WageIndicator Gazette 14 - April 2007

6-country survey shows: 3 out of 10 women in low pay jobs; longer hours, lower pay go together
The survey compares the 2005 WageIndicator data of adult men and women, in 13 industries of 6 EU-countries. These are Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK. The survey shows that the proportion of low wage earners varies a great deal between countries. It is highest in Poland, 27 percent, followed closely by the Netherlands with 23 percent. Belgium (18 procent) and the UK (16 procent) make up the middle bracket, whereas low pay occurs less frequently in Germany (12 procent) and above all in Finland (5 procent). In all 6 countries the percentage low earners amongst women is on average double that of men. Moreover, in 5 out of these 6 countries the percentage of low wage earners is highest amongst those with working weeks of 48 hours and more.

European Trade Union issues from dataset debated April 18-20, Amsterdam
Supported by the European commission, the so called WIBAR-project aims to compare 13 industries in 8 EU-countries: BE, DE, DK, ES, FI, GB, NL, PL. For these cross country studies the WageIndicator dataset is used. First results point to:1. Unions seem to lose attraction for young workers compared to the elderly. 2. Workers in the smaller and upcoming commercial services would like to see stronger union presence. 3. Unionisation is lowest in Poland, slightly higher in the UK and very high in Belgium and Scandinavian countries. 

Scaling up the WageIndicator (follow up)
Scope: from 17 WageIndicator countries to 75 in 10 years time. Ambition: outreach to 8 out of 10 in the global labor force. Thus Gazette 13 in February 2007. In the meantime talks have been held with the world’s trade union confederation ITUC, with the ILO, a meeting is scheduled at the Paris OECD HQ later in April as well as with the Inter American Development Bank. We’ll keep you posted.

German women massively respond to publicity on gender pay gap
On the occasion of 8 March, Women’s Day, the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), the German research team, issued a press release highlighting new findings on the gender pay gap. The study was based on some 68,000 data gathered via www.lohnspiegel.de and www.frauenlohnspiegel.de. The news was widely covered and brought a surge of traffic to frauenlohnspiegel as well as a wave of fresh data. Confirming the findings of other studies WSI found that German women earn on average 22 percent less than men. There are marked differences in a broad range of managerial, clerical and manual occupations. The gender pay gap is partly explained by the different job and career opportunities open to women. A significant part however is the result of wage discrimination, particularly in western Germany.

Britain’s Unison: how to campaign better?
Unison – the largest union in the UK covering public service workers – has adopted the WageIndicator platform to consult workers in the private housing sector. A special section in the survey gathers grass-roots opinion on what the union’s campaigning priorities should be. A second aim of its survey is to assess the extent of the two-tier workforce in the UK. This means charting the (growing?) share of employees with protected contracts. The survey will be available for participants through April to the end of June. A report analysing the results will be produced by Incomes Data Services in summer. WageIndicator homepage. and find a whole group of just launched WageIndicators specially for women.

Woliweb ended
Work LIfe WEB, WOLIWEB – under this acronym a 3-year FP6 EU-research program underpinned the technical, methodological development and refinement of the WageIndicator online research. The subsidy under this program was earmarked for ‘experiments’ and meant for the teams in 9 EU-member states. It expired on March 31rst. We are happy to say that the experiment fully succeeded, both in terms of quantity (data brought in) and quality (a highly flexible, multilingual, internationally comparable operation). In the aftermath of Woliweb and as part of our final report to the European Commission, new insights and highlights will be shared with all participants and the public at large. We are working on it right now and expect to deliver by the end of May.

Win a trip to Africa! An exciting opportunity offered by most of the WageIndicator-countries. A smart offer. Good for the WageIndicator project, great for the winners and a nice opportunity for GoInAfrica and AbangAfrica to offer their environmentally responsible tours and packages. Africa looks forwards to welcoming you!

News every year