Communiqué October 2006
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Terttu Savolainen, State Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health with Jorma Karppinen, the Foundation’s Director, at the opening of the The future of employment in social care in Europe conference in Helsinki on 2 October. The conference, which identified key pointers for the creation of good quality jobs in Europe’s social care sector over the next five to 10 years, was organised in collaboration with the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) under the auspices of the current Finnish Presidency of the European Union.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Europe’s print media sector has lost its prime position in the organised labour movement – with its history of creating trade unions and developing industrial relations practices – due to industry-wide rationalisation, consolidation, and digitalisation over the past two decades. The changes, which have had profound effects on industrial relations in the sector, have effectively restructured the industry from a labour-intensive industry with a large pool of employees to technologically advanced work carried out by a limited number of workers. The latest comparative survey of industrial relations in Europe’s media sector from the Foundation’s Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) points out, however, that these changes have also created a disproportionate number of precarious contracts in part-time work, distance working, and teleworking. The new study, covering 18 EU Member States, focuses on changes in employment levels and practices, the views of employers and trade unions, and the level of social dialogue and industrial conflict.
Download the study
Increased international competition and the elimination of trade barriers, coupled with stringent food safety regulations, new consumer trends and technological advances, are drivers that challenge the future structure and competitiveness of Europe’s food and beverage industry. The Foundation’s European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) will bring together leading industry actors, including social partners, policy makers and experts, to find ways to tackle these at a workshop in Dublin on 23–24 October. Building on the successful concept of involving all participants in scenario building and group work to share experiences based on EMCC research, the seminar entitled ‘Feeding Europe’ will provide a greater insight into the sector and offer practical tools on how to anticipate and manage change in companies and organisations.
An EMCC dossier on this subject has just been published
The Foundation’s research project – aimed at improving levels of social dialogue in the ten new EU Member States, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Turkey – has produced national action plans for each participating country. Project participants will meet in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in early October to plan the next steps, which includes how to seek administrative and financial support from the European Commission (DG Enlargement, and DG Social Affairs and Employment) and to learn about online tools that are available as help to realise their plans. The project, initiated in 2005, brings together social partners, government representatives and researchers in an effort to collectively find ways of building solid social dialogue to promote employment, better working conditions and industrial relations.
Learn more about this project
Almost four out of five workers in Europe consider themselves as either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their job, according to Foundation research. However, there are large differences in the levels of perception of job satisfaction in the former EU15 countries and in the new Member States. The Foundation’s European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO), which reports on trends and developments in working conditions in the EU, aims to raise awareness of the issue among national authorities and social partners by holding a seminar on job satisfaction and working conditions during the Finnish EU Presidency. The event, to be held in Helsinki on 9–10 November, will outline the positive and negative factors contributing to job satisfaction and put them into an EU perspective with the help of new findings from the Foundation’s fourth European Working Conditions Survey.