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  • Article
    13 August 2003

    On 30 June 2003, a new collective agreement for electricians was concluded by
    the Swedish Electricians' Union (Svenska Elektrikerförbundet, SEF) and the
    Swedish Electric Contractors' Association (Svenska Elektriska
    Installatörsorganisationen, EIO), ending several months of negotiations,
    mediation and industrial action. SEF had cancelled the previous collective
    agreement a year in advance, as permitted by the agreement, and presented a
    list of 29 demands to the employers. The most important of the demands
    related to decreasing stress in the building sector, where electricians are
    reportedly being given less and less time to perform their work, which occurs
    towards the end of the building process. EIO immediately rejected the union's
    demands. Mediators were called in and drew up a proposal that was rejected by
    SEF in late April 2003. The negotiations seemed to have reached a deadlock .

  • Article
    13 August 2003

    In March 2003, Alstom, the French-based engineering multinational, announced
    a major Europe-wide restructuring plan which includes major cuts in its
    activities and 5,000 job losses. In July, management obtained shareholders'
    approval for an increase in capital as part of the plan, while employees from
    across Europe demonstrated in protest against the workforce reductions. The
    French government is intervening to support Alstom’s activity, enable the
    sale of assets and allow partnerships to be formed.

  • Article
    13 August 2003

    After a difficult start, negotiations between the social partners on reform
    of the French vocational training system led in July 2003 to consensus on the
    basic points of an agreement on the issue. However, there are still
    differences over the division of training costs between employers and
    employees and on the possibility of training outside working hours. The
    negotiators were to meet again in early September 2003 to finalise an
    agreement.

  • Article
    12 August 2003

    A refuse collection strike affected a large number of French cities over May
    and June 2003. The industrial action, mainly concerning public sector workers
    but also some employees of private companies, partly overlapped with the
    national wave of protests over the government's reform of the pension system,
    but also reflected existing problems in the sector. The major demands
    involved wage and staffing increases and a lower retirement age, at a time
    when workers in this industry are facing particularly difficult working
    conditions in the context of increasingly demanding public policies.

  • Article
    11 August 2003

    In June 2003, employers' organisations and three trade unions reached a new
    agreement on France's special unemployment insurance scheme for workers
    employed sporadically on fixed-term contracts in the entertainment industry.
    The deal imposes stricter entitlement criteria and reduces the benefit
    payment period. It was met with major protest action by the employees
    affected and the non-signatory unions. Parts of the agreement were
    renegotiated in July following an appeal by the Minister of Culture. However,
    the protests intensified, eventually resulting in the cancellation of two
    major summer arts festivals.

  • Article
    11 August 2003

    Compensation for people suffering illness as a result of asbestos exposure at
    work has been in the headlines in 2003, with disagreement over the level of
    compensation to be paid by a newly created Fund for the Compensation of
    Asbestos Victims (FIVA). The Fund aims to provide full compensation to
    asbestos victims, following an asbestos-related early retirement scheme
    introduced in 1999. In 2003 it adopted a scale of compensation payments much
    lower than awards made by the courts, bringing protests from trade unions and
    victims' organisations.

  • CAR
    11 August 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.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/sites/default/files/ef_files/eiro/2003/07/word/tn0303q.doc

  • Article
    6 August 2003

    The draft EU constitutional Treaty submitted to the European Council by the
    European Convention in June 2003 has given rise to some very divided opinions
    among the Belgian social partners. The employers are delighted with a draft
    that they believe will ensure that the enlarged EU functions more
    efficiently, while the trade unions have described the proposed Treaty as
    unacceptable.

  • Article
    6 August 2003

    In July 2003, four socialist and liberal political parties reached agreement
    on the formation of a new Belgian federal government. The coalition agreement
    includes a number of important employment and social plans, such as creating
    200,000 jobs over four years and cutting employers' social security
    contributions. The social partners have reacted in differing ways to the new
    government's programme.

  • Article
    5 August 2003

    On 17 June 2003, a new trade union, Fagforbundet, was created as the result
    of a merger between the Norwegian Union of Municipal Employees (Norsk
    Kommuneforbund, NKF) and the smaller Association of Health and Social Care
    Personnel (Norsk Helse- og Sosialforbund, NHS) (NO0211106F [1]). The new
    union, with approximately 300,000 members, is Norway's largest. It mainly
    organises employees in the municipal sector, a large majority of whom are
    women. Fagforbundet [2] is affiliated to the Norwegian Confederation of Trade
    Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO). NKF and NHS started talks on a
    possible merger as early as 1998, and the matter was subsequently subject to
    considerable debate and a comprehensive process of deliberation (NO9809185F
    [3] and NO0211106F [4]).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/major-union-merger-in-municipal-sector
    [2] http://www.fagforbundet.no/
    [3] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/municipal-sector-unions-consider-agreement-on-joint-cooperation
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/major-union-merger-in-municipal-sector

Series

  • European Working Conditions Telephone Survey 2021

    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.

  • Developments in working life, industrial relations and working conditions in the EU

    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.

  • 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).

Forthcoming publications