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

13885 items found
  • UNICE outlines its vision for the future of the European social dialogue

    In its response to the Commission's September 1996 Communication on the development of the social dialogue (see Record EU9702102F [1]), UNICE (the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe) welcomes the opportunity for debate and calls for a reinforcement of consultation with the social partners. However, it argues that the treatment of fundamentally different processes in one Communication adds a source of confusion to the debate. These varied processes include: the consultation and negotiation within the meaning of Article 118B of the EC Treaty and Article 3.1 of the Agreement on social policy; Advisory Committees; the Standing Committee on Employment; the joint sectoral committees and informal working groups; tripartite bodies; joint operational initiatives; European Works Councils, and the social dialogue in trans-boundary region. UNICE feels that the Communication should have: [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-industrial-relations/the-future-of-the-social-dialogue-at-community-level
  • Ministry of Employment clarifies controversial Law on Working Time Reduction

    Law 21/96, which aims to reduce the working week to 40 hours, has given rise to labour disputes in certain sectors and some controversial statements. An official communication released by the Secretary of State for Employment in March attempts to shed light on the areas of concern.
  • More flexibility in Sunday working

    On 19 March 1997, Parliament passed a reform of the Arbeitszeitgesetz(AZG, Working Time Act) - see Record AT9702102F [1]. This necessitated minor changes to the Arbeitsruhegesetz(ARG, Leisure Time Act) which were also passed on 19 March. However, the parliamentary Labour and Social Affairs Committee, at the behest of the social partners, had introduced wording allowing more flexibility than hitherto in regard to Sunday work, causing a major public debate in its wake. In future it will be possible for the social partners to conclude collective agreements permitting exceptions from the general ban on Sunday work. They can only do so, the law states, if it is necessary in order to avoid economic disadvantage or to safeguard employment. As far as this is feasible, the collective agreement has to specify the activities to be permissible on Sundays and the time allowed for them. Until now it was not possible to grant specific exemptions from the ban on Sunday work except if the technology required continuous production. The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs could, however, permit a whole industry to work on Sundays. [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-law-and-regulation/moves-towards-greater-working-time-flexibility
  • France and UK compete for Toyota investment

    The UK has been the main recipient of Toyota's European investment so far, at its plant in Derby. If the UK were to lose the new investment to France, it would be a huge blow to the Government which recently had to "rebuild some fences" after the company announced in February 1997 that it might switch its investment elsewhere in Europe if the UK did not join the single European currency.
  • Trends in collective bargaining since 1994

    The major labour market reform legislation of 1994 made important changes to the framework for collective bargaining in Spain. This feature examines bargaining trends since 1994, and analyses the positions of the parties involved and the results of the reform.
  • Bill on combating exclusion under discussion.

    On 26 February 1997, the French Cabinet adopted a bill aiming at rebuilding social cohesion, which is to be debated in the National Assembly some time in April 1997.
  • Working time experiments introduced in 20 municipalities

    The Ministry of Labour has chosen 20 municipalities in different parts of Finland to participate in new forms of working time organisation on an experimental basis. Results so far have been favourable.
  • Talks open on change and share plan at Telecom

    A joint management/trade union Joint Strategic Consultative Group (JSCG) has been established to tackle the job of negotiating an agreement to help to transform state-owned Telecom Eireann to meet current and future competitive challenges. The key issues which the JSCG expects to address before the end of April 1997 are a five-year, IEP 110 million cost reduction plan, change and flexibility proposals and the question of an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), first proposed by the trade unions.
  • Employment alliance signed at Mercedes Benz

    On 27 February 1997, a company-wide employment alliance (Beschäftigungspakt) was signed at the automobile manufacturer Mercedes Benz. A whole package of instruments should boost competitiveness and save the jobs of the 134,000 employees working for Mercedes Benz in Germany. The background to the agreement is the increasing international competition between different potential production locations, and the resulting need to cut costs.
  • Courts play an increasing role in supervising mass redundancies

    After a legal battle lasting more than three years between the management of La Samaritaine (one of the five large Paris department stores), and its works council and CGT union branch, two rulings by the highest court in the French legal system on 13 February 1997, imposed the reinstatement of staff made redundant, as part of the cancellation of a corporate "downsizing" procedure (plan social). These rulings reveal the growing role of judges in the supervision of redundancies.

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