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Collective bargaining on working time

Maarten Keune and Béla Galgóczi Recent European experiences

Publication date : 2006

Number of pages : 290

Edited by :

Maarten Keune and Béla Galgóczi

 The regulation of working time has historically been at the centre of the labour movement's struggle and in recent decades working time has also been a core issue for trade unions. In the 1990s and early 2000s, much of the working time debate was about labour's goal of working time reduction, the interest of employers in working time flexibility for the sake of competitiveness, as well as working time flexibility aimed at improving the work-life balance for workers. In recent years, however, the working time debate has changed. In a political and economic context unfavourable to trade unions, employers as well as a number of governments have been pushing for both working time extensions and further flexibilisation. Trade unions have sought to defend the achievements of previous years but have been more successful in some countries than in others.

 This volume provides an overview of recent developments in Europe in the struggle over working time, discussing both changes over time and differences between countries. The focus is on collective bargaining on working time issues, but the broader political and economic context in which this bargaining is taking place, as well as relevant legislative changes, are also discussed. In addition, working time is used as an example to highlight recent trends in the role played by collective bargaining at the national, sectoral and company level, the relation between these levels, as well as the interaction between legislation and collective agreements. The volume consists of 21 country reports covering most of the EU member states as well as Bulgaria and Romania. An introductory chapter summarises the main findings.

ETUI, Brussels, ISBN 978-2-87452-014-4

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