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  • Article
    18 August 2003

    On 27 May 2003, representatives of all trade unions affiliated to the the
    Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB)
    signed a package ofnational cross-sector collective agreements [1] for
    temporary agency workers with the Federal Association of Temporary Employment
    Agencies (Bundesverband Zeitarbeit Personal-Dienstleistungen, BZA), whose
    members include some of the major companies in the sector. Thepackage [2]
    consists of a general framework collective agreement on employment conditions
    (Manteltarifvertrag) - the final version of which was signed on 11 June 2003
    - a framework collective agreement on pay grades (Entgeltrahmentarifvertrag)
    and a collective agreement on pay (Entgelttarifvertrag). Two days later, on
    29 May 2003, a similarpackage [3] of collective agreements was agreed by the
    DGB affiliates and a second employers' association, the Association of German
    Temporary Employment Agencies (Interessengemeinschaft Deutscher
    Zeitarbeitsunternehmen, iGZ), representing a number of small and medium-sized
    temporary agencies.

    [1] http://www.bza.de/downloads/VE_Zeitarbeit_DGB_BZA.pdf
    [2] http://www.dgb.de/themen/Tarifpolitik/Zeitarbeit/index.htm/
    [3] http://www.dgb.de/themen/Tarifpolitik/Zeitarbeit/index.htm/

  • Article
    18 August 2003

    July 2003 saw a wave of protests by trade unions represented at Polish
    National Railways (PKP) against the planned closure of loss-making local
    services. Faced with the unions' threat of a general rail strike, PKP
    management and the government agreed to cut the number of services to be
    axed. However, the continuing restructuring of PKP, which is facing major
    financial difficulties, suggests that further unrest cannot be ruled out.

  • Article
    18 August 2003

    A study published jointly in June 2003 by the Research Institute for the
    Finnish Economy (Elinkeinoelämän tutkimuslaitos, ETLA) and the Labour
    Institute for Economic Research (Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos) examines views
    on the Finnish wage bargaining system. The study, based on a questionnaire
    survey, asked employers and three categories of employees - blue-collar
    workers, white-collar workers and higher-level workers - about their views on
    the present system and its future development. The same questions were also
    put to private and public sector social partner organisations. The questions
    dealt with issues including local bargaining, profit-sharing, taxation and
    social security. The firms concerned were examined in terms of 12 variables,
    including size, sector, ownership, international activities, workforce age
    structure and share of women and temporary employees in the workforce.

  • Article
    18 August 2003

    The total number of women in employment (employees and self-employed)
    increased by more than 1.7 million in the period from 1995 to 2002, according
    to a study providing an overview of major labour market trends for the whole
    of Germany since unification in 1990, published by the German Federal
    Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland, Destatis) in July
    2003 (German labour market trends. In the spotlight [1], Destatis, 2003). At
    the same time, the share of women in overall employment has been growing
    constantly since the mid-1990s. The report argues that these increases
    reflect a general trend towards a decreasing gap between men and women in the
    German labour market, although the total female employment rate has not yet
    reached the male level. However, data from the 2002 EU Labour Force Survey
    indicate that regional discrepancies still prevail: in the western part of
    the country, about 46% of women aged between 15 and 65 were in employment (ie
    either self-employed or an employee), compared with 61% of men; while in the
    east of Germany, this difference was less pronounced with some 44% of the
    female population and 53% of the male population in employment.

    [1] http://www.destatis.de/download/e/veroe/labourmtrends.pdf

  • Article
    17 August 2003

    Following the election of the Labour Party government in May 1997, the new
    Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, signaled a clear shift in UK
    policy towards the European single currency in a major speech to Parliament
    in October 1997. Whereas the previous, 'eurosceptic' Conservative Party
    government had negotiated an 'opt-out' from the final stage of European
    Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as part of the Treaty on European Union, Mr
    Brown indicated that the Labour government was committed to the principle of
    joining the European single currency, but that there had been insufficient
    convergence between the economies of the UK and those of prospective members
    of the euro area (UK9802102F [1]). Thereafter, the main features of the
    government’s policy towards EMU were that:

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions-business/emu-and-uk-industrial-relations

  • Article
    17 August 2003

    In July 2003, a large-scale strike occurred at the Belgian Post Office,
    triggered by the implementation of a new system for organising delivery
    rounds, which is one of 10 measures being introduced by management in the
    context of the EU-wide liberalisation of the postal sector. At the end of the
    month, trade unions and management concluded a pre-agreement that halted
    industrial action until mid-September, when the outcome of further
    negotiations will be known.

