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  • Impact of the working time directive on collective bargaining in the road transport sector — Austria

    Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors. Collective ...
  • Employers flout labour law by hiring illegal workers

    The opening of borders on 1 May 2007 to employees from new EU Member States (NMS) appears not to have discouraged some employers in the Netherlands from hiring workers illegally. For employers, financial motives remain the most important reason for taking on illegal employees. Therefore, it remains important to continue to check for illegal employees and to impose fines. The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Piet Hein Donner, drew this conclusion on the basis of the findings of a study carried out into compliance with the Act on Employment of Foreigners (/Wet Arbeid Vreemdelingen/, WAV).
  • Fiat increases wages in advance of renewal of collective agreement

    The good economic performance of the Fiat Group [1] has prompted a decision by the company, formalised by the board of directors on 24 October 2007, to pay its employees an advance on future wage increases from October 2007 onwards. For the 11th consecutive quarter, Fiat has recorded an improvement in its balance sheet indicators, so that its growth forecasts for 2007 have been revised upwards, with a now expected net profit of between €1.8 and €1.9 billion. [1]
  • Social partners divided over government budget

    The main points in the Netherlands’ state budget agreement published in September 2007 concern the reduction of the financial burdens of minimum-wage earners and elderly people whose only source of income derives from the General Old-Age Pensions Act (/Algemene Ouderdomswet/, AOW). Another proposal relates to imposing lower unemployment insurance premiums to reduce labour costs for companies.
  • Government introduces pregnancy and maternity leave scheme for self-employed

    In August 2007, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Piet Hein Donner, announced his plan to introduce a public pregnancy and maternity leave scheme for self-employed individuals. The women involved will each be awarded the right to 16 weeks of benefits, depending on their earnings. The benefits will at least equal the statutory minimum wage, which currently stands at €1,317 gross a month, and will be financed from public funds.
  • Government to support jobs in footwear and leather sector

    At the proposal of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Jesús Caldera, on 5 October 2007 the Council of Ministers approved a package of measures to support the footwear and leather goods manufacturing and components sector in Spain. The main aim of these measures is to maintain the employment of about 40,000 workers, more than 28,000 of whom work in the subsector of footwear, while about 5,500 work in tanning and about 6,500 in leather goods. To this end, the parties involved have agreed to work together to address the difficult situation that the sector is experiencing due to the liberalisation of the market and competition from emerging countries, particularly from those in Asia.
  • Employers call for less restrictive immigration laws

    Although Latvian migration policy is directed at protecting the domestic labour market, employers are tending more frequently to exercise the option of employing migrant workers, as provided by law. According to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (Pilsonības un migrācijas lietu pārvalde, PMLP [1]), during the first half of 2007 almost as many employed foreigners, at 1,989 persons, were registered as in the whole of 2006, when the total reached 2,398 persons. Moreover, the number of migrant workers entering the country is increasing while the number of foreign entrepreneurs is decreasing – the latter has declined from 33% of the total number of those entering for the purpose of employment in 2006 to 23% of the total in 2007. [1]
  • Trade unions threaten to dissolve parliament over state of economy

    Over the past year, increasing macroeconomic instability has heightened tensions in Latvian society. When the August 2007 inflation rate exceeded 10% and the public demanded that the government be more active in reducing inflation, the government responded by announcing a possible public sector pay freeze in 2008, to be applied first to teachers and healthcare workers. The ministers believe that such a move could act as a deflationary measure (LV0703029I [1]). [1]
  • Social partners sign agreement for taxi services

    The General Agreement for taxi operations, which forms part of the transport sector, was concluded on 25 September 2007 between the Latvian Taxi Sector Employer Organisation (Latvijas vieglo taksometru nozares darba devēju organizācija, LVTNDDO) and the Latvian Taxi Union (Latvijas vieglo taksometru arodbiedrība, LVTA), based on Article 18 (2) of the Latvian Labour Law. The aim of the agreement is to ensure stable and efficient taxi services, development of operations and social guarantees for the employees concerned.
  • Employers worried about threats to flexibility

    In September 2007, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI [1]) published the results of its tenth annual Employment trends survey ‘Fit for business’ (2Mb PDF) [2], conducted in conjunction with the Jobs Pertemps recruitment agency. The survey, carried out in May 2007, records the responses of over 500 employers across all sectors of the economy, including 19% of public sector employers. This article gives an overview of the report’s main findings in the industrial relations sphere. [1] [2] Trends Survey 2007.pdf?CFID=7065596&CFTOKEN=53144318