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 European 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

13638 items found
  • European Commission publishes progress report on equitable wages

    The European Commission has recently published its report on progress made in the implementation of equitable wage policies since 1993. The aim of providing all employees with an equitable wage was enshrined in the Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers, which was adopted by 11 member states (with the exception of the UK) in 1989. In accordance with the 1989 social Action Programme, the Commission published an Opinion in 1993, which stated that the pursuit of an equitable wage must be seen as part of the general drive to achieve higher productivity and employment creation, and to foster good relations between the two sides of industry. The member states were encouraged to give substance to their commitment made in adopting the Social Charter, by working towards the establishment of an equitable wages policy. This was to be achieved through greater labour market transparency with regard to wages. The social partners were also called upon to contribute to the achievement of this aim.
  • Government proposes amendments in wage guarantee legislation

    On 19 February, the Government presented a bill to Parliament, proposing modifications in the legislation concerning the granting of workers' claims in case of their employer's insolvency. There is no doubt that it will be passed by Parliament. This will then be the second time the legislation has been modified in order to comply with EU Council Directive 80/987/EEC on this subject.
  • 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.
  • National General Collective Agreement 1996-7 enters second year

    The second part of the two-year National General Collective Agreement 1996-7 (EGSSE) came into force at the beginning of 1997. The principal purpose of the EGSSE is to set minimum pay levels, which have a two-fold significance: providing a framework for the social protection of unskilled workers and acting as a guideline for negotiations at more specific levels - enterprise, industry-wide or occupational. Whatever is agreed at the level of the EGSEE covers, without exception, the whole of the private sector, as well as the broader public sector (public administration is excluded). The wages of public servants have until now been determined by the Government, but this will have to change following Greece's ratification of International Labour Organisation Conventions Nos. 151 and 154, which consolidate the right of public servants to collective bargaining.
  • Moves towards greater working time flexibility

    The central social partners - the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund,ÖGB) and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ), the statutory body grouping almost all nonagricultural enterprises - have for some time been discussing a range of changes to the 1969 Working Time Law (Arbeitszeitgesetz, AZG). The aim is to maintain competitiveness and employment by making possible a more uneven distribution of working hours over time, without financial penalty to the employer. This is expected to lead to higher productivity, better use of plant, lower inventories, and a capability to respond more swiftly to variations in demand. The trade unions also hope to achieve a reduction of hours worked by individual employees in favour of more employment.
  • 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.
  • Agreement on working time at EDF and GDF

    On 21 January 1997, the two French electricity and gas public utility companies signed an agreement with three trade unions ( the CFDT, the CFTC and the CFE-CGC). This agreement is designed to improve their competitiveness and productivity while at the same time maintaining their workforce at current levels. This is to be achieved mainly through the introduction of part-time working. Both the CGT and the CGT-FO unions are strongly critical of this agreement.
  • Road transport strike: consequences for industry and trade

    February 1997 saw a major strike in Spain's road transport sector. The dispute was well supported, mainly in the north of the country, but was called off without winning many concessions from the Government.
  • 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
  • LO executive committee proposes new action programme

    The executive committee (sekretariatet) of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, or LO), the largest union confederation in Norway, has recommended a programme of action containing a set of policy principles for the period 1997-2001. The programme encompasses a wide variety of social and economic issues and is to be adopted at the confederation's congress on 10-16 May 1997 after a plenary debate.

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