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
  • Forthcoming mass redundancies at Tele Danmark: the Danish telecom sector in transformation

    On 29 January 1997, Tele Danmark informed its employees of its decision to reduce staff by 2,500 and take on 500 new employees. The decision, which was due to come into effect by mid-1998, is part of an efficiency plan, which will cut annual costs by DKK 600 million and implement major organisational changes.
  • Civil servants' pay negotiations break down.

    Following the freezing of civil servants' salaries imposed by the Government for 1996, the Government announced the convening of pay negotiations which have been continually put off since the spring of 1996, but which will now not take place at all.
  • 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
  • Basic pay up 2.3% in western Germany in 1996

    According to a recent analysis by the Institute for Economics and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) basic wages and salaries in western Germany grew on average by about 2.3% in 1996. Thus, pay increased by about 0.8 percentage points above the inflation rate, which stood at 1.5% in 1996. Altogether, about 15.1 million employees were covered by collective agreements signed in 1996. The highest pay increases, at 2.8%, were in the energy and water industry and in the iron and steel industry. The lowest increases were in banking (1.5%), post and telecommunications (1.4%) and public services (1.3%).
  • TUC launches pre-election campaign

    The Trades Union Congress (TUC) launched its campaign to put workers' rights at the centre of the general election on 14 February 1997. The campaign, which will cost GBP 1 million, includes newspaper and cinema ads, billboards and leaflets.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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