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New Report: Crisis is affecting quality of jobs in Europe

The economic crisis has put into question the EU’s target to create “more and better jobs”. It is clear that since 2008, several member states have seen unemployment rising to record levels, but what about job quality? Did the crisis have an effect on the overall quality of employment in EU countries? This is the question the authors of a new ETUI working paper have tried to answer by measuring for the EU27 recent developments in six areas: wages, non-standard forms of employment, working time and work-life balance, working conditions and job security, access to training and career development, and collective interest representation.

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Transnationalisation of industry needs new union strategies

Trade unions will need to develop new multi-level and international strategies to respond to the challenges posed by the expansion of multinational companies and the growing importance of global value chains, according to Canadian Professor Gregor Murray.

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Crisis has been used to push anti-labour agenda

At the 2012 TUC Congress in Brighton, the ETUI organised a debate on the erosion of labour laws in Europe. Senior ETUI researcher Stefan Clauwaert presented the grim results of a mapping exercise on changes to labour laws in several European countries. Such reforms generally render existing labour law provisions more flexible and loosen minimum standards, shifting the emphasis to soft law (deregulation).

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EU Labour Migration in Troubled Times

migrant workers

The debate on the free movement of labour within the EU has gained new momentum in the wake of the economic crisis. A new ETUI publication written by a team of experts from across Europe sheds light on the critical issues raised by internal labour mobility within the EU in the context of economic crisis and labour market pressures. The book's chapters tease out the links between economic developments, regulatory frameworks and migration patterns in different European countries. A central focus is on issues of skills and skills mismatch and how they relate to migration forms, duration and individual decisions to stay or return.

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Unions still fail to reach young workers

A new study written by ETUI senior researcher Kurt Vandaele indicates that young trade union representatives find their confederations’ efforts and commitments to attract and organise young workers “inadequate”.

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Social compact: a necessity for the survival of the European Union

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi declared in February 2012 in a notorious interview with the Wall Street Journal that Europe’s social model “is already gone”. Contradicting the pessimism of Europe’s top banker, former Belgian social affairs and employment minister and economics professor Frank Vandenbroucke explains in a recent publication that the redefinition of a “Social Europe” is no less than “an existential conundrum for the Union”.

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Putting the "social" back on the European agenda

The latest issue of Transfer, the Research Quarterly of the ETUI’s Research Department takes a critical look at European social and employment policy under the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy and concludes that the current priority of short-term economic and fiscal crisis management is weakening “Social Europe”. The different articles in the new quarterly Transfer highlight four major challenges for the social dimension of European integration.

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The complex reality of social dumping


The term “social dumping” is often used in European public policy discourse to point to “unfair competition” between countries with very different wage and social protection levels. The expression of the cheap “Polish plumber” became one of the war horses of those opposing the EU’s enlargement and the opening of labour markets. But the term is often used in a too simplistic way and remains poorly defined, according to a new ETUI Working Paper written by Magdalena Bernaciak.

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Piece work increases the work injury rate


Almost twice as many piece rate workers suffer from workplace injuries as those on standard contracts, according to research from Lancaster University Management School. The increased productivity gained by employers from piece rate work is lost through increased absence and the cost of compensation, the authors note.

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Protecting workers against risks associated with nuclear technology. New ETUI publication


The European directive on protection of human health against the dangers of ionising radiation is undergoing revision. This heated debate focuses on the "low doses" to which tens of thousands of European workers are exposed in sectors as varied as industry, hospitals, air transport, construction, mining and of course nuclear energy.

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