EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life


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

13878 items found
  • Social affairs Council takes stock of information and consultation initiatives

    Meeting on 17 April 1997, the Labour and Social Affairs Council of Ministers took stock of initiatives by the European Commission and the Council Presidency aimed at improving information, consultation and participation mechanisms for employees. Padraig Flynn, the commissioner responsible for employment, industrial relations and social affairs, highlighted the importance of such initiatives in the light of the Renault crisis (EU9703108F [1]). He also reported on the current status of the work by the high-level expert working group on worker involvement. [1]
  • Labour Court plays key role in public pay dispute

    Following the settlement of the public service nurses pay dispute (IE9702104N [1]), health workers, prisons officers, police and other public service groups have been seeking follow-on increases based on parity claims - all of which relate to the settlement secured by Ireland's 25,000 nurses. [1]
  • Share option scheme considered at KLM

    In anticipation of the spring 1997 collective bargaining round, pilots at Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) are considering contributing to the company's cost-cutting programme by exchanging salaries for share options and an increased say in company policy. Unions are divided over this exchange.
  • Unions set the social agenda in the context of parliamentary elections

    At a time when public opinion seems to be losing interest in the campaign for the May/June 1997 parliamentary elections (if opinion polls published in the middle of May are to be believed, less than half the electorate said they were interested in the debates and manifestoes) the trade unions and employers' associations, while not telling their members which way to vote, are voicing their main demands and preparing the forthcoming social agenda.
  • Social partners seem to welcome Queen's speech

    In a previous EIRO review of the industrial relations consequences of the new Labour Government (UK9704125F [1]) it was suggested that it was unlikely that the Government would produce an all-embracing employment bill in its first term of office, and this has proved correct. However, the social partners were still relatively pleased with announcements made on measures to tackle unemployment and low pay. [1]
  • German law contravenes the EU equal treatment Directive

    On 22 April 1997 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgment stating that some provisions of the German Civil Law (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch,BGB) as well as the German Labour Court Law (Arbeitsgerichtsgesetz, ArbGG) offend against the "Council Directive on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion and working conditions" (76/207/EEC). The Directive which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 9 February 1976 proclaimed that the Member States shall put into effect the "principle of equal treatment" (§ 1) which means "that there shall be no discrimination whatsoever on grounds of sex either directly or indirectly" (§ 2).
  • Unions fight the far Right's hijack of May Day

    The Vlaams Blok, a xenophobic and extreme right-wing Flemish nationalist party, is currently seeking legitimacy as the defender of "ordinary people". With its populist stand against immigrants and French-speakers, the party has won a large number of votes in some towns in Flanders, particularly amongst those sections of the population most badly hit by unemployment and worsening living conditions.
  • Swedish employers urged to negotiate on the reduction of working time

    "Negotiate a reduction of working time - or else public opinion will force through legislation". That was the message in an article written jointly by Prime MinisterGöran Persson and the chair of the Swedish Metal Workers' Union, Göran Johnsson, and published in the evening paper /Aftonbladet/ on 28 April 1997. Considering that one of the authors is the Prime Minister of Sweden, it could be seen as a veiled threat to the employers. In the 1997 bargaining round, several trade unions called for a cut in working hours, and the employers consistently rejected them.
  • Employment policy agreement in Andalucia

    On 21 April 1997, trade unions, employers' associations and the Government of Andalucia signed an /Agreement on employment policy and economic development for Andalucia/. This is the third tripartite agreement to be reached in this region. It covers a period of two years (1997-8) and involves an investment of about ESP 200 billion .
  • Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions holds congress

    The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the largest employee confederation in Norway, held its four-yearly congress on 10-16 May 1997. The most important issues were the question of continuing with the "Solidarity Alternative", and the adoption of the Action Programme for the period 1997-2001. A discussion also took place between LO unions regarding the confederation's policy towards the privatisation of public activities (services), while the vice-presidency election received considerable attention.