Employment and Industrial Relations In Europe

Work Study

ISSN: 0043-8022

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "Employment and Industrial Relations In Europe", Work Study, Vol. 49 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ws.2000.07949cae.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Employment and Industrial Relations In Europe

Employment and Industrial Relations In Europe

Edited by Michael Gold and Manfred WeissEuropean Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions ECU 30ISBN 92-828-5386-1

Keywords: Employment, Industrial relations, Europe

This book contains analyses of the industrial relations systems in eight member states of the European Union: Belgium; Denmark; Germany; Greece; Italy; The Netherlands; Portugal; and Spain. The analysis of each country was originally published as the introduction to the English-language version of the European Employment and Industrial Relations Glossaries also published by the European Foundation. Information on each country has been revised and updated and an attempt has been made to standardise the headings. As far as possible, the following sections have been covered for each country:

  • Historical background. The major historical determinants of each country's industrial relations structure including the process and timing of industrialisation and the struggle for union recognition and influence.

  • Economic and social context. Analysis of national labour markets including the structure of the labour force and unemployment.

  • Institutional and legal framework. Major pieces of legislation which define and reflect the framework of industrial relations.

  • Actors in industrial relations. The structure and influence of employers' associations and trade unions at various levels of interaction (multi-industry, sectoral, company and workplace). Plus the changing structure of unions in recent years.

  • Collective bargaining. The framework of collective bargaining including the levels at which bargaining is conducted, relationships between levels, the normal length of agreements and how collective agreements are extended to cover employers and workers who are not themselves signatories.

  • Participation and employee representation at the workplace. Prevailing forms of employee representation by level, subject and method, including the relationship of works councils with trade unions.

  • Disputes. Strike patterns and the changing pattern of conflict.

  • Prospects and conclusions. Major trends and developments and future prospects, including an examination of issues such as flexibility, decentralisation, the evolving pattern of employers' associations and unions.

The book also has an appendix containing a set of tables which give key employment relations indicators for all 15 member states of the European Union and draw on two sources of data "Employment in Europe" published by the European Commission and the "World Labour Report 1997-8" published by the International Labour Organisation, in Geneva. The tables cover the following:

  • key employment indicators (all employees, men, women);

  • trade union membership;

  • trade union density;

  • changes in trade union density;

  • number of strikes and lockouts;

  • workers involved in strikes and lockouts;

  • workdays not worked as a result of strikes and lockouts;

  • collective bargaining structures and their evolution.

Not a "good read" but an interesting source of information, especially for those involved in trans-European organisations.

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