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

13879 items found
  • European Central Banks trade unions meet in Portugal

    A working group set up by the Standing Committee of the European Central Banks' Trade Unions met in Ferreira do Zêzere in March, and issued a declaration relating to the rights of workers involved in the production and circulation of the Euro.
  • The legal position of foreign nationals

    On 13 March, after long debate between ministries, trade unions, and provincial governments, the national Government submitted a reform package covering the Arbeitslosenversicherungsgesetz(Unemployment Insurance Act), the Fremdengesetz(Aliens Act), the Aufenthaltsgesetz(Residence Act), the Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz(Aliens Employment Act), and the Asylgesetz(Asylum Act). The aim is to homogenise the laws, to reduce immigration to an absolute minimum compatible with human rights and the Geneva Convention on the Rights of Refugees, and to improve the integration of the resident foreign population. The reform package is now open to public debate, and will be submitted to Parliament before the summer. Changes are intended to take effect as of 1 January 1998.
  • A National Minimum Wage: Who, what and why?

    Until recent years, largely due to the voluntary system of industrial relations in the UK, a universal national minimum wage has never been more than a passing thought. Instead, because of the growing awareness of poor working conditions and low wages, trade boards were established in 1909 in certain "sweated trades" to set minimum wages and standards. The areas and industries under the boards' coverage began to widen, so that by the time they became known as Wages Councils (WCs) in 1945 they covered some 4.5 million workers. But from the 1960s, the WCs came under increasing criticism for three main reasons:
  • New collective agreement for hospitals

    At the end of February 1997, the social partners in Luxembourg's hospital sector concluded a new collective agreement in a "cooperative" atmosphere. The deal provides for pay increases and a reduction and reorganisation of working hours for 5,000 employees.
  • Unions oppose privatisation of Telefónica

    At the beginning of 1997, the total privatisation of Telefónica, the largest Spanish telecommunications firm, was completed. The trade unions in the company, led by CCOO and UGT, have applied for a judicial review of this measure, demanding its suspension until the new regulatory framework for the sector is defined, and a public, universal and quality service is guaranteed in the area of telecommunications. The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the appeal but has not suspended the privatisation.
  • Two-year collective agreement for government employees

    On 21 February 1997, theMinistry of Finance and the Danish Central Federation of State Employees (CFU) signed a new collective agreement for the period 1997-9, covering 225,000 government employees. The parties agreed on a total 4.25% increase, of which 2.9% is to be allocated for a general pay rise, and 1.35% for pensions and other purposes. Additionally, a wage adjustment scheme has been introduced to take account of private sector increases
  • Telecom offers personal contracts to managers

    Telecom Eireann's plan to introduce personal contracts for 300 of its managers who report directly to senior executives must be seen in the context of the company's effort to implement a major programme of change to meet the requirements of EU-driven deregulation requirements. A Telecom redundancy package was also reactivated recently, one of several in recent years, as the company seeks to reduce costs. It is also to enter talks with the union representing general workers in Telecom, the Communications Workers Union, on a proposed IEP 110 million cost savings plan.
  • Battle against "clandestine" employment intensifies

    Following parliamentary controversy, a law clamping down on illegal and undeclared "clandestine" employment was adopted in February 1997.
  • UGT assesses collective bargaining in 1996

    According to the UGT trade union confederation, during the 1996 collective bargaining round pay increases were generally settled in line with the Social Concertation Agreement for that year.
  • Positive experience with working time flexibility at Akzo Nobel

    In accordance with its 1995 collective agreement, Akzo Nobel has evaluated the effects of "working time differentiation" and more flexible working hours on employment. Since the effects appear positive, a 36-hour week is expected to be introduced by 1 July 1997.

Pages