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

13815 items found
  • 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.
  • Building industry agreement increases pay and flexibility

    In the new collective agreement in the Dutch building industry, signed in March 1997, a relatively large pay increase has been matched by a degree of increased flexibility regarding the use of temporary employment agency workers and the rules governing working hours.
  • 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 rejects French textile plan

    The issue of the use of national and European subsidies to support employment in a particular country, region or sector, has come under the spotlight in recent weeks in the context of the controversy which has arisen from Renault's announcement of the closure of its factory at Vilvoorde in Belgium (see Record EU9703108F [1]). Renault's request for subsidies to expand its operations in Spain was blocked by European competition policy commissioner, Karel Van Miert, in order to investigate whether EU funding was being used to transfer employment to a region offering lower wage and social costs. [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions/the-renault-case-and-the-future-of-social-europe
  • The closure of Renault-Vilvoorde

    On Thursday 27 February 1997 Renault announced - completely unexpectedly - the closure of its Belgian production plant in Vilvoorde by July of this year. As a result, more than 3,000 Renault employees and an estimated 1,500 employees in direct supply companies will lose their jobs. There is a general consensus that the decision ignored all legal rules and procedures concerning factory closures. This includes ILO and OECD procedures as well as national codes of conduct, and European Union and national legislation on collective redundancies and works council rights. These regulations lay down that employees have to be notified before a decision about a factory closure is made and informed about the ways in which the company plans to deal with the consequences for the employees.
  • Trade unions mobilise for the enforcement of the pact for employment

    A demonstration took place in Rome on 22 March backed by the three biggest trade union confederations, CGIL, CISL, and UIL, in support of the enforcement of the "trilateral" agreement on employment signed in September 1996.
  • Final hurdles for labour market reform?

    All industrial relations activities in Spain have been at a standstill in early 1997, pending the conclusion of negotiations between trade unions and employers' organisations on labour market reform. However, initial agreements have been reached on types of employment contract and on dismissal
  • Government seeks advice on working time Directive

    In November 1996, the UK Government failed in its attempt to have the 1993 Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time (93/104/EC) - which lays down specific requirements concerning weekly hours, holidays, shifts and other patterns of work - annulled by the ECJ. The DTI launched consultations with business organisations on implementation of the Directive in December 1996, and the process was completed in March 1997. The DTI is now analysing the responses, but is unlikely to produce the results until some time after the 1 May general election.
  • Hospitals faced with strikes.

    Two separate strikes have been hitting the French hospital sector over February and March 1997. On the one hand, certain unions are campaigning against cuts in hospital budgets while, on the other hand, numerous trainee doctors and senior consultants are on strike, demanding the revision of the medical agreement co-signed by the health insurance office (CNAM) and the medical profession, which in their opinion hinders the practicing of professional medicine.
  • Bargaining, union elections and workforce reductions in banking

    Negotiations to revise the important collective agreement in Portugal's banking sector are deadlocked. The industry's largest trade union will soon hold its elections, but its socialist members are divided, while substantial workforce reductions have been announced for the coming years.

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