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Modest increases in minimum wages in the European Union

In early 2018, the legal minimum wage experienced a median increase of 4.4% in the EU Member States. Taking into account inflation, this increase is limited to 2.8%. These figures are taken from a report by the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI) of the Hans-Böckler Foundation, an organization accountable to the German trade union movement. The report is based on the WSI Minimum Wage Database which offers a comprehensive analysis of current minimum wage developments in Europe and beyond.

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EU: income convergence and inequality

Research on economic integration and convergence reveals that the financial and economic crisis has had a huge impact on the existing EU-wide inequality. Growth in household incomes and convergence up until 2008 was followed by years of stagnation. As a consequence, the wage gap between western Europe and the new EU Central and Eastern European Member States persisted. The ETUC stated that it is necessary to keep the EU economic policy-making moving in a more progressive direction.

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The European Labour Authority will have to tackle social dumping, according to the European unions

The European Trade Union movement has cautiously welcomed the setting up by 2019 of a European Labour Authority (ELA).

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The doughnut revolution as an alternative to the growth paradigm

Could the ring doughnut, one of America’s most famous sweet snacks, hold the answer to the problem of transitioning to a sustainable and fair economy? Yes, according to a growing number of English-speaking alter-globalists and environmental activists, whose views are explained in a book published in April 2017 (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist). Given that almost 200 people attended an event held to discuss the topic in Brussels on 6 March which was jointly organised by the ETUI and the Flemish organisation Arbeid&Milieu, the idea is perhaps not as bizarre as it first sounds.

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Working time reduction back on the table

guide cover

The ETUI held a Monthly Forum on 22 February to mark the recent publication of a guide on ‘The why and how of working time reduction’. The topic has been back in the spotlight recently due to an initiative of IG Metall, Germany’s biggest trade union.

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Collective Bargaining February 2018

Find below the highlights of the February issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter with the most important developments at European and member state level over the month of February. This issue celebrates the 10th anniversary of this newsletter, a joint project of the ETUI and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS).

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Strong trade unions are a sign of solidarity among workers

Do trade unions encourage the dualization of the labour market? Some criticise them for neglecting those in precarious employment, focusing instead on defending only the interests of their members, primarily workers in ‘good jobs’. A study by an international team of industrial relations researchers argues against these clichés. On 14 February two university lecturers presented the key results of this research at an ETUI monthly forum.

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New issue of Transfer: occupational pensions and trade unions

transfer cover

The February 2018 issue of Transfer, the European Review of Labour and Research, aims to provide more insight into the variation in coverage, design and quality of pension arrangements across Europe, with a focus on the politics of occupational pension development, including the role of the social partners.

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Collective Bargaining January 2018

Find below the highlights of the first issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter for 2018 with the most important developments at European and member state level over the month of January:

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The state of convergence in the European Union 14 years after enlargement

Martin Myant

The ETUI marked the retirement of its Chief Economist for the past five years, Martin Myant, with a well-attended conference focusing on wage convergence in the central and eastern European (CEE) countries, which took place on 25 January at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Maria Jepsen, Director of the Research Department at the ETUI, praised Martin in her opening speech for his long-standing work on convergence and transition that widened and deepened the research agenda of the ETUI in this area, but also for the work he carried out on broader issues such as trade agreements, employment protection legislation, and the labour market in general.

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