The decision in May 1997 by Halivourgiki, the largest steel concern in
Greece, to introduce flexible working hours, reduce its workforce and close a
part of the production line has led to an industrial dispute. We examine the
factors behind Halivourgiki's decision and the reactions of employees and
On 3 June 1997, an agreement was finally reached between the Generalitat
(Catalonia's autonomous regional government) and the central Government in
Spain to transfer part of the management of the National Institute of
Employment (INEM) to the Catalan regional administration. A historic demand
that has been made for over 15 years has thus been satisfied. For the central
Government, the transfer of INEM to Catalonia is a "pilot scheme" that will
serve as a basis for the transfer of powers in this field to other autonomous
communities such as Galicia and the Basque Country.
With the agreement of 30 May between the Building Workers' Union and the
Employers' Federation of the Swedish Construction Industry, the last of
1997's major collective agreements was concluded. It gave 70,000 building
workers an increase of SEK 2.50 per hour and, for the first time, payment
during certain public holidays. According to the union, this represents an
overall pay increase of 3.1%, while the employers estimate its value to be
2.6%. Irrespective of who is right, the agreement is very much in line with
the 1997 average settlement.
On 10 June 1997, Renault management announced the appointment of an
independent expert who will evaluate, on an economic basis, the potential
measures envisaged to "compensate for the inefficiency involved in the
structure of Renault's production facilities".
The confederation of Critical Shareholders (Kritische Aktionäre) is an
alliance of about 35 small shareholders' groups and other non-governmental
organisations such as environmental, consumer and anti-militaristic groups.
Currently, the Critical Shareholders are active in about 40 German
corporations including the most important German banks as well as various
industrial corporations in the automobile, electronic, chemical and food
industries. They can call on up to 5% of the votes cast in some of the
The European Council meeting in Amsterdam on 16 and 17 June 1997 concluded
the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) with the agreement of a new draft
Treaty. The conclusion of the IGC leaves the path open for launching the
enlargement process, and the timetable for the single currency has equally
been reaffirmed. Economic stability, growth and employment also featured
prominently in talks between the governments of the 15 member states.
Reinforced by the participation of members from the two new left-of-centre
governments of France and the United Kingdom, the European Council agreed to
give fresh momentum to keeping employment firmly at the top of the European
On 4 June, Padraig Flynn, the European Commissioner responsible for social
affairs, employment and industrial relations, launched a consultation
document on "information and consultation of workers within the national
framework" (EU9706132F ). The document constitutes the first stage of
consultation of the European-level social partners under the Maastricht
social policy Agreement procedure, and could thus lead to a European-level
agreement and/or Community legislation. If the Commission's proposals bear
fruit, there would be minimum standards across Europe to ensure that workers
enjoy rights to be informed and consulted. These rights would apply to all
workers in enterprises above a certain size (50 employees has been suggested
as a possible threshold). The new measure would reinforce existing
requirements on national information and consultation over transfers of
undertakings, collective redundancies and health and safety issues.
The debate on reforming the law to permit trade unions in the PSP - in
relation specifically to policemen and women - broke out again in Portugal at
the end of 1996, and has been continuing ever since. The debate, fully
covered in the media and commented on by the main political parties,
culminated on 21 April 1997 with a meeting of PSP members, many of whom wore
their uniforms. The meeting turned into a public demonstration at the
Ministry of the Interior- the Ministry in charge of that particular police
force - with harsh words being shouted at the Minister.
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.
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.
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 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.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
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.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
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.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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.