The Industrial Relations in Europe series provides an overview of trends and developments in the collective relationships between workers, employers and their respective representatives in the European Union. The 2014 edition examines the fallout of the economic and sovereign debt crisis in relation to industrial relations and social dialogue. It includes in-depth analyses of developments in wage bargaining systems; industrial relations in Member States receiving financial assistance, as well as industrial relations and youth employment. In addition, it presents an update of recent developments in European Social Dialogue and Labour Law.
This publication is available in printed format in English.
This chapter presents an up-to-date picture of industrial relations in the EU and discusses significant developments that have occurred, considering them in the context of changes to industrial relations taking place over the longer-term. Some changes that we are currently witnessing have been shown to be rooted in trends that began long before the economic crisis, but which have, sometimes, been intensified by it, whereas other developments have been directly induced by the crisis.
On the basis of the main trends identified in chapter 1, this chapter considers the role of collective bargaining in wage-setting, in a context of greater intervention by national governments and an evolving European economic governance regime.
Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus faced a severe debt and fiscal crisis, with weak economic growth and large increases in unemployment. All five countries implemented far-reaching reforms, including to industrial relations systems, but social dialogue did not always play a prominent role in the design and implementation of such reforms, and in many cases consensus proved elusive. With the goal of linking wages better to company-level productivity levels, measures have been taken that decentralised wage bargaining. The effect of the reforms on the quality of social dialogue will need to be carefully monitored.
This chapter gives an overview of the role of industrial relations in promoting schemes to help young people enter the labour market. It focuses on topics for discussion between the social partners and the actions taken and initiatives put in place to try to address the problems associated with youth unemployment.
European social dialogue refers to discussions, consultations, negotiations and joint actions involving organisations representing the two sides of industry (employers and workers) at the European level. This chapter provides an overview of developments from September 2012 to December 2014, with a focus on processes, actors and outcomes.
This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the developments at EU level in the field of labour law including health and safety at work during the past two years. It highlights legislative developments and related action aiming at ensuring in particular the correct implementation, monitoring and review of EU law, and summarises key Court rulings in the area at issue.