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Absract submission is now open at Deadline is the 8th of March 2011.

Important Dates

Do you want to meet at Geneva with your research streams? Please, submit your proposal from Monday 13th of September 2010 to
  • 30th of November 2010 Closing of RN/RS Call for Paper
  • 10th of January 2011 Opening of Abstract Submission at
  • 25th of February 2011 is not any more the Closing of Abstract Submission : Please notice that the deadline for the abstract submission has been extended to the 8th of March!!!
  • 1st of March 2011 Opening of Registration for ESA 10th Conference
  • 6th of April 2011 Decisions on acceptance of abstracts by RN coordinators and RS conveners relayed to paper-givers and also relayed to the Conferenze Organizer in Geneva
  • 20th of April 2011 Pre-programme of papers for each sessions sent by RN coordinators and RS conveners to the Local Committee
  • 3rd of May 2011 Closing of Early-bird conference registrations
  • 15th of June 2011 Final date for registration by paper givers who want their abstract to be published on a CD-rom with an ISSN number.
  • 30th of June 2011 Final programme of papers for each session sent to Local Committee by RN/RS coordinators
  • 5th to 6th of September 2011 PhD Workshop in Geneva
  • 7th to 10th of September 2011 ESA Congress in Geneva

10th ESA CONFERENCE, GENEVA, 7th - 10th September 2011

Call for papers
The consequences of the recent financial crash and the following economic crisis on organized labour, i.e. on industrial relations, employment and labour market institutions, is frequently seen as dramatic. However, industrial relations were always heavily exposed to financial and economic shocks and crises. For example, the shocks of the 1970s altered post-war labour relations radically, albeit with notable differences in pace and shape across countries. On the other hand, industrial relations and labour market institutions influenced the way in which this policy shift took place. The interrelationship between crises, turbulent times and industrial relations gives reason to discuss the implications of the crisis for the interaction of industrial relations with the economy and society. In line with the conference theme, RN 17 is interested in the following questions in context with the current crisis: will industrial relations undergo restructuring processes on a scale similar or even larger than the alterations of the past? To what extent will industrial relations and labour market institutions affect the policy responses and their effects?
In order to explore the theme of the conference as well as other current debates in the field of industrial relations, labour market institutions and employment, this call for papers intends to focus on the following areas:
1. Work and employment in (turbulent) times of the crisis
2. Labour markets: segmentation and social inequalities. The role of trade unions
3. Macro concertation in Europe in times of the crisis: welfare and collective bargaining
4. Restructuring and workplace labour relations: reorganisation processes and negotiations
5. The emergence of a European system of industrial relations: critical current debates
6. Perspectives for the European social model
7. New challenges to interest representation (RN17 and RC10)





8. The resurgence of conflicts: individual and collective forms of labour disputes
We expect to receive theoretical and empirical (both qualitative and quantitative) papers. Cross-national papers are especially welcome. Please submit your abstracts through the conference website (, using the online abstract submission form. The abstract submission platform opens on 10th January 2011 and the deadline for submissions is 25th February 2011. Papers for presentation will be selected by the RN coordinators on 6th April 2011. For further information and registration, please contact the conference secretariat (
Stream number 7 is jointly organised by ISA RC10 and ESA RN17
Mirella Baglioni and Bernd Brandl
Email: ESA RN17 Coordinator
Email: ESA RN17 Vice-coordinator

378 Abstract Book
Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
RN 17 Industrial Relations, Labour Market Institu
tions and Employment
Lucio Baccaro 1, Stefan Heeb 2
1Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA, 2University of Geneva, Geneva,
Abstract: This paper seeks to identify the conditions in which a so)
cial dialog response to the crisis emerges. It uses information on 44
countries around the world collected by the ILO through a stand)
ardized questionnaire addressed to country or regional experts
(ILO, 2010a), as well as various primary and secondary sources col)
lected by the authors. The analysis adopts an innovative Boolean
methodology focused on identifying necessary and sufficient condi)
tions. This methodology is attuned to a complex notion of causality
in which the same outcome may be produced by different configu)
rations of factors (Ragin, 1987; Mahoney and Goertz, 2006).
