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  • Article
    7 September 2003

    Poland's once powerful trade unions now organise only 18% of the workforce,
    one of the lowest unionisation rates in central and eastern Europe. The
    reasons for the weakness of Poland's trade union movement have been examined
    at a seminar held in May 2003 and in a book based on the discussions at the
    seminar. This article summarises the main arguments and findings.

  • Article
    7 September 2003

    The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (Suomen Ammattiliittojen
    Keskusjärjestö, SAK) published its own 'employment programme' in August
    2003. It proposes 17 measures to raise the labour market participation rate,
    cut unemployment and promote employment, especially for those whose labour
    market position is weak. The programme also includes long-term proposals that
    take into account problems caused by the ageing of the labour force.

  • Article
    7 September 2003

    During 2003, trade unions at Poland's Stalowa Wola metalworking company have
    been organising industrial action in protest at the planned closure of the
    group's iron and steel works, with the loss of 1,400 jobs. The government has
    offered the workers to be made redundant assistance under a new programme to
    soften the effects of industrial restructuring.

  • Article
    7 September 2003

    According to data issued by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic
    (Statistický úrad SR, SÚ SR), in 2002 the average nominal wage increase
    was 9.3%, up from 8.2% in the previous year (SK0207101N [1]). The average
    nominal monthly wage of an employee was SKK 13,511 in 2002. Taking into
    account data provided by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family
    (Ministerstvo práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny Slovenskej republiky, MPSVR
    SR), this means an increase in average nominal wages of 151.2 % compared with
    1993 (the year that Slovakia became an independent state).


  • Article
    7 September 2003

    In early August 2003, the workforce of Factory Wagon SA, a privatised Polish
    railway rolling-stock producer and repairer, launched strikes and other
    protest action, with the immediate cause being several months' arrears in
    wage payments. The strike ended in late August when the debt-ridden firm was
    declared bankrupt, opening the way for the sale of its assets and possible
    survival of its operations and jobs.

  • Article
    7 September 2003

    On 22 July 2003, the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
    Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer, AK)
    jointly presented a study on the working and living conditions of 'atypical'
    workers in Austria. The study (Atypisch beschäftigt - typisch für die
    Zukunft der Arbeit [1]) evaluates interviews conducted in 2002 with 528
    people who made use of special advisory services for 'atypical' workers
    offered by both ÖGB and AK. More precisely, the researchers’ focus group
    were self-employed people employed under either a 'free service contract'
    (freier Dienstvertrag) or a 'contract for work' (Werkvertrag) (TN0205101S
    [2]). According to Austrian labour law, both groups are classified as
    self-employed in the narrow sense, although they do not employ other people
    and often work for only one client. Actually, their working situation
    resembles to a great extent that of (dependent) employees. People working on
    a 'contract for work' basis (also referred to as the 'new self-employed', or
    neue Selbständige) are obliged to fulfil a certain, well-defined task,
    regardless of whether they do this themselves or subcontract to other people.
    For their part, 'free service contract' workers provide an (often fixed-term)
    ongoing service. Formally, they are not subject to the instructions of the
    client and are free to schedule their own working time. Working materials, in
    general, have to be made available to these workers by the client.


  • Article
    7 September 2003

    In August 2003, the Polish government named four coal mines which are to be
    closed in 2004, following an agreement reached with mineworkers' trade unions
    in 2002 on the closure of unprofitable mines. The announcement led to the
    unions calling strike action in the mines concerned, despite government
    assurances that new jobs or appropriate accompanying social measures will be
    arranged for all the miners to be made redundant.

  • CAR
    1 September 2003

    The comparative study was compiled on the basis of individual national
    reports submitted by EIRO's national centres. The text of each of these
    national reports is available below in Word format. The reports have not been
    edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living
    and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a
    questionnaire [1] and should be read in conjunction with it.


  • Article
    26 August 2003

    This article provides a brief overview of the industrial relations system
    that has emerged in Bulgaria since the period of economic and political
    transition began in 1989.

  • Article
    26 August 2003

    On 11 June 2003, a tripartite meeting was held on the initiative of the
    Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB [1]) to discuss
    the issue of unpaid wages. The meeting brought together representatives of
    the government, employers’ organisations and CITUB and its member branch
    federations, along with trade union officials from some of the companies



  • 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