Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.
Volume 7 Issue 4, Winter 2001
Employment pacts have been proliferating throughout western Europe since the early 1990s. These pacts are concluded at various levels: national, sectoral, regional and enterprise level. All four levels are examined in this issue of Transfer.
In broad terms, it may be said that the debate on pacts and collective agreements dealing with employment comes under two headings. The first embraces the debate between the extremes of flexibility and stability. Flexibility is an employers’ demand that has incorporated greater flexibility of working time in recent years, in addition to other formulas of quantitative and qualitative flexibility; meanwhile, the trade unions have called for guarantees of job stability and improved conditions of employment. Indeed, the exchange of flexibility for security has constituted much of the agreements’ substantive content.