The main conclusions of the analysis are, positively, that freedom of
association is a necessary condition for social dialog; negatively,
that the combination of a crisis that hits hard and unions that are
organizationally weak, or a crisis whose impact is not particularly
deep)reaching and strong unions, is often sufficient to produce an
absence of social dialog in the country. The first seems a case in
which the government is hard)pressed by economic emergency to
ignore trade union demands and the unions are not strong enough
to force consideration of such demands. The second seems a case
in which the government is afraid that involving trade unions in a
concerted policy response would imply paying too high a price to
them and would imperil economic adjustment.
Daniel Bin1
Abstract: The article approaches the process of exploitation of
one s labour developed externally vis)a)vis the direct relations of
capitalist production through the fiscal state apparatus formed by
public debt and tax system. It is argued that capitalist exploitation
supported by the fiscal system tends to be more intense than the
one developed exclusively in direct relations of productive labour.
Hence, the comprehension of the process of exploitation does not
follow the economic apparatus stricto sensu of the labour theory of
value, departing, then, from a sociological concept of exploitation.
This means that our approach to class relations considers the mate)
rial advantage of one class as being dependent on the additional
effort of another one. The fact that public debt does not evolve
direct exploitation as occurs in economic activities—capitalist infra)
structure—makes such a debt a class relation that happens funda)
mentally through the political sphere—capitalist superstructure. It
is included in this approach the public expense insofar as the ten)
dency of higher commitment with the payment of interests com)
presses expenses in welfare policies, what contributes to the deep)
ening of the aggregated rate of labour exploitation. In socioeco)
nomic terms, public debt brings about a special class relation that
intensifies the transfer of wealth produced by labour—what turns
the working class into the actual public debt debtor—to the finan)
cial fraction of the capitalist class. The quantitative—financial
amount, interest rates—and the qualitative and institutional char)
acteristics—legislation, sovereign risk, state apparatus—of public
debt assure profits, even ephemeral, to the financial capitalists in
levels which are not always available in the productive sphere or at
least with the regularity with which they occur in the financial
sphere. Hence, the study gives greater attention to the issue of
interest than to public debt itself because interest is what deepens
the rate of exploitation of the productive classes by the appropriat)
ing ones. If on one hand public debt, as a fictitious capital stock, is
not accumulated labour – “the capital does not exist twice over”
(Marx) – on the other hand, its interests demand labour exploita)
tion to be amplified in order to achieve satisfactory return rates on
diverse capitals. As also taught by Marx, the “profit of enterprise” is
“the surplus of gross profit over average interest”.
Dragan Bagić1
1Department of Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB, Zagreb, Croatia
Abstract: The global economic crisis had particularly noticeable
consequences in countries whose economic growth in the period
preceding the crisis was founded on personal consumption fi)
nanced dominantly by foreign loans, as was the case in the Republic
of Croatia. In a situation like that, the economic crisis put strong
pressure on the existing employee rights, and in turn on the entire
industrial relations system. Industrial relations systems with a long
tradition, due to their stable institutions, show a higher degree of
resistance to effects of economic crises, whereas relatively young
and instable systems, such as the ones in transition countries, are
significantly more susceptible to changes. The goal of this paper is
to examine the extent to which such economic shocks can affect
the stability of young industrial relations systems.
This paper begins with an analysis of characteristics of the industrial
relations system in the Republic of Croatia established during the
transition period from 1990 to the beginning of the recent global
crisis. Characteristics of the Croatian industrial relations system will
be analysed from a comparative perspective, comparing them with
characteristics of four ideal type models: Anglo)Saxon, corporatist,
Mediterranean and transitional. The paper then analyses changes
noticeable since the beginning of the recent global economic crisis.
