Role of the social partners
The potential for the social partners, particularly in the current economic downturn, to act together in tackling social exclusion has been highlighted in Eurofound’s work. Evidence from across Europe demonstrates that they have at their disposal a variety of tools, through collective bargaining and beyond, to deal with this issue. Job creation is one area where employers can most effectively contribute to greater inclusion, while trade unions can work to ensure adequate pay, job security, and working conditions. In recent times, trade unions and employers have often agreed to moderate wage increases and to introduce pay freezes, or in some cases even pay cuts, in an attempt to limit or avoid redundancies.