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

13875 items found
  • Belgacom restructuring avoids conflict

    Following negotiations which have been held in a cooperative atmosphere, Belgacom, the partially privatised, but still largely government-owned Belgian telephone company, has announced plans to reduce rather drastically its number of employees. The current workforce of about 26,000 will have to be reduced by about 5,000 by the end of 1998.
  • Protests against possible redundancies in the Ericsson group

    At the end of March 1997, Ericsson Telecom (part of the Swedish Ericsson Group) workers in Norrköping learned that their employer had made a preliminary agreement with two US companies, SCI Systems and Solectron, to sell the production of printed circuit cards part of the business. The company wanted the sale to take place before the summer.
  • Performing arts unemployment benefit system temporarily safeguarded prior to a fundamental review

    Following several months of strong protests, the unemployment benefit scheme specific to workers in the performing arts in France has been renewed up to 31 December 1998.
  • The industrial relations consequences of the "new" Labour Government.

    From 1979, the economic policy of successive Conservative Governments was based on a fundamental belief in the effectiveness of free markets. In the case of the labour market, there was an emphasis on deregulation and the importance of flexibility in creating employment and economic growth. The Conservatives claimed that the UK's lack of regulation has reduced unemployment, while the rest of Europe's higher social costs, greater regulation and the adoption of the "social chapter" (the social policy Protocol and Agreement attached to the Maastricht Treaty on European Union) has caused unemployment and a lack of competitiveness. This prompted the "opt-out" from the social chapter and a continuous resistance to other forms European Union-level regulation - over working time, for instance.
  • IG Metall leader proposes a 32-hour week

    On 8 and 9 April 1997 the Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) invited representatives from the trade unions, employers associations and main political parties to an "Employment summit". Just one year after the failure of the "Employment Alliance" (DE9702202F [1]), DGB aimed to renew the debate among the social partners and politicians on how to create new employment in Germany. In January 1996 the social partners and the Government had signed a joint statement in which all parties agreed on the central aim of halving unemployment by 2000. Since then, unemployment figures have not improved at all. On the contrary, in March 1997 nearly 4.5 million people were officially registered as unemployed - the highest March figure since 1945. [1]
  • Agreement at last on labour market reform

    After 10 months of discussions and three months of intense negotiations, in April 1997 the main trade unions and employers' associations in Spain for the first time reached an agreement on labour market reform. This is a bipartite agreement which reduces the cost of dismissal and attempts to promote secure employment. The Government is likely to introduce legislation to support the reform.
  • Strikes in the air transport industry

    On 1 April 1997, the whole air transport sector, including cabotage(domestic flights within other member states), was officially opened to EC-wide competition. Cabotageno longer has to be the continuation of a flight originating outside a particular country. So nothing now remains of Air Inter's monopoly in France, which had already been severely challenged by the European Commission in 1994, following a complaint from TAT, now one of British Airways' French subsidiaries.
  • First agreement on five weeks' paid holidays

    After three months' bargaining, the annual revision of the national collective agreement covering banks and other credit institutions was concluded in April 1997. It is the first collective agreement in Portugal to grant five weeks' paid holidays, and also increases pay and improves maternity and paternity provisions
  • ETUC organises European Day of Action for Employment

    The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has published more information about the activities to be launched as part of its "European Day of Action for Employment", to take place all across the EU as well as in some Central and Eastern European countries on 28 May 1997.
  • New industrial relations structure planned for national airline

    It emerged in April 1997 that the former president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Phil Flynn, is expected to play a key role in the new "partnership-based" industrial relations structure currently being drawn up between management and unions at Ireland's state-owned airline, Aer Lingus. Over 4,000 workers are employed by the airline and a further 1,600 by its maintenance subsidiary, TEAM.