These changes indicate a greater power of Croatian trade unions
than the power evident in the period preceding the crisis. Such a
conclusion has been particularly obtruding itself in the case of pub)
lic sector unions. Stemming from that is the main research ques)
tion: has the economic crisis fostered changes in the industrial rela)
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Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
tions system that could lead to a new transformation of its charac)
The paper will be based on data collected in interviews with main
actors of the industrial relations system and case studies of Croa)
tian trade unions actions and reactions to consequences of the
global economic crisis as well as on other sources.
Bernd Brandl 1, Barbara Bechter 2, Guglielmo Meardi 3
1Industrial Sociology, 2UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, Vienna, Austria,
3University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Abstract:Industrial relations always transformed
along changing labour markets contexts. In the
European Union market contexts transform to)
wards transnational markets in some sectors. This
transformation of markets induces that national
industrial relations systems have to adjust accord)
ing to shifting sector contexts. In this paper it is
argued that industrial relations become increasing)
ly homogenous, i.e. European, in transnational
sectors but show sticky institutional change in lo)
cal sectors. The study concludes on basis of an
analysis of nine sectors in all member states of the
European Union, that industrial relations are still
characterized by traditional national factors in
domestic sectors but develop distinct European
sectoral industrial relations systems in transna)
tional sectors. Most important, these distinct sec)
toral industrial relation systems show significant
heterogeneity across sectors but homogeneity
across national borders. In this sense we find evi)
dence that Europeanization of industrial relations
evolves on a sectoral level.
Barbara Bechter 1, Bernd Brandl 1, Guglielmo Meardi 2
1Industrial Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, Vienna, Austria,
2University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Abstract: European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees (ESSDCs)
were established by the European Commission to build an institu)
tional framework of organisational articulation of both employers
associations and trade unions at European sectoral level. Since the
establishment of ESSDCs in 1998 a variety of agreements, resolu)
tions and joint declarations were enacted at sectoral, but European,
level, including binding agreements between the social partners
and the European Commission. But large differences in the func)
tioning of ESSD are apparent across sectors. In this paper we ana)
lyse differences in the functioning of ESSD between sectors. It is
argued that the functioning of European sectoral level interest co)
ordination is favoured by certain configurations of sectoral and
national industrial relations, including organizational densities, the
fragmentation of social partners and more. In context of the com)
plex sectoral institutional and economic environment in which the
ESSD are embedded a Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is
applied to identify the prerequisites and prospects for the function)
ing of the ESSD.
Guglielmo Meardi1
1UN WARWICK, Coventry, United Kingdom
Abstract: The paper presents a theoretical and empirical discussion
of the effects of the Europeanisation of employment policies, argu)
ing that the interaction with state traditions in industrial relations is
a complex one, which may mediate or even distort EU policies.
A first theoretical section will discuss the enduring relevance of
state traditions in industrial relations, despite the increasing inter)
nationalisation pressures. It will be argued that state tradition do
not imply strong path)dependence, nor coherence and immutability
of national models , as theorised by dominant institutionalist ap)
proaches. Yet the state traditions of each countries, as theorised by
Crouch (1993), deeply affect the way internationalisation pressures
are dealt with, for instance in the case of foreign direct investment
of labour migration.
The paper will then move to EU policies on employment, and nota)
bly the European Employment Strategy. The specific effects of the
promotion of flexicurity will be discussed. The cluster analysis of
national employment policies included in the Employment in Eu)
rope Report (2006) of the European Commission will be taken as a
starting point. It will be shown how that analysis was static and
does not allow to understand, let alone predict, the directions of
change across the EU countries. A more dynamic, cross)time ap)
proach to the same data shows that while a degree of convergence
in employment policies has occurred in the EU in the last two dec)
ades, it is not entirely in the direction of flexicurity (flexibility has
been increased more than security), and it is not directly related to
European policies, in the sense that the timing of changes does not
coincide with EU recommendations.
