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28/05/2012

Employment and industrial relations in the railways sector

EF/12/17/EN - TN1109030S



The European railways sector has declined significantly over the past 30 years, mainly in the area of freight transport. The sector has also undergone intense restructuring as a result of EU legislation to encourage competition. Despite these reforms, the sector typically maintains its quasi-monopolistic structure with most countries having one operator (generally still fully state-owned). Employment is dominated by the presence of the incumbent operator and collective bargaining generally takes place at company level; sector-specific employer organisations involved in multi-employer collective bargaining are not common. Unionisation levels are high, with the presence of both occupational and independent unions. The study is based on contributions from the national centres of the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) and covers the sector across EU27 countries (except for Cyprus and Malta) and Norway.

author(s): European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions – C. Vacas Soriano, P. Kerckhofs, M. Curtarelli, E. Gerogiannis
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