in protest at management's employment policies.
  • Working time dispute at Post Office

    November 2004 saw industrial action at the Belgian Post Office, as trade unions accused management of going back on a commitment to reduce weekly working time from 38 hours to 36.
  • Talks over 2005-6 intersectoral agreement prove difficult

    Negotiations among the Belgian social partners over a national intersectoral agreement covering 2005-6 have run into difficulties in late 2004, with disagreement over the margin for pay increases over the next two years. The employers’ organisations consider that no increase is possible if the competitive position of Belgian companies is to be improved, while trade unions are threatening industrial action if wages are frozen.
  • Common pay system agreed for all metalworking employees

    After 23 hours of unbroken and intense negotiations, on 4 November 2004 the sectoral social partners concluded a new collective agreement for some 119,000 blue-collar and 74,000 white-collar workers in the metalworking industry. This sector traditionally opens Austria's annual autumn bargaining round and plays a pattern-setting role in the overall bargaining process (AT0210202F [1]). According to the bargaining parties involved - the various branch subunits of the Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) on the employers’ side and the blue-collar Metalworking and Textiles Union (Gewerkschaft Metall-Textil, GMT) and white-collar Union of Salaried Employees (Gewerkschaft der Privatangestellten, GPA) on the employees’ side - the negotiations proved to be extraordinarily difficult. This was because the trade unions insisted on the introduction of a new common pay system applying to the sector’s blue- and white-collar workers without, at the same time, introducing more flexible working hours schemes, as demanded by the employers (AT0410202F [2]). The unions’ goal was eventually reached, albeit in exchange with a quite moderate pay increase of only 2.5% in both minimum and actual wages - and without a provision for a company-level 'distribution option' (as laid down in earlier agreements - AT0111229N [3]). [1] [2] [3]
  • Information technology: Use and training in Europe

    /The growth of information and communication technologies (ICT) has had a dramatic impact on almost all sectors and occupations, fundamentally changing the face of the workplace. This report looks at computer use and training provisions in Europe. Information technology use and skills are seen as vital elements in achieving the European objective to become the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world./