The argument will be illustrated through the cases of the countries
that have apparently had the best success in creating employment
under the EES (until the crisis of 2008 at least), that is the new
member states, Italy and Germany.
Alessia Vatta1
1Department of Political and Social Sciences, UNIVERSITY OF
TRIESTE, Trieste, Italy
Abstract: In the last decades, the relationship between political
parties and trade unions has generally changed in several European
380 Abstract Book
Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
countries. Especially for left)oriented parties, the former alliance
with trade unions has transformed from a kind of symbiosis into a
less demanding cooperation. This process was the result of the
prolonged evolution of mass parties into catch)all ones during the
twentieth century, but it was also produced by globalisation)related
factors, like the fall in union membership and the flexibilisation of
employment. Political causes were also important, like the end of
the Cold War and the de)ideologisation process. Previously, the link
between unions and parties often implied that a number of MPs
(members of parliament) came from the unions. Thus, the parlia)
ment was a channel of representation where union representatives
– through the mediation of parties – could express their views and
participate directly in the legislative process. After the recent
changes, this form of representation has become more uncertain
and party)union connections have often turned more pragmatic. In
the case of Italy, this uncertainty has further increased after the
crisis of the party system in the early 1990s. The paper intends to
inquire about the role of MPs with union roots in Italy in the recent
legislatures, as part of a more extensive research project on this
subject. This study is made by checking the parliamentary activities
and the policy areas where these MPs have been involved, and by
setting the Italian case in a comparative framework with the sup)
port of the related literature. The purpose of the analysis is to shed
light on the current relationship between parties and unions, and to
consider whether it can still be meaningful in times of weakening
identity ties.
Keywords: interest representation, trade unions, parliament
Juliusz Aleksander Gardawski 1,1
1Economic sociology, WARSAW SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, Warsaw,
Abstract: The paper aims to analyse the evolution of Polish trade
unions as well as its current condition. Firstly, the paper presents
trade unions position across various industries, size classes, owner)
ship types, degree of plant technological advancement and so on.
Secondly, it characterizes the position of trade unions in Polish po)
litical economy. The Polish capitalism could be defined as statist)
liberal : while not strong, the government still maintains the domi)
nant position in the tripartite relations with trade unions and em)
ployers organizations. The government consequently exercises its
position for developing liberal market economy and privatising
remainders of government property in the industry. The paper fo)
cuses on dilemma connected with …the political game” of main
trade union confederation in Poland. Since 1989 Solidarity not only
supported right)wing parties but co)created them, particularly in
1997)2001 period. Post)communist OPZZ played main role in creat)
ing left)wing SLD)party. Despite of strong political position of trade
unions they were unable to prevent the decline of working class
position and trade unions movement influence (even of industrial
relations field). Nowadays, after 2010 elections three main Polish
trade unions organizations ( Solidarity , OPZZ, Forum) seemed to
decide to become distanced from political parties. It was particular)
ly unexpected in the Solidarity case. Following the congress held in
October 2010, newly elected Solidarity leadership decided to weak)
ened its ties with its former very close ally – PiS (Low and Justice
party) and shift to more or less neutral political position. New Soli)
darity leader intends to change its strategy to pragmatic as well as
militant direction. OPZZ case is to some extend similar, as union
leaders do not intend to run in October 2011 parliamentary elec)
tions. Meanwhile, all major trade unions try to find new revitalisa)
tion strategy.
Hsiao)Hui Tai1
don, United Kingdom
Abstract: The state has dominated Taiwanese industrial relations
for a long time and regulated the systems of worker representation
including unions and non)union mechanisms. For example, the
Labour Union Law was enacted in 1929, and the Convocation Rules
of the Labour)Management Conference regulating a meeting for
labour and management representatives to discuss issues in a
workplace were announced in 1985. The outcome of worker repre)
sentation is problematic and sceptical. To examine the representa)
tive systems and to understand the voice of workers, this paper
discusses origins, current circumstances and feasible development
of employee representation systems in Taiwan.
