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

13630 items found
  • CBI sets out its plans for 1997

    At the beginning of February the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) set out its long term priorities for beyond the forthcoming general election. Its director general, Adair Turner said that "whatever happens between now and May, there are fundamental issues for business which need attention. The changing nature of the world in which we do business brings both opportunities and challenges, and the CBI should be at the heart of change."
  • Two-fold increase in the minimum wage

    The statutory minimum wage in Luxembourg has been increased by 3.2% from 1 January 1997, as a result of legislation, and additionally by 2.5% from 1 February 1997, under the terms of an index-linked mechanism.
  • Bank service fees dispute averted

    Recently-announced plans by banks to levy service charges on the accounts into which employees' salaries and wages are paid, have resulted in trade union protests and the dropping of the proposals.
  • Trade unions and Social Democrats agree on unemployment insurance

    One of the continuing quarrels between the Social Democrat Government and the largest trade union confederation, the Confederation of Trade Unions for Blue-Collar Workers (Landsorganisationen or LO), appears to have been settled by an agreement on the overall features of the unemployment insurance system, presented on 12 February. Formally, the Government is not involved in the settlement, but the details of the settlement were presented in a press release from the Ministry of Labour and in person by the Minister of Labour, Margareta Winberg, together with LO's vice-president, Wanja Lundby-Wedin.
  • 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%).
  • Working time moves to the top of the agenda

    The immediate catalyst for the current prominence of working time in UK industrial relations is the failure in November 1996 of the Government's attempt to have the EU Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time (Council Directive 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993) annulled by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Steps are being taken to implement the Directive, though the present Conservative Government hopes to get the Directive "disapplied" if it wins the forthcoming general election. Also important, however, is the growing debate about the implications for the well-being of individuals and their families of the fact that UK's hours of work are long in comparison with other EU member states.
  • 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
  • Government introduces supplementary pension schemes

    The new decree, issued on 14 January, brings Italian pensions legislation more into line with the rest of the EU. Presenting the decision to the press, the Minister of Labour, Tiziano Treu said that "1997 will be the year in which a real supplementary social security system will begin to be set up in Italy.".
  • Government ends pay guidelines to nationalised companies

    At the end of January 1997, the Prime Minister ended the practice of issuing pay guidelines to France's nationalised companies.
  • 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.

Pages