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

13688 items found
  • Commission launches second stage of consultations on sexual harassment

    On 19 March 1997, the European Commission launched the second stage of consultations with the social partners under the Maastricht Agreement on social policy on the proposal for an EU policy to counter sexual harassment at work. At this second stage, the social partners will be able to choose whether to go down the route of negotiation - leading to a framework agreement which can be given legal validity at the EU level. The alternative would be to submit their views in anticipation of a policy initiative emanating from the Commission.
  • Civil service employment relationship privatised

    A "national agreement" between the Italian Government and trade unions, signed in March 1997, has established harmonised rules for almost all employment in the public and private sectors.
  • Can members of the far Right be elected to industrial tribunals ?

    Prior to the election of industrial tribunal members in December 1997, five trade union confederations have requested an overhaul of the voting system in order to prevent the election of judges from the far Right.
  • European super unions on the horizon?

    At the beginning of March the first steps were taken towards the creation of the first "European super union". One of Britain's biggest trade unions, the General, Municipal and Boilermakers' Union (GMB), signed a joint membership agreement with the German chemical workers' union. The deal between the GMB and IG Chemie-Papier-Keramik means that 1.8 million workers will be entitled to joint membership. Although the two unions may not provide the same services, UK workers in Germany can expect legal advice, support from representatives, and training facilities, while German workers in the UK can expect legal advice, health and safety information and financial benefits (Record DE9703206N [1]). [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/joint-union-membership-for-german-and-uk-workers
  • Unions and business associations will administer new unemployment insurance

    When the Social Democrat Government presented its bill on a new, general unemployment insurance (prop 1996/97:107) on 13 March 1997 it had already secured a parliamentary majority for the proposal through negotiations with the Centre Party. It had also secured the support of the two major trade union confederations,LO (Landsorganisationen) and TCO (Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation) despite the fact that the two confederations were not entirely enamoured with the proposals.
  • Law establishes retirement savings funds

    On 20 February 1997, Parliament adopted a law establishing retirement savings funds. This legislation has a dual objective. Firstly, to provide private sector employees with a new retirement cover financed by capitalisation, and secondly, to strengthen the Paris financial market and balance the growing power of foreign institutional investors.
  • Is "Investors in People" solving the UK training problem?

    At the end of February 1997 the education and employment minister, James Paice, was warning that "people ignore at their peril the value of investing in learning", arguing that too many employers still do not realise the value of investing in their employees. He went on to say that action should be taken immediately to drive up skill levels and standards to keep up with growing international competition. Employers were said to be a crucial part of this process but, it is "not how much you invest in training, its how you invest it". The Government thus backs the Investors in People (IIP) standard, as it shows that spending money on people is an investment and not a cost.
  • The use of "hardship clauses" in the east German metalworking industry

    Since the beginning of the 1990s, the German system of centralised sectoral collective bargaining (Flächentarifvertrag), which guarantees all employees in a certain sector more or less the same basic income and working conditions, has been under increasing pressure. With growing internationalisation of capital and markets and an increasing pressure of international competition, more and more employers and economic experts have been demanding a more decentralised and company-related collective bargaining system. German unification in 1990 brought a further dynamism to the debate. Originally, all the relevant social partners agreed to transfer the western collective bargaining system to eastern Germany, but because of the continuing immense economic problems. more and more eastern employers became dissatisfied with that decision. For instance, in the eastern metal industry the proportion of employers who are members of an employers' association decreased from 60% in 1991 to 36% in 1994 - though still covering between 55% and 65% of the employees ("Ostdeutsche Tariflandschaften", Ingrid Artus and Rudi Schmidt, in Die Mitbestimmung No. 11, p. 34-36 (1996)).
  • Stockauto leads labour reform with new agreement

    Stockauto, a vehicle storage and distribution firm, has signed a collective agreement on some of the most controversial issues in the current debate on reform of the Spanish labour market: the creation of secure employment, the definition of the objective reasons for dismissal and the search for procedures to make working time more flexible
  • Base-line income system established

    The Portuguese Government is planning to extend its "base-line" minimum income system to the whole country, and there are calls for greater involvement by the social partners in its operation.

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