Qualitative methods were conducted in one major case C and two
supplementary cases S and F in Taiwan. C is a privatised corporation
with the largest single)plant union in Taiwan, where data were col)
lected between July 2003 and December 2010 by participant obser)
vation, in)depth interviews with union president, union officers and
worker representatives, a survey of workers, and documentary
analysis of internal documents. S is a state)owned enterprise with a
federation of workers unions, and F is private)owned and non)
unionised implementing some non)union mechanisms; in)depth
interviews with worker representatives were conducted in S and F
between April and August 2007.
Mechanisms of non)union representation are regulated by the
state, proposed by unions or formalised by companies. State)
regulated mechanisms are implemented in all businesses but are
better performed in unionised workplaces whilst unions formalise
internal committees to support labour representatives. In non)
unionised companies, worker representation is practised as a fa)
vour to workers, and as an indicator showing businesses fulfil the
governmental requirements. Companies treat non)union mecha)
nisms, especially management)oriented ones, as the replacement
for unions. Absence of trade unions results in a deficient repre)
sentative system whilst workers voice is not efficiently passed to
management who do not much respect their voice.
The dynamics of worker representation provide Taiwanese unions a
possibility of influence. Instead of taking non)union representation
as obstruction, unions embody them in structures and organisa)
tions. Decline of trade unions is ongoing, but unions have more
ways to redefine their roles and offer better functions in the near
Franz Clement1
1REPREM, CEPS/INSTEAD, Differdange, Luxembourg
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Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
Abstract:/ A new law was introduced in 2008, creating “the single
status”. One of the pivotal objectives of the “single status” for wage
earners in the private sector deals with the abolition of all existing
differences, within Luxembourg s social legislation, between blue
collar and white collar workers in the private sector. The introduc)
tion of the single status has led to the reorganization of some insti)
tutions: this included the merging of the Chamber of labor, repre)
senting blue)collar workers and the Luxembourg Union of private
sector employees, representing private sector white)collar workers.
The social elections of November 12th 2008 were the first occasion
when the new criteria for representativeness were applied to the
new Chamber of wage earners.
A totally different aspect of representation of workers is worth
considering. In Luxembourg, since 1985, the number of cross)
border workers from Belgium, France and Germany has increased.
This specific area is named “The Greater Region” with the Grand)
Duchy of Luxembourg, the German States of Saarland and Rhine)
land)Palatinate, the French Region Lorraine and the southern part
of Belgium, Wallonia. These phenomena are likely to augment in
the future if we were to believe the forecasts of the National statis)
tical institute of Luxembourg, the Statec.
Unions of Luxembourg and the neighboring regions have already
established transnational structures to reflect the reality of cross)
border workers. Well known is the phenomena of dual member)
ship: cross)border workers became both unionized in Luxembourg
and, simultaneously, in their home country.
Briefly, it seems to us that in addition to the old divide that results
from the coexistence of ideological unions, Luxembourg will in)
creasingly witness the presence of two different worlds: cross)
border workers and resident workers. The figures of the most re)
cent social elections, organized in 2003 and 2008, indicate that the
number of these cross)border workers taking part in the election
process has been very limited. This would constitute in the medium
term a serious problem in the representation of salaried workers in
Ana Margarida Martins Barroso1
Abstract: The complexity of the relations between multinational
companies, its subsidiaries and supply chains has been extensively
considered by a significant body of research from different discipli)
nary fields. The transferability of human resources practices from
one company to its subsidiaries entails some degree of adjustment
to the functioning of national institutions.