  • Article
    17 August 2003

    There are currently almost 10,000 private security companies employing some
    600,000 people within the existing borders of the EU, and these figures will
    be roughly doubled when the Union is enlarged. A European-level social
    dialogue process has been underway in the sector for around a decade
    (EU9906179F [1]), with a formal sectoral dialogue committee in place since
    1999, resulting in the conclusion of a number of joint texts by the
    Confederation of European Security Services (CoESS), representing employers
    in the industry, and UNI-Europa, the European regional organisation of Union
    Network International (UNI), representing trade unions. On 18 July 2003, the
    two organisations signed a code of conduct [2], reflecting a belief that the
    rules governing their sector need to be harmonised across the EU and that
    this will be particularly important when 10 new Member States join the EU in
    May 2004. At the moment, national regulations and practices vary widely
    between Member States and are sometimes, in the social partners' view,
    inadequate or even non-existent, with the result that there are huge
    variations in the quality of service provided and that the sector is unable
    to take full advantage of European integration.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/joint-social-partner-conference-highlights-challenges-facing-european-private-security-industry
    [2] http://www.coess.org/documents/code_de_conduite.pdf

  • Article
    17 August 2003

    In the light of the fact that the European Union will admit 10 new Member
    States in May 2004, thus enlarging its membership from 15 to 25 countries,
    work has been progressing on a revision of the various EU Treaties. The aim
    is mainly to streamline the workings of the EU but also to simplify the
    Treaties and make the EU more accessible to its citizens. The European
    Convention- chaired by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the former French
    President - was charged with reviewing the Treaties and proposing changes.
    The Convention [1] began its work in February 2002 (EU0305203N [2] and
    EU0201231N [3]) and concluded it with the presentation of a complete draft of
    a new constitutional Treaty in the summer of 2003. A preliminary version of
    the draft was submitted to the Thessaloniki European Council meeting in June
    2003 (EU0307204F [4]), after which a final version was published on 10 July
    2003 and submitted to the President of the European Council in Rome on 18
    July.

    [1] http://european-convention.eu.int/index.asp
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/european-convention-issues-draft-reform-proposals
    [3] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/laeken-council-endorses-employment-strategy-and-prepares-for-further-treaty-reform
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/draft-eu-constitution-presented-to-thessaloniki-council

  • Article
    17 August 2003

    Around 500 British Airways (BA) customer service workers, including check-in
    and ticket-desk staff, went on strike at the company’s Heathrow hub on 18
    July 2003, in protest at the introduction of an automated swipe-card system
    for recording their attendance. The strike led to the cancellation or
    diversion of more than 500 flights affecting some 100,000 passengers, many of
    whom were left stranded at the airport. Staff returned to work after two days
    but the disruption continued as the company struggled to reposition aircraft
    and crew. Three unions had members involved in the stoppage, the Transport
    and General Workers’ Union (TGWU), GMB and Amicus, though the strike was
    unofficial and not endorsed by them. There were threats to escalate the
    dispute by balloting members for further industrial action. However, talks
    between BA and the unions continued until a settlement was reached on 30
    July.

  • Article
    14 August 2003

    On 13 June 2003, after a lengthy negotiating process in which the public
    conciliator became involved, the Estonian Hospitals Association (Eesti
    Haiglate Liit, EHL [1]) employers’ organisation and three trade unions -
    the Estonian Medical Association (Eesti Arstide Liit, EAL [2]), the Trade
    Union Association of Health Officers of Estonia (Eesti Keskastme
    Tervishoiutöötajate Kutseliit, EKTK [3]) and the Federation of Estonian
    Health Care Professionals Unions (Tervishoiutöötajate Ametiühingute Liit,
    ETTAL [4]) - signed a pay agreement for healthcare workers. The main
    objective of the agreement is to set minimum wage rates for the various
    categories of employee and to harmonise differences in minimum wages between
    regions and different types of hospitals. According to the new agreement, the
    hourly minimum wages were to increase to EEK 50 for doctors (a 25% increase),
    EEK 25 for nurses and EEK 16 for care assistants (an 18.5% increase) from 1
    July 2003, assuming that the reference prices for medical services increased
    simultaneously. This increase in reference prices would enable the Estonian
    Health Insurance Fund [5] (Eesti Haigekassa) to find the additional money
    required for the agreed wage increases.

    [1] http://www.haiglateliit.ee/
    [2] http://www.arstideliit.ee/
    [3] http://www.kutseliit.ee/
    [4] http://www.hot.ee/ettal
    [5] http://www.haigekassa.ee/

Series

  • COVID-19

    Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.

  • Sectoral social dialogue

    Eurofound's representativeness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.

  • Minimum wages in the EU

    This series reports on developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.  

  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.

  • European Restructuring Monitor

    The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.

  • European Company Survey 2019

    Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance. 

  • National social partners and policymaking

    This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).

  • New forms of employment

    This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.

  • European Company Surveys

    The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.

Forthcoming publications