The multinational industrial diamond manufacturer, De Beers, is planning a
major restructuring programme at its Shannon plant, which will involve an
overhaul of its reward and grading systems, as well as some recruitment and a
number of redeployments and voluntary redundancies. The key changes,
announced to employees at the end of April 1997, involve the proposed
introduction of a performance-based pay system and the establishment of a new
lower entry rate of pay. There would be an element of "red circling" for
existing employees at the top of their scales, which would remain unchanged
apart from the application of nationally agreed pay rises.
Following a proposal by the Finnish Ministry of Labour, the Council of State
has appointed a committee, due to report by October 1997, with the task of
evaluating the need to reform the Employment Contracts Act. The committee is
to take into account developments that have taken place in society, working
life, industry and commerce and legislation. During the course of its work,
the committee will consider the status of different forms of employment, as
well as the relations between employment and social and tax legislation. It
will also assess developments that have taken place in collective bargaining,
employment protection, equal pay and treatment, the increasing international
dimensions of employment, and the need to promote job creation.
An April 1997 Government directive regulating the Portuguese fishing sector
has unleashed major protests by ship-owners and fishing workers, although for
different reasons. The trade unions are trying both to protect fish stocks
and to defend living conditions. The central problem is that, as a
consequence of collective bargaining in the sector, wages and other income
depend directly on the amount of fish caught. In addition, under an agreement
between Portugal and Spain signed in 1985, the Spanish fleet can still fish
without restrictions in Portuguese waters.
From 31 May to 1 June 1997, Copenhagen was the venue for an international
conference, known as the "Global Labour Summit". The event was attended by
780 people representing more than 50 countries, 15 international trade union
organisations, 115 national trade unions, the World Bank, the International
Labour Organisation, 50 different Danish national organisations, ministries,
universities and a few embassies. The summit was arranged by theGeneral
Workers Union in Denmark (SiD) in connection with its 100th anniversary. SiD
is the second largest confederation of trade unions in Denmark, representing
some 326,000 employees, of whom the vast majority are unskilled workers.
Recent studies published in the Netherlands show that discrimination on
grounds of age and other factors occurs frequently in job recruitment and
selection, while inappropriate treatment of applicants is also common.
Following failure to agree in their current round of negotiations, about 400
journalists belonging to the Belgian Union of Professional Journalists
(Algemene Vereniging van Belgische Beroepsjournalisten, AVBB) carried out a
protest on Thursday 5 June 1997 in Brussels. The former collective agreement
had expired in March and negotiations between the journalists and the Belgian
Union of Newspaper Publishers (Belgische Vereniging van Dagbladuitgevers) had
not led to any new agreement.
Between 12 May and 16 May 1997, transport trade unions throughout Europe
organised boycotts, strikes and demonstrations during the European week of
action against substandard and flag of convenience (FOC) shipping.
Coordinated by the London based International Transport Workers' Federation
(ITF), the action took place against owners of flag of convenience ships in
17 European countries. Suspect ships were tracked from port to port across
the continent. The demand from the ITF was to force shipowners to recognise
unions and to sign up for collective agreements which provide for minimum pay
of USD 1,100 per month, inclusive of 120 hours overtime and five days'
holidays. The ITF intends to enforce international minimum standards of
employment on those shipowners who choose to operate their vessels under
FOCs. The move followed a first week of action in June 1996 which saw 22
separate boycott actions, involving seafarers and dockers, and resulted in
some 43 collective bargaining agreements being signed. In the second week of
action ITF-affiliated trade union inspectors were checking to see that
agreements were being adhered to, as well as inspecting ships where no
approved agreements exist.
SAK and TT announced the renewal of their basic agreement on 6 June 1997. The
new agreement permits SAK and TT's member organisations at industry level to
agree on certain issues outside the auspices of the national agreement. The
agreement also states that agreements on subcontracting and hired labour will
include a clause whereby subcontractors or the company responsible for
subcontracting commit themselves to complying with the relevant collective
agreement as well as labour and social legislation. Furthermore, the new
basic agreement includes a section on the notification of political strikes
and sympathy strikes. The period of notification is four days.
A reform of Portugal's Statute on Teaching Careers is currently under
negotiation in a context that has favoured strengthening the power of the
teaching trade unions, given that education is one of the Government's
priorities. This feature highlights the strategy employed by the teaching
unions to assume greater control over their profession in terms of autonomy,
social mobility and control of their labour market.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).