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
  • Proposal to exempt long-term unemployed people from legal minimum wage

    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
  • European Parliament debates employee consultation measures

    At its plenary session of 13-17 January 1997, the European Parliament debated two important measures relating to employee consultation in European companies. After the European Works Councils (EWCs) Directive was passed in 1994, the Commission published a Communication on the future of employee consultation in November 1995, in order to revive a legislative issue which has been under discussion in various forms for over 15 years. Its aim was to explore whether the model used for determining the structure and operation of EWCs could be used in a wider context as a basis for making progress with the long-delayed European Company Statute.
  • Social partners start discussions on reform of the July 1993 agreement

    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.
  • The 1997 bargaining round previewed

    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).
  • Forges de Clabecq: struggle against decline in steel production

    It is expected that the fate of the Forges de Clabecq steelworks will be sealed on 15 June 1997. However, whatever the outcome of the recovery operation by the Swiss-Italian industrial concern, Duferco, something will have changed in this Belgian enterprise located some 15 miles from Brussels in the province of Brabant. Beyond the event in itself - the closure of a firm leading to the loss of 1,800 jobs - which has not itself been exceptional over the last few months in Belgium, it is the style of activity undertaken by the Forges de Clabecq union delegation [1] that has revealed a new union climate. [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/union-delegation
  • Two-fold increase in the minimum wage

    The statutory minimum wage in Luxembourg has been increased by 3.2% from 1 January 1997, as a result of legislation, and additionally by 2.5% from 1 February 1997, under the terms of an index-linked mechanism.
  • Controversial changes in Employment Security Act provide for more bargaining at company level

    Late in 1996, Parliament passed legislation providing for changes in the Employment Security Act that aroused the anger of the trade unions. Although most of the new provisions apply from 1 January 1997, the most controversial modification, in Section 2 of the Act, will not come into force until 1 July. This will give trade unions and employers more time to adapt to the new rule in the legislation which deals with the level of central bargaining and collective agreements.
  • Reform of the apprenticeship system agreed

    The Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) and the Austrian Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) agreed the outlines of a reform of the apprenticeship system on 1 March 1997. The precise details are to be agreed in a working group comprising officials of the social partners, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of the Economy, and experts from other, as yet unspecified, organisations.
  • The future of the social dialogue at Community level

    On 18 September 1996, the European Commission adopted a /Communication Concerning the Development of the Social Dialogue Process at Community Level/ (COM(96) 448 final). Launching the Communication, the commissioner responsible for social affairs, Padraig Flynn, said that the time had come to reform and adapt the social dialogue in view of the new challenges facing the European Union in years to come. The Commission was" aiming at a rationalisation of structures and an optimal allocation of the resources available".
  • New national agreement on continuing training

    At the end of 1996, the major trade unions and employers' associations signed the Second National Agreement on Continuing Training (II Acuerdo Nacional de Formación Continua), which was later endorsed by a tripartite agreement between these organisations and the Government. The new agreements build on certain basic aspects of the continuing training system in Spain that was started in 1993, though they also introduce some important innovations.

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