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

13878 items found
  • Workers in performing arts take action over unemployment benefit plans

    Workers in the performing arts have been protesting about threats to their special unemployment benefit scheme arising from employers' positions in the recent renewal of the agreement on the general UNEDIC scheme.
  • Are women the trade union members of the future?

    The typical trade union member of the future could well be a 30-year-old female VDU operator, balancing both work and family responsibilities, according to the TUC. A new report launched at the TUC's women's conference held in Scarborough on 12-14 March, argues that if unions can rise to the challenge, the number of women members could increase by as many as 400,000 by the turn of the century. According to the report (/Women and the new unionism/), women now make up half of the workforce, but only a third are members of a union. Young women are thought to be particularly difficult to organise. Only 6% of women employees under the age of 20 years are presently union members, compared with 24% aged between 20 and 29 years old.
  • New rules on part-time work in the civil service

    On 18 March, the Government submitted a reform package to Parliament addressing five civil service issues, among them the implementation of EC Directive on working time (93/104/EC) in the civil service and more flexible working time rules. Here we focus on the latter point. The new regulations are expected to be voted on by Parliament in time to take effect on 1 June 1997.
  • Determining terms of employment: works council or union?

    A current bill amending the 1971 Works Councils Act has focused attention on the increasingly important role played by Dutch works councils in the negotiation of terms of employment. However, although the function of the trade unions is being somewhat eroded, even in the area of determining primary terms of employment, the traditional division of roles between unions and works councils has remained fundamentally intact.
  • Ministry of Labour launches vocational training campaign

    The campaign is the latest in a series of political initiatives aimed at improving the Danish vocational training system. Throughout the second half of the 1990s, the Danish Government has reformed the system by increasing its market and demand orientation, accompanied by increased financial allowances for employees attending training. In the 1997 Financial Act, expenditure to support companies undertaking projects aimed at planning vocational training activities was raised from DKK 40 million to DKK 65 million. A further sum of DDK 105 million is available to support companies which wish to improve working life.
  • Miners' revolt ends in "corporatist" compromise

    The cause of the industrial unrest was the announcement by the ruling Conservative-Liberal coalition Government that it was planning to scale back annual subsidies for the - basically west - German hard coal (Steinkohle) industry dramatically. During the ensuing protests, Germany saw a human chain of more than 90 kilometres straight through the Ruhr coal heartland, and sympathy demonstrations from east German brown coal miners. Miners in the Ruhr and the Saar areas went on strike. Tens of thousands of miners took to the streets, occupied pits and town halls, and blocked roads as well as the Bonn headquarters of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and its coalition partner, the Free Democrat Party (FDP). In the days before the compromise, the protests of the rank and file seemed to get out of control of the miners' union, IG Bergbau und Energie (IGBE), and its chair, Hans Berger. For the first time in German post-war history, furious miners even entered the restricted area surrounding government buildings in Bonn where no public meetings or marches may be held. As an "act of solidarity with miners fighting for their existence" the Social Democratic Party (SPD) temporarily boycotted a meeting in which opposition and coalition politicians were discussing the reform of the German tax system. When the miners laid siege to Bonn, Chancellor Kohl temporarily put off talks with the union leaders to avoid having to negotiate under duress.
  • Legislative changes affect atypical work

    Legislative changes have been introduced affecting "atypical" work under the Contracts of Employment Act, the Study Leave Act and the Occupational Safety Act. The changes came into force at the beginning of February and they aim to bring the legal status of persons in such work closer to the status of persons under a regular employment contract.
  • Commission publishes amended proposal on transfer of undertakings

    The European Commission has published its amended proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 77/187/EEC on the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings. The amended proposal reflects the Opinions submitted by the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, as well as the many amendments put forward by the European Parliament. Soon after the publication of the amended draft, the Commission also issued a Memorandum on the interpretation of the Directive (Record EU9703109F [1]) [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/commission-issues-memorandum-on-transfer-of-undertakings
  • A new role model - centralised wage bargaining in Ireland

    One of the keenest debates in industrial relations in Europe is the relationship between the institutional structure of the labour market and economic performance and, in particular, the contribution of the wage determination process to national competitiveness. Considerable attention has focused on European economies, like Germany and Sweden, whose traditionally centralised and coordinated bargaining systems have come under significant pressures in recent years. The case of Ireland has attracted less attention.
  • Territorial Employment Pacts underway

    Debate about employment has resumed over the last few months in Greece, owing to an initiative to set up "Territorial Employment Pacts" (TEPs).

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