Industrial relations and social dialogue

5th UNI Europa Conference

Tue, 27/04/2021
Thu, 29/04/2021

Eurofound is partnering with UNI Europa for a virtual exhibition at the 5th Virtual Conference, which this year moves online from 27-29 April 2021. Certain elements of the plenary sessions will be live streamed on UNI Europa’s website and their social media accounts.


The focus of the conference is ‘ Forward through collective bargaining’ with three defining pillars:

1.Building power at the base through organising
2.EU policies shape the legal and political framework for capacity building
3.Strengthening collective bargaining through multinational corporations in the services sector

Eurofound experts

Eurofound experts will be available to discuss EU and national policies relating to Working conditions and sustainable work as well as Industrial relations and social dialogue. Registration is by invitation only, through UNI Europa. 

Topics for discussion include: Capacity building; Works councils; Living, working and COVID-19; EU PolicyWatch (a Eurofound database collating and mapping the policy responses introduced in Member States, along with the UK and Norway, to alleviate the social and economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions) as well as a range of other related matters.

David Foden is Adviser, Industrial Relations, attached to the Working Life unit at Eurofound. He is responsible for coordinating work on industrial relations across the organisation. He worked from 1979 to 1985 in the Economic Department of the Trades Union Congress in the UK. In 1985, he moved to the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels as research officer and then coordinator of the research unit on employment and labour market policies and social protection. He joined Eurofound in 2002. As research manager (industrial relations and, subsequently, surveys and monitoring), he was responsible for the European Company Survey and for projects on European Works Councils, and was involved in managing the European Industrial Relations Observatory (now part of EurWORK). He was Head of the Observatories unit until 2011, and from 2012-2016 was Head of the Working Conditions and Industrial Relations unit. He holds BA and MA degrees from Cambridge University, where he studied economics.
Peter Kerckhofs is a research manager in the Working Life unit at Eurofound and is responsible for representativeness studies. He is currently building a European Social Partner Database and developing representativeness studies into a tool for capacity building. He also works on industrial relations projects related to European Works Councils and European Sectoral Social Dialogue. Before Joining Eurofound, he worked as a researcher for ETUI and UCL, as a political secretary for EMCEF and was scientific coordinator of the PhD School of the social sciences faculty of KU Leuven. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s degree in Political Science from KUL and one in International Relations from UCL, and has a PhD in Industrial Relations from the University of Manchester.

Ricardo Rodriguez Contreras is a research manager in the Working Life unit at Eurofound and focuses on comparative industrial relations, social dialogue and collective bargaining. He is also involved in research on restructuring and the implications of technology and digital change in employment relations. Prior to joining Eurofound in 2014, he worked as a consultant for the European Commission and the European Parliament conducting studies at EU level assessing the implementation of social legislation throughout the EU, the EEA and the candidate countries. For years, he performed training activities for multinational companies and European Works Councils in the area of comparative industrial relations and labour legislation in the EU. He has also worked for the Inter-American Development Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration in some countries of Latin America. He holds a BSc in Law from the Complutense University in Madrid.

Tina Weber is a research manager sharing her time between the Employment and Working Life units at Eurofound since March 2019. Her research focuses on labour market change, restructuring and working conditions. Her work mainly involves monitoring and assessing the impact of and policy approaches to the flexibilisation of the labour market and the impact of the increasing trend towards teleworking and associated issues of work–life balance as well as connection and disconnection. She is also involved in the mapping and analysis of measures to address the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, workers and citizens. Tina holds a PhD in Political Sciences from the University of Edinburgh.

Christian Welz is a senior research manager in the Working Life unit at Eurofound. He manages projects and develops expertise and quality of research in the field of industrial relations (European Industrial Relations Dictionary and Index, European Social Dialogue, capacity building, working life country profiles). Prior to joining Eurofound, he was Deputy Director of a French-German training institute for civil servants, managed the EU unit of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Augsburg and was professor of EU law. He studied law and political sciences at the Universities of Bonn, Freiburg, Aix-en-Provence and Strasbourg and holds a PhD from the University of Nijmegen. He was appointed honorary professor at the University of Kehl and was visiting fellow at Massey University (Auckland, NZ). He is an Advisory Board Member of the European Journal of Industrial Relations, the European Labour Law Journal and the Global Employment Institute of the International Bar Association.


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