European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO)

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1997 annual review
Employment policy
Social policy

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EUROP lAL RELATIONS OBSERVATORY
A review of developments in
European industrial relations
i
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• •
EUROPEAN FOUNDATION
• •
<$> for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions • •
• X • European Industrial Relations
Observatory (EIRÓ)
1997 Annual Review
î/fo\ EUROPEAN FOUNDATION
\^ητ+ for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
Wyauville Road, Loughlinstown. Co. Dublin, Ireland Tel: (+353| I 204 3100 Fax: (+353) 1 282 6456 E-Mail: postmaste(®eurolound.ie. Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1998
ISBN 92-828-4375-0
© European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 1998
For rights of translation or reproduction, applications should be made to the Director, European Foundation for the
Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Wyattville Road, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
Printed in Ireland
The paper used in this publication is chlorine free and comes from managed forests in Northern Europe. For every tree felled,
at least one new tree is planted. n
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Foreword 5
Introduction 7
EU-level developments and comparative overview 9
Introduction 10
Key trends in collective bargaining and industrial action 12
Industrial relations, employment creation and work organisation 18
Developments in representation and role of the social partners 21
Industrial relations and the impact of EMU 23
Conclusions and outlook 24
National reviews 27
Austria 28
Belgium 31
Denmark 35
Finland 39
42 France
Germany 46
Greece 52
Ireland 55
Italy 59
Luxembourg 64
66 Netherlands
70 Norway
73 Portugal
Spain 77
Sweden 81
United Kingdom 84
89 About EIRO
90 Introduction
Using EIROnline, the Observatory's database on the Web 91
95 Steering Committee and EIRO team
96 Annual Review contributors
National Centres 97 Foreword
and content areas — while a network of leading After several years of preparatory work by the
industrial relations researchers has been put in place Foundation, the European Industrial Relations
across the EU Member States (and Norway) and at EU Observatory (EIRO) commenced operations in 1997. The
level to provide the information and analysis for the aim of the Observatory is to provide accurate and
project. up-to-date information and analysis on developments in
industrial relations to a target audience of social partners,
1997 saw the start-up phase of EIRO, with the national governments, the European Commission and
development and piloting of products and services — other EU institutions. It is the belief of the Foundation
such as the bi-monthly bulletin, EIRObserver— and the that this kind of information is of increasing importance
start of information collection for the EIROnline database.
in the light of factors such as the single market, the
By the end of the year, EIROnline contained a wealth of
coming of EMU and the continuing process of economic
facts and analysis, and was ready for its launch as a
globalisation, not to mention the development of the
high-quality publicly available resource on the
EU-level social dialogue and of European Works Councils.
World-Wide Web in January 1998.
We hope that EIRO will make an important contribution
to meeting information needs and improving
This first EIRO Annual Review aims to provide an
understanding in this area, both among the core target
overview and summary of western Europe's main
audience and more widely.
industrial relations developments in 1997, drawing on
the EIROnline database records entered during the year.
EIRO is a major project for the Foundation and has been
The Review also provides a guide to using EIROnline,
developed with the full involvement of a Steering
which is the heart of the Observatory's operations. It is
Committee, made up of representatives of the
our hope that the Review will both be of use and interest
Foundation's Administrative Board and of the main EIRO
to those who are already familiar with EIRO, and serve to
target user groups. This involvement has helped ensure
introduce new users to the potential value of EIROnline.
the project's quality and relevance to its primary
audience. The preparations for EIRO also involved the
Clive Purkiss, Director
establishment of high-calibre teams both within the
Eric Verborgh, Deputy Director
Foundation and across the Member States. The project is
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and managed and executed by a highly experienced and
Working Conditions expert team in the Foundation — in both the technical Introduction
Welcome to the 1997 Annual Review of the European However, it is also a guide to the contents of the
Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO), a major project of EIROnline database for 1997, and its usefulness is
the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living enhanced greatly if read in conjunction with the
and Working Conditions. database. The text of the Annual Review contains
numerous references to database records which provide
EIRO initiates, collects, stores, disseminates and provides fuller information on the issues in question, and all
access to information and analysis on developments in EIROnline records for the year referring to each country
industrial relations in the 15 EU Member States, plus are listed at the end of the individual national reviews.
Norway, and at European level. EIRO is a network, made On p.91-94, we provide a guide to accessing and using
up of 16 National Centres and an EU-level centre (see the EIROnline database. As well as in this paper version,
p.97-98), from which information and analysis flows in to the Annual Review can also be found in electronic form
a central unit at the Foundation. This information is then on the EIROnline database, where the references to
processed and entered into a database, EIROnline, which database records are direct hypertext links.
is made available through the World-Wide Web (at
http://www.eiro.eurofound.ie/) as the main means of The Annual Review is based on individual country reviews
dissemination, alongside printed products - the of 1997 submitted by the EIRO National Centres. These
bi-monthly EIRObserver and this Annual Review. EIRO reviews were coordinated and synthesised by the EU-level
exists primarily to serve the needs of a core audience of centre - ECOTEC Research and Consulting Ltd - which
national and European-level organisations of the social also provided the EU-level review. The whole was than
partners, governmentals and EU institutions. edited and assembled by the central unit at the European
Fuller information on the aims and operations of EIRO is Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working
provided on p.90-94. Conditions. Special thanks are thus due to each of the
National Centres, and especially ECOTEC Research and
Consulting Ltd (notably Tina Weber). EIRO started operations in 1997, following a lengthy
period of preparation. February saw the first monthly
delivery of records on the most important events and EIROnline was officially launched on 22 January 1998 in
issues in industrial relations across the 16 countries Brussels by Pádraig Flynn, the European Commissioner
involved and at the overall EU level, and their entry into responsible for employment, social affairs and industrial
the EIROnline database, which was then at development relations. At the launch, Mr Flynn said that: "I am
stage. The flow of information from the EIRO National convinced that EIROnline will be an invaluable resource
Centres in each country grew to full volume over the for social partners, governments and EU institutions, not
course of the year, and the amount of information and to mention all EU citizens with an interest in industrial
analysis contained in the database steadily increased to relations." The Commissioner added that "in today's ever
the extent that, when it become accessible to the general more integrated European economy, where employment
public via the World-Wide Web in January 1998, nearly is the number one priority, industrial relations are
1,000 records were available on the database. The rapid increasingly important and practitioners and
build-up of information has continued in 1998, with up policy-makers need to keep up with developments in this
to 100 new records added each month. field in all the countries of the Union. EIROnline goes a
long way towards meeting these needs." We hope that
this first Annual Review demonstrates the usefulness of This Annual Review presents a snapshot of developments
in European industrial relations in 1997. It provides a EIRO and will encourage those who read it to access
EIROnline and its comprehensive and up-to-date set of brief comparative overview of developments across the
EU Member States and Norway, and at the EU level, reports on industrial relations in Europe.
followed by a summary of the main events and issues in
each of the individual countries concerned. The Annual Mark Carley, Chief Editor
Review has, we hope, a value and interest of its own.