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  • Article
    27 February 1997

    For the first time since 1960, the Belgian social partners have failed to
    reach an intersectoral pay agreement and have instead accepted government
    imposition of measures on employment and maximum pay increases. This
    development runs counter to all traditions of free collective bargaining and
    the autonomy of both sides of industry. It also appears to reinforce the
    trend towards sector-level bargaining, away from intersectoral or
    central-level bargaining, thereby widening the disparities between strong and
    weak sectors.

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    The majority of Norwegian wage agreements are of two years' duration, and the
    current settlements will expire during 1998. However, issues relating to
    remuneration will be renegotiated at central level in 1997. Most of the
    agreements between LO (the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions or
    Landsorganisasjonen i Norge) and NHO (the Confederation of Norwegian Business
    and Industry or Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon) in the private sector
    expire on 31 March 1997, and bargaining is expected to commence in mid-March.
    Agreements in the public sector expire one month later. The social partners
    have not yet specified their demands, but all the central parties have held
    initial bargaining conferences. In this feature, we describe the economic
    climate in Norway prior to the wage negotiations, examine the provisional
    demands the social partners have put forward, and comment on these demands in
    the light of the existing social pact between the central labour market
    parties in Norway, the so-called "Solidarity Alternative"
    (Solidaritetsalternativet).

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    The issue of wage flexibility as a means of promoting employment growth was
    initially put forward by the ex-president of Confindustria (the most
    important Italian employers' association), Luigi Abete, as a problem which
    had not been adequately dealt with in the 1993 income policy agreement. CISL,
    one of the three main trade union confederations, later took up the wage
    flexibility issue and proposed flexibility in starting wages (the so-called
    "entrance salary") as a means of tackling the extremely serious employment
    crisis in some southern regions of Italy.

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    According to a recent analysis by the Institute for Economics and Social
    Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) basic wages
    and salaries in western Germany grew on average by about 2.3% in 1996. Thus,
    pay increased by about 0.8 percentage points above the inflation rate, which
    stood at 1.5% in 1996. Altogether, about 15.1 million employees were covered
    by collective agreements signed in 1996. The highest pay increases, at 2.8%,
    were in the energy and water industry and in the iron and steel industry. The
    lowest increases were in banking (1.5%), post and telecommunications (1.4%)
    and public services (1.3%).

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    On 19 February, the Government presented a bill to Parliament, proposing
    modifications in the legislation concerning the granting of workers' claims
    in case of their employer's insolvency. There is no doubt that it will be
    passed by Parliament. This will then be the second time the legislation has
    been modified in order to comply with EU Council Directive 80/987/EEC on this
    subject.

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    The immediate catalyst for the current prominence of working time in UK
    industrial relations is the failure in November 1996 of the Government's
    attempt to have the EU Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of
    working time (Council Directive 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993) annulled by
    the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Steps are being taken to implement the
    Directive, though the present Conservative Government hopes to get the
    Directive "disapplied" if it wins the forthcoming general election. Also
    important, however, is the growing debate about the implications for the
    well-being of individuals and their families of the fact that UK's hours of
    work are long in comparison with other EU member states.

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    The Dutch Government wants to allow employers temporary exemptions from the
    legal minimum wage [1] (WML- wettelijk minimumloon), and to that end, a bill
    was submitted to Parliament in 1996. The target group consists of long-term
    unemployed people aged between 20 and 65. The purpose of the bill is to give
    such people the prospect of qualifying for a full-time job while working. The
    definition of "long-term unemployed" is taken from an existing statutory
    regulation.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/minimum-wage-4

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    The end of 1996 and the first two months of 1997 were marked by a wave of
    strikes that began last November and December, upsetting the relative
    industrial calm that had existed over recent years. The strikes peaked during
    January but continued throughout February, for at least certain groups of
    employees, though by then they had begun to peter out. The strikes represent
    basically a head-on clash with the Government's policy of austerity, and
    focus primarily on discontent with the tax system and a recently-passed tax
    law. This clash also acquired a political character, since the demands of
    workers across various sectors converged and merged within the wider context
    of discontent.

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    The primary objectives of Partnership 2000 (P2000) are: " the continued
    development of an efficient modern economy capable of high and sustainable
    economic and employment growth and operating within the constraints of
    international competitiveness, ensuring that Irish society becomes more
    inclusive, that long-term unemployment is substantially reduced, and that the
    benefits of growth are more equally distributed. The strategy provides a
    framework within which specific issues or programmes will be developed, in
    the normal way."

  • Article
    27 February 1997

    On Sunday 2 February 1997, a so-called "multicoloured march for jobs" drew
    about 50,000 people from all over Belgium to the streets of Clabecq, a small
    industrial town on the borders of the provinces of Brabant and Hainaut.

Series

  • European Quality of Life Surveys

    The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.

  • European Jobs Monitor

    This series brings together publications and other outputs of the European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which tracks structural change in European labour markets. The EJM analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels, etc.

  • European Quality of Life Survey 2016

    Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2016, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003. 

  • European Working Conditions Survey 2015

    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 EWCS 2015, the sixth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.

  • European Working Conditions Survey 1996

    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 EWCS 1996, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.

  • European Working Conditions Survey 2001

    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 EWCS 2001, which was an extension of the EWCS 2000 to cover the then 12 acceding and candidate countries. The survey was first carried out in 1990.

  • European Working Conditions Survey 2000

    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 EWCS 2000, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.

  • European Company Survey 2004

    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 first edition of the survey carried out in 2004–2005 under the name European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance. 

  • European Company Survey 2009

    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 2009, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance. 

  • European Company Survey 2013

    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 2013, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.

Forthcoming publications