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 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

13845 items found
  • Government and social partners discuss new part-time work legislation

    New legislation proposed by the Portuguese Government on the regulation of part-time work is currently under discussion amongst the social partners. The most important points include the definition of part-time work, the requirement that part-timers should have employment contracts in writing and pro rata minimum pay.
  • Youth employment: an unsolved problem

    Shortages of jobs, alternating periods of employment and unemployment and lack of job security are the main features of the current employment situation for young people in Spain. For some of them this is a temporary situation, but others will find it hard to escape. However, the reform of labour market procedures that is currently being put before Parliament may go some way towards improving working conditions.
  • Industrial conflict settled at Lufthansa

    On 9 April 1997, the airline company Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the Union for Public Services, Transport and Communication (Gewerkschaft Öffentliche Dienste, Transport und Verkehr, ÖTV) and the German Salaried Employees' Union (Deutsche Angestelltengewerkschaft, DAG) concluded a package deal, which ended months of industrial action. The DAG agreed to be covered by the Lufthansa-ÖTV collective agreements signed in October 1996. Furthermore, the deal provides for an increase in the profit-sharing bonus of DEM 100 and an overtime pay rise for cockpit employees. From September 1997, the trade unions have the right to terminate the wage agreements in the event that Lufthansa does not keep special rules which were jointly established. In addition, Lufthansa, the ÖTV and the DAG agreed on the continuation of the existing collective agreement which maintains the status quo for cabin crew, as well as the existing general agreement on pay grades for ground staff, for another three years.
  • Intransigence in tourism

    Currently the minimum wage in the tourism sector is ATS 54 net per hour. The Hotel, Restaurant, Personal Services Workers (Gewerkschaft Hotel, Gastgewerbe, Persönlicher Dienst,HGPD) is seeking an increase of the minimum gross monthly full-time wage from ATS 11,440 to ATS 12,000 (payable 14 times per year). This is a nominal increase of 4.9%. With current inflation projections running at 1.9%, a real pay increase of 3.0% would result. The minimum net monthly income would be increased by ATS 378.40 from ATS 9,358 to ATS 9,736.40, a nominal increase of 4.0%. On the basis of 173 hours per month, the net hourly rate would increase by ATS 2.18 from the current ATS 54.00.
  • Controversy surrounds social security financing

    In the Netherlands, there has been a long struggle over how responsibilities for administering social security should be divided between social partners and the government. The Dutch social security administration has been reorganised - most recently from March 1997 - under pressure of criticism about organisations in which the social partners play a dominant role. Financing the social security system has become a structural problem in the relations between the Government and the social partners. This has become especially manifest in conflicts concerning the level at which social security contributions should be set.
  • Government agrees on principles of training guarantee for long-term unemployed people

    The Finnish Government has recently agreed on some of the principles of a "training guarantee" scheme, starting with funding for a training allowance for long-term unemployed people.
  • EU continues to feel impact of Renault crisis

    In the wake of Renault's announcement of the closure of its plant at Vilvoorde (EU9703108F [1]) European trade unions, the European Commission and the European Parliament have called for tougher measures to protect the interests of employees in the event of large-scale redundancies, business transfers and relocation. In an address to the European Parliament (EP) in March, Padraig Flynn, the commissioner responsible for industrial relations, employment and social affairs, reminded member state governments that they had rejected such tougher measures in 1992. While he argued that existing legislation covered the situation at Renault, there had to be a serious question mark over the deterrent effect of the level of sanctions currently available. He told MEP s that he would "propose to the Commission that we proceed in the coming weeks with the first stage of consultations with the social partners at European level on this issue and I sincerely hope that we are able, through this action, the strengthen the protection of workers" (reported in RAPID, 11 March). He also pronounced himself in favour of the institution of general rules to complement existing measures, aimed at making information and consultation compulsory at member state level. [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions/the-renault-case-and-the-future-of-social-europe
  • Participation and collective bargaining in Italian enterprises

    During the 1990s, the tendencies within Italian enterprises towards a greater participation of workers and their representatives have become more pronounced. This has applied to direct, economic/financial and institutional participation, and here we review recent developments, focusing on the second and third types of participation.
  • Danish building and construction sites are hazardous workplaces

    According to the report /Reported industrial injuries in the building and construction sector, 1993-1995/, from the Labour Inspectorate, the sector experienced a 22% increase in industrial accidents over the course of 1993-1995. The general increase in industrial accidents in the period was 11%. Whereas approximately 5% of the workforce are employed in the building and construction sector, this sector reported 8% of all industrial accidents. Every month one fatal and 50 serious accidents occur in the sector, and 84 fatal accidents took place at all Danish workplaces in 1995. The increased number of accidents in the building and construction sector, according to the Labour Inspectorate, can largely be explained by the sector's 9% job-growth and the improved reporting of industrial accidents.
  • Tax-free payments in return for agreed pay restructuring

    Under a novel provision in the Finance Bill, 1997 which gives effect to this year's Budget, employees are now entitled to tax relief on individual lump-sum payments paid in the context of company restructuring. The payments can be made by companies to their employees for agreeing to pay restructuring, which must involve overall pay reductions of at last 10% of an employee's average salary for the previous two years and must remain in force for at least five years. While it is possible that basic pay could be hit by the measure, the sort of payroll reductions envisaged are more likely to effect non-basic pay items such as overtime, bonus payments and shift allowances.

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