936 items found

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  • New law on the prevention of work-related accidents approved

    The Spanish Parliament approved the reform of the legal framework on the prevention of risks in the workplace [1] /(pdf file)/ (Reforma del marco normativo de la prevención de riesgos laborales) on 27 November 2003. The reform aims to reduce the rates of work-related accidents across all industrial sectors. Changes have also been approved to the law on infractions and sanctions in the social order [2] (Ley de infracciones y sanciones en el orden social, 2000), relating to industrial relations infringements. [1] [2]
  • Fixed-term employment remains high

    On 19 November 2003, the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen, LO) presented a new report on employment forms and working time (Anställningsformer och arbetstider 2003 [1]). The report is based on data from the official Labour Force Survey conducted by Sweden Statistics (Statistiska Centralbyrån) covering the period from the first quarter of 1990 to the first quarter 2003. The report is a follow-up to a similar exercise conducted in 2001 (SE0109101F [2]). [1]$File/anstallningsformer2003.pdf [2]
  • Undeclared work increases

    A series of studies published in 2003 indicates that Italy’s 'hidden' or irregular economy continues to grow. According to the most recent figures, 3.5 million workers out of a total labour force of around 23.5 million are irregular, a rate of around 15%. The growth of undeclared work is matched by that of the hidden economy, which is worth between 15.2% and 16.9% of GDP. The hidden economy is particularly important in the South and in certain economic sectors. The Cgil trade union confederation has called for new measures to deal with the problem.
  • Study finds that 'education pays'

    On average, younger people in Finland today are better educated than older people - see table 1 below. At same time, structural changes in the economy have diminished the number of low-skill jobs and a low level of education can easily lead to long-term unemployment. Education is considered as the key to Finland's competitiveness and economic growth. The economic globalisation process especially has emphasised the importance of education and the supply of a highly-skilled labour force for a small open economy like Finland, which can not compete on low-skill jobs with the developing countries. It is thus an important question whether incentives in society encourage individual investment in a high level of education.
  • Commerce social partners agree joint statement on corporate social responsibility

    The European-level social partners in the commerce sector (EU9807115F [1]) - UNI-Europa Commerce for trade unions and EuroCommerce for employers - organised a conference in Brussels on 10-11 November 2003, which was attended by 150 company managers and trade union leaders. The conference participants discussed how social dialogue at different levels can promote high-quality employment in commerce. They focused on the link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the working conditions of commerce workers. One of the areas covered by the conference was good practice, and three leading European retailers - the UK-based Tesco, German-based Metro and French-based Carrefour- highlighted examples from their corporate strategy in this area. [1]
  • Tripartite social summit discusses growth and employment

    An extraordinary 'tripartite social summit' was held in Brussels on 11 December 2003, the day before the European Council meeting (EU0312209F [1]). The decision to hold this meeting prior to this Council was taken at a European Council meeting in October 2003, during which concern was expressed by some Member States about the economic and employment situation in Europe. It was felt that the views of the social partners would play a vital role in restoring the potential for economic and employment growth in Europe. Tripartite social summits are usually held on the eve of the annual spring European Council meeting on economic and social issues (EU0304201N [2]). [1] [2]
  • TALO organises Estonia's first strike

    On 4 December 2003, the Estonian Employees’ Unions’ Confederation (Eesti Teenistujate Ametiliitude Keskorganisatsioon, TALO [1]) - Estonia's second largest central trade union organisation (EE0308101F [2]) - held a one-day strike to support its demands for pay increases for employees in educational and cultural activities. The main purpose of the strike was to demand wage increases for employees with a higher education working full time in a position demanding higher education and financed from the state budget (EE0311103F [3]). TALO represents employees working in the fields of education, culture, media, agriculture, sports, science, technology and healthcare. Of 80,000 public sector workers with a higher education who receive their wages from the state or local government budgets, 35,000 are members of TALO. Only a small share of TALO’s members work in the private sector. [1] [2] [3]
  • Transitional scheme agreed for workers from central and eastern Europe

    Under transitional arrangements agreed by the EU and new Member States in central and eastern Europe which will join in 1 May 2004, the existing Member States may limit movements of workers from the new Member States for a period of up to seven years after enlargement. On 2 December 2003, the Danish government secured support for a political agreement which will give workers from central and eastern Europe access to the Danish labour market from the first day of their EU membership - as will also be the case in countries such as the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. However, in the Danish case this permission is subject to a number of special conditions (DK0310101N [1]). [1]
  • Gender equality still far from being achieved

    Since 1989, Bulgaria has faced the double challenge of economic and political transition and preparation for accession to the European Union (expected in 2007). Since the 1990s, accession has become an over-riding priority, supported unconditionally by all political parties. In line with this priority, Bulgaria has been speeding up the pace of adopting the 'acquis communautaire' (the body of EU law which acceding countries must implement), including with regard to equality and non-discrimination.
  • Trade union mergers in the pipeline

    In late 2003, four trade unions affiliated to the Confederation of Vocational Unions (Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund, YS) have come a long way in preparing for a merger. If everything goes according to plan, the new union will be formally established in autumn 2004. The new union will have approximately 90,000 members, becoming YS’s largest affiliate and Norway’s fourth-largest trade union. Several member unions of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO) are also considering possible mergers: in the transport and service sector, six unions are considering the creation of a single service sector union; while in manufacturing industry, the Graphical Workers' Union (Norsk Grafisk Forbund, NGF) is negotiating a possible merger with the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet).