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New permanent jobs only for top 20% in post-crash Europe

A NEW REPORT FROM EUROFOUND, THE EU’S LABOUR AND SOCIAL RESEARCH ARM has found that, although the number of jobs in the EU has finally reached the level it was at before the financial crash, the recovery is very uneven and differentiated between the lowest and highest paid sectors of the labour market. The recovery in employment has been biased towards the highest-paid jobs and part-time work but temporary contracts have only slightly increased in number. Job growth in the top 20% by salary continued throughout the economic slump while there were significant losses in every other category, particularly middle-paying employment which, the report says, was especially affected by digitisation. Since the start of recovery part-time work has dominated new jobs except among the highest paid where well over 1.5 million new, full-time, permanent posts were created between 2011 and 2015. These were mainly for computer professionals

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conversely the continuing decline of manufacturing and clerical employment depressed the statistics for the middle sections. Those who find themselves in a temporary job do not typically progress to better and more permanent employment: countries like Poland and Spain which have high levels of temping show low ‘conversion’ rates and a longer job tenure for people in permanent positions who tend to ‘hold onto their jobs’.

and consultants whereas a growth in personal care work boosted the figures for the lowest paid;

 

 

 What do Europeans do at work?’
Bargaining round-up

SLOVENIA”S TRADE UNIONS HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES on the same side of the table as the government in recent social dialogue negotiations whilst the employers have gone off in a huff. Anxious to improve the lot of the poorest paid workers following six years during which the effects of the economic slump made it impossible to agree a social partner agreement, the unions signed off on a new one in February. Employers’ organisations were also happy to sign a deal that they said would ensure a stable business environment. However, although unions were unable to include an exemption from minimum wage calculation for unsocial working hours payments in the agreement, they had more luck with Parliament. With the government’s support the law was amended to allow holiday, night and Sunday work to be paid separately. All the employers’ groups then withdrew from social dialogue quoting ILO conventions and claiming that the minimum wage rate in Slovenia was already higher than in comparable countries. The ZSSS union federation stressed that this meant agreements on tax were now also null and void and that they would be pushing for higher rates on profit and lower ones on pay.

HOTELS IN NORWAY RE-OPENED AT the end of May following a month-long strike by members of union federation Fellesforbundet. Workers were jubilant as the trade union claimed victory in its demand for increased pay for those on the lowest rates and local collective bargaining. ‘We are most satisfied that we now have won local negotiating rights’ federation head Jørn Eggum told the media.. The large and prosperous hotel chains have generally preferred national bargaining. Hoteliers’ association NHO looked likely to split at one point in the dispute but eventually all 800 businesses signed up for an agreement that Jostein Hansen for the employers described as ‘very expensive’.

IRELAND”S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS HAVE broken through the chains of austerity that have gripped the country’s workers in a downward spiral of wage rates since the financial crisis. Concerned about recent reductions by the Irish Aviation Authority in pay and conditions for new recruits that it described as a ‘smash and grab exercise’, the IMPACT union has negotiated four annual cost of living increases of 1.5%. It has also gained a new pay scale which will lead to the equalisation of new joiners’ career earnings with existing staff. Although union members voted to strike in 2014 Assistant General Secretary Johnny Fox said that this would only have led to the intervention of the Labour Relations Commission and Labour Court and the union ‘would have no control over the outcome’. Direct negotiations with the company, on the other hand, had yielded certainty on salary movement, salary protection and incremental progression over the next four years and beyond’.




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