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3 February 2015

Developments of collective bargaining January 2015

The Collective Bargaining newsletter presents the most important developments at European and Member States levels on a monthly basis.
Here are the key issues of the past month:

1. Belgium – The government concluded a package deal on wages, pensions and benefits with the so-called ‘Group of Ten’, the main negotiators of trade unions and employer organisations. The deal was rejected by the socialist trade union confederation FGTB/ABVV because the decoupling of the automatic linkage between wages, benefits and prices remains intact.

2. Finland – Young trade union activists started a citizens’ initiative to outlaw zero-hours contracts. If the initiative succeeds in collecting enough signatures, the parliament will debate and deliberate on the matter.

3. Germany - Trade union IG Metall and employers in the metal sector negotiate for a new collective agreement. IG Metall, which represents 3.7 million workers, demands a 5.5% pay hike and rejected an offer from employers for a 2.2% pay increase for 2015 from 1 March. In the meantime warns strikes have started.

4. Iceland - Airline Pilots Association (FIA) reached an agreement with Icelandair management over a new collective agreement. The agreement that will be valid for three years came about after a bitter dispute involving strikes and narrowly avoided complaints to the ILO.

5. Norway - Trade unions organised a general strike, to demonstrate their unhappiness over the government’s proposed changes to the law that regulates working conditions. Trade union leaders claim the changes raise the risk of more forced overtime and more weekend work, and allow employers to hire more temporary workers instead of offering them full-time jobs. Protest will continue.

The monthly Collective Bargaining newsletter is compiled by a research team from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) in cooperation with the ETUI.

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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