Les actions syndicales - grèves, lock-outs, etc. - sont l’un des aspects
les plus visibles des relations industrielles, notamment en termes de
couverture médiatique et d’impact sur le public. Ces actions sont souvent
considérées comme un indicateur important du bon fonctionnement ou non du
système de relations industrielles, les actions syndicales étant perçues
par certains comme un signe de dysfonctionnement du système alors que pour
d’autres, il s’agit d’une caractéristique assez normale d’un
système en bonne santé fonctionnant correctement. En juin 2001, la
Commission européenne a publié une communication intitulée Politiques
sociales et de l’emploi: un cadre pour investir dans la qualité . Ce
document propose différentes façons de promouvoir la 'qualité' dans
l’emploi et la politique sociale et prévoit un ensemble d’indicateurs
pour mesurer cette qualité. Un des indicateurs en termes de 'dialogue social
et participation des travailleurs' porte sur les 'journées de travail
perdues à la suite de conflits du travail'.
In summer 2003, work is due to start on a revision of the Toledo pact, the
1995 agreement on the Spanish pensions system, in the light of gloomy
demographic and expenditure forecasts. The government is seeking various
changes, notably linking pensions to contributions paid over the entire
career, the development of private pension schemes, a halt to early
retirement and an increase in the retirement age. A recent European
Commission report has contributed to the debate.
In June 2003, the Cologne Institute for Business Research (Institut der
deutschen Wirtschaft, IW ) published a report which finds that a 40-hour
working week (or longer) is still a reality for 44% of all employees in
eastern Germany. Moreover, only slightly more than one-fifth of all west
German employees have a 35-hour week, while over half work 38 hours a week or
more. The figures - see table 1 below - indicate that the 35-hour week is
less common in Germany than is commonly thought.
New legislation adopted in May 2003 makes important changes to the employment
conditions and status of Luxembourg's 21,000 civil servants. For example,
civil servants will now find it easier to work part time and will have a more
transparent disciplinary procedure. The age limit for starting work in the
civil service has been raised from 40 to 45 years of age, teleworking is now
possible, and equality delegates are to be appointed in all administrative
In late April 2003, the management of the Arcelor steel group and trade
unions at Cockerill Sambre, its subsidiary in Wallonia, Belgium, reached
agreement on the gradual closure of the company's blast furnaces in Liège.
This feature examines the changing objectives and strategies of management,
the unions and the Walloon regional government during the affair, and
outlines Arcelor's latest investment project in Wallonia along with a number
of unresolved problems.
At the annual Conference on the Family held at the end of April 2003, the
French government announced a number of new family policy measures. Notably
it is to introduce in 2004 a new benefit for parents of young children,
replacing a number of existing schemes. The reaction of the social partners
has been mixed.
During 2003, Italian trade unions - and especially the Cisl confederation -
have been repeatedly threatened and attacked by terrorist groups (with 43
such attacks, including 12 fire-bombings, recorded between July 2002 and May
2003). The minister of the interior has highlighted the threat to unions in
parliament and in June the three main confederations agreed a united response
to the attacks.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s budget statement on 9 April 2003
contained a commitment to introduce measures to ensure that pay systems in
the public services become more responsive to differences in labour market
conditions between the UK’s regions. In particular, the pay review bodies
which determine levels of pay for 40% of the public service workforce would
have a new remit to take into account regional and local factors. To augment
the economic data available to negotiators and pay review bodies, the
government also announced plans to publish regional inflation figures.
Supporting its proposals, the government cited evidence from its 2002 review
of the public sector labour market which showed that wages in the public
sector vary far less than those in the private sector. The review found that
'public-sector workers outside of London are probably better paid than their
private-sector counterparts. But those in London are worse off than
equivalent workers in the private sector' (quoted in the /Financial Times/,
11 April 2003). The review concluded that the problem lay with national pay
bargaining and review body arrangements.
On 13 June 2003, the Norwegian government issued a proposal for new
legislation relating to gender quotas on company boards. The aim is to
achieve a 40% share of female board members in both larger private firms and
public enterprises. The proposed legislation would be made applicable to
private companies only if they fail voluntarily to achieve an acceptable
level of female representation on their boards. The government's proposal
comes against the backdrop of an increasing awareness of the low presence of
women on company boards in Norway. The government sees this as an equal
opportunities issue and argues that the business and industry community is
not doing enough to avail itself of the competences and qualifications of
both women and men.
Since autumn 2002, trade unions representing staff employed in the French
state education system have been taking industrial action in opposition to
the government’s planned reforms in areas including pensions,
decentralisation and budget cuts. After an 11th day of strike action and
protests on 10 June 2003, the government made some progress in placating the
unions. Whatever the outcome of this dispute, it is probable that the
discontent among teachers, who have been highly mobilised for months, will be
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.
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, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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).
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.
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.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2021 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2021. The range of topics as a result is broad, from the growing diversity of employment across EU regions to developments in minimum wages, and of course the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
Hospital and civil aviation workers have been severely impacted by COVID-19. While hospitals are on the frontline when it comes to fighting this global pandemic, civil aviation is experiencing the most challenging crisis ever encountered in the sector. This study explores how social dialogue and collective bargaining are playing a role in the way both sectors are adapting to the pandemic. What kind of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.