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

13681 items found
  • 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.
  • Metalworking collective agreement signed after nine months of negotiations

    On 4 February, following a mediation proposal by the Government, the national metalworking collective agreement was signed. Negotiations had lasted for nine months and were marked by moments of breakdown and conflict which resulted in strikes. The metalworking settlement, which covers some 1.5 million workers, is Italy's most important industry-wide agreement. It will strongly influence both the forthcoming renewals of contracts in other sectors and the evaluation of the July 1993 tripartite central agreement on incomes policy and collective bargaining structure, planned for June 1997.
  • 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%).
  • 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
  • Positive experience with working time flexibility at Akzo Nobel

    In accordance with its 1995 collective agreement, Akzo Nobel has evaluated the effects of "working time differentiation" and more flexible working hours on employment. Since the effects appear positive, a 36-hour week is expected to be introduced by 1 July 1997.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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