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5 April 2016

Collective Bargaining developments March 2016

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Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the March issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter:

1. Denmark – The government and trade union and business representatives concluded a tripartite agreement that will help refugees get into the national labour force. The key point of the agreement is a so-called ‘integration basic education’ scheme (IGU), which aims to put refugees in short-term jobs at an apprentice salary level of between 50 to 120 kroner per hour.

2. Europe – Joint action of Dutch trade union FNV and Polish trade union Solidarność against the exploitation of drivers and social dumping in transport linked to the potato industry resulted in direct labour and safe rates in two trucking companies.

3. Finland – The Supreme Court has set an important precedent by ruling that the only court that has the competence to handle issues of possible breaches of collective agreements is the Labour Court. It also said that according to the Collective Agreements Act a court cannot prohibit industrial action.

4. Ireland – A High Court judge has ruled 27 Portuguese workers who worked in Ireland on a road project are entitled to recover damages, estimated at some €1.5m, plus interest, over breach of their employment contracts. The Court ruled that there should be no ‘race to the bottom’ where rights and conditions of workers are concerned.

5. The Netherlands/Spain –While the negotiations in Italy are still pending, collective bargaining in the metal sector in Spain and the Netherlands resulted in a new collective agreement. Trade unions and their members expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

The Newsletter presents up-to-date and easily accessible first-hand information on collective bargaining developments across Europe to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. The alerts include links to the original stories.

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