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
  • European super unions on the horizon?

    At the beginning of March the first steps were taken towards the creation of the first "European super union". One of Britain's biggest trade unions, the General, Municipal and Boilermakers' Union (GMB), signed a joint membership agreement with the German chemical workers' union. The deal between the GMB and IG Chemie-Papier-Keramik means that 1.8 million workers will be entitled to joint membership. Although the two unions may not provide the same services, UK workers in Germany can expect legal advice, support from representatives, and training facilities, while German workers in the UK can expect legal advice, health and safety information and financial benefits (Record DE9703206N [1]). [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/joint-union-membership-for-german-and-uk-workers
  • Can members of the far Right be elected to industrial tribunals ?

    Prior to the election of industrial tribunal members in December 1997, five trade union confederations have requested an overhaul of the voting system in order to prevent the election of judges from the far Right.
  • Base-line income system established

    The Portuguese Government is planning to extend its "base-line" minimum income system to the whole country, and there are calls for greater involvement by the social partners in its operation.
  • Is "Investors in People" solving the UK training problem?

    At the end of February 1997 the education and employment minister, James Paice, was warning that "people ignore at their peril the value of investing in learning", arguing that too many employers still do not realise the value of investing in their employees. He went on to say that action should be taken immediately to drive up skill levels and standards to keep up with growing international competition. Employers were said to be a crucial part of this process but, it is "not how much you invest in training, its how you invest it". The Government thus backs the Investors in People (IIP) standard, as it shows that spending money on people is an investment and not a cost.
  • Stockauto leads labour reform with new agreement

    Stockauto, a vehicle storage and distribution firm, has signed a collective agreement on some of the most controversial issues in the current debate on reform of the Spanish labour market: the creation of secure employment, the definition of the objective reasons for dismissal and the search for procedures to make working time more flexible
  • Law establishes retirement savings funds

    On 20 February 1997, Parliament adopted a law establishing retirement savings funds. This legislation has a dual objective. Firstly, to provide private sector employees with a new retirement cover financed by capitalisation, and secondly, to strengthen the Paris financial market and balance the growing power of foreign institutional investors.
  • The use of "hardship clauses" in the east German metalworking industry

    Since the beginning of the 1990s, the German system of centralised sectoral collective bargaining (Flächentarifvertrag), which guarantees all employees in a certain sector more or less the same basic income and working conditions, has been under increasing pressure. With growing internationalisation of capital and markets and an increasing pressure of international competition, more and more employers and economic experts have been demanding a more decentralised and company-related collective bargaining system. German unification in 1990 brought a further dynamism to the debate. Originally, all the relevant social partners agreed to transfer the western collective bargaining system to eastern Germany, but because of the continuing immense economic problems. more and more eastern employers became dissatisfied with that decision. For instance, in the eastern metal industry the proportion of employers who are members of an employers' association decreased from 60% in 1991 to 36% in 1994 - though still covering between 55% and 65% of the employees ("Ostdeutsche Tariflandschaften", Ingrid Artus and Rudi Schmidt, in Die Mitbestimmung No. 11, p. 34-36 (1996)).
  • Postal workers strike

    In an ongoing industrial dispute, trade unions have accused the public sector corporation, EPI (the Italian Postal Organisation), of not respecting collective agreements and commitments on employment.
  • Recent trends in health and safety at work

    Health and safety at work has arisen as a very serious matter of social concern over recent years and has become a focus of interest for both the state and the social institutions concerned. The magnitude and complexity of the problem and the need to find direct and effective solutions have induced both employers and employees to examine the problem of occupational hazards and conditions affecting the working environment in general. It is estimated that in Greece the national economy is burdened by GRD 20 billion a year due to accidents at work (excluding costs of medical care). The Social Insurance Foundation (IKA) alone receives 25,000 reports of accidents at work a year. The problem is even bigger if we add in the cost of occupational illnesses which remain undiagnosed, since these are ignored by the official statistics.
  • Commission issues Communication on the modernisation of social protection systems

    In a Communication published in March 1997, the European Commission calls for the modernisation, adaptation and improvement of social protection systems in the member states. It argues that these systems, most of which were established decades ago, no longer conform with the changing economic and social conditions of today's society. The Commission sees a particular need for social protection systems, which currently account for 28% of total EU GDP, to be adapted to:

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