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
  • Impasse in metalworking

    In 10 sessions over the course of five months, the Metals, Mining and Energy Workers trade union (Gewerkschaft Metall-Bergbau-Energie, GMBE) and eight associations together comprising the metalworking sector within the Bundessektion Industrie of the Austrian Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) have thrashed out a collective agreement on working time flexibilisation covering 229,000 employees (162,000 waged, 67,000 salaried) in industrial establishments. However, one of the eight associations - Fachverband der Metallwarenindustrie- has been blocking ratification of the deal since mid-March.
  • Banking sector in conflict over statutory working week

    In France, regulation of the working week is based on a piece of legislation passed in 1936, which laid down a work schedule spread over five days. Decrees on the application of this law made special provision, in each sector, for the way in which these hours would be organised. The one concerning banking dates from 1937.
  • Krupp-Hoesch/Thyssen merger intensifies debate on future of German stakeholder capitalism

    Just one week after the German social partners and Government found a compromise on the future development of the German mining industry (DE9703104F [1]) the Ruhr region (one of Germany's oldest industrial areas) was again the focus of social conflict. On 18 March 1997 the second-largest German steel producer, Krupp-Hoesch, announced plans for a hostile takeover of its main competitor, Thyssen. Krupp-Hoesch made an offer to the Thyssen shareholders to buy their shares for DEM 435 each, which was about 25% higher than the current quotation on the German stock exchange. The president of Krupp-Hoesch, Gerhard Cromme, stated that the acquisition of Thyssen would create a lot of synergy effects, and could help to improve the international competitiveness of the German steel industry. [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/miners-revolt-ends-in-corporatist-compromise
  • Collective bargaining and strikes in the first quarter of 1997

    The incidence of collective bargaining across a variety of sectors in Portugal has tended slightly to decrease in the first quarter of 1997. However, at the same time, the number of strikes has been increasing - often to enforce reductions in working time
  • Commission to bring infringement proceedings against three member states

    Padraig Flynn, the commissioner responsible for employment, industrial relations and social affairs, announced on 3 April 1997 that the Commission is to take infringement proceedings against three member states for their failure to apply certain Community legislation in the social field. Reasoned opinions outlining the Commission's view are to be sent to France, Italy and Greece. The details of the cases are as follows:
  • Union election result shocks leadership

    Ireland's largest trade union, the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), has a new president after a closer than expected ballot of its 180,000 members. The tight result - announced in early April 1997 - surprised the union's leadership, given the fact that a left-wing activist polled almost 42% of the votes cast compared with the 56% who voted for former vice-president, Jimmy Somers.
  • Labour cost reductions pose new challenges to industrial relations in banking

    Over the past few months, the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Antonio Fazio, and the Abi banking employers' association have urged the Government to start negotiations with employers' associations and trade unions in order to deal with the problems linked to the low profitability of the Italian banking sector. High labour costs and redundancy are the main themes of debate. On 8 April 1997, a first meeting took place between an Abi delegation and a ministerial group, which represented the official opening of negotiations that will also involve the trade unions in the near future.
  • Social responsibility of companies tops the political agenda

    With 270,000 persons either on early retirement, unemployed or otherwise excluded from the labour market, theSocial Democrat-led Government is anxious to involve the social partners in producing workable alternatives for job creation for these groups of workers, rather than simply paying lip-service to the idea. In the 1995 collective bargaining round, the social partners were invited to elaborate on social clauses in their collective agreements. Accordingly, 90% of the bargaining units in the are covered by the LO trade union confederation and DA employers' confederation agreed on what have become known as "Social Chapters", which contain framework provisions on job creation on special terms of employment - ie, content of work, working hours and pay - to be negotiated and elaborated upon at local and company level. Similarly, the bargaining parties in government employment agreed on Social Chapters in their 1995 collective agreements. Employees in local government at regional and municipal level were also covered by a framework agreement negotiated in May 1996.
  • Controversial agreement in information technology sector

    The principal collective agreement in the Dutch information technology and office equipment sector, concluded in April 1997 between the employers' organisation and one of the trade unions, has been criticised by the other unions and four large software and service companies
  • Negotiations on retirement age equality postponed

    Government plans to amend Finnish legislation to bring it into line with EU equality law have recently proved controversial with the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (STTK). Following negotiations, further discussion of the issue has been postponed to autumn 1997.

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