Based on a case study comparing Swedish and Portuguese workers
from the same Swedish multinational company, this paper exam)
ines the discourses behind the reasons for being or not unionised in
the two countries. The research was supported by semi)structured
interviews, focused on the evaluations and perceptions of the gen)
eral working conditions provided by the company, to workers both
from the Portuguese subsidiary and from the Swedish company.
Although the general working conditions in this company tend to
converge in the two countries, results show different perspectives
on the role and importance of trade unions between Swedish and
Portuguese workers. Even though some of the interviewed workers
in Sweden are not unionised, trade unions have a strong presence
in the company and are generally valued by the workers. This con)
trasts with the reality of the Portuguese subsidiary, where formal
structures of worker s representation are inexistent and underes)
Considering the different industrial relations models in these two
countries, this analysis allows us to discuss the logics of diffusion
and/or resistance of employment practices in multinational com)
Adrien Thomas 1, MAAS Roland1
1CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Abstract: Luxembourg s labor market is characterized by a series of
outstanding features. In 2010, 43.7% of jobs were occupied by
cross)border workers, 26.7% of jobs by immigrants and 29.5% of
jobs by national residents. The high presence of foreigners in the
workforce has gone hand in hand with a segmentation of the labor
market. Luxembourg nationals thus have a high preference for the
public sector, whereas immigrants and cross)border workers make
up a large share of the private sector. Some immigrant groups like
the Portuguese are mainly active in the construction and cleaning
sectors. In response to these developments, Luxembourg s main
trade unions have developed a diversification of their organization)
al structures and put into place for example specific organizational
structures for cross)border workers and for immigrants. This con)
tribution, which is part of an ongoing research project, is going to
focus on the challenges related to interest representation of a mul)
tinational and segmented labor force. In the litterature on the soci)
ology of trade unionism, internal cohesion and the creation of a
willingness to act have indeed been considered as central to the
exertion of power by trade unions. In order to be successful, trade
unions do not only need to consider particular interests and identi)
ties of their member groups, but they also have to construct collec)
tive identities and unify interests. By analyzing the way Luxembourg
trade unions balance organizationally and politically the interests
and identities of their different constituencies, we aim to contrib)
ute to the ongoing debate on the renewal of trade unionism.
James Wickham1
1Sociology, TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, Dublin, Ireland
Abstract: Mass migration within the EU is normally seen as a chal)
lenge to workplace regulation and as undermining national welfare
states – two key elements of the European Social Model. This paper
uses the short period at the start of this century when Ireland expe)
rienced mass immigration to examine the impact of migration on
the regulation of the workplace. This raises the general question of
how institutional systems such as those identified by the Varieties
of Capitalism (VOC) approach change over time. Furthermore, while
the VOC approach focuses on national systems, within Europe the
workplace is located within the intersection of sectoral, national
and EU level institutional systems (Bosch et al, 2009).Using a study
382 Abstract Book
Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
of Polish migrants in Ireland we contrast the experience of the hos)
pitality industry and the construction industry. In the former Irish
employers casualised their labour force by utilising national and EU
policies which ensured the sudden availability of a plentiful supply
of labour. This involved an erosion of pre)existing institutions. Pre)
viously extensive state training for entrants to the industry was
allowed to wither, trade union membership plummeted. A
longstanding state)backed system of wage regulation (Joint Labour
Committees) became marginalised and is now under legal chal)
lenge. By contrast in the construction sector a process of re)
regulation appeared to take place. An aggressive trade union re)
cruitment campaign increased union membership. Mobilising public
concern, trade unions were able to force the state to enhance its
enforcement of safety standards and employment rights through
the creation of a new National Employment Rights Agency. Migrant
workers in the sector acquired a greater awareness of their rights –
and were more prepared to insist on them. The final empirical sec)
tion of the paper briefly assesses the impact of the current econom)
ic crisis. In conclusion the paper considers the implications for Eu)
ropean industrial relations in a period of heightened intra)European
Heather Connolly 1, Miguel Martinez Lucio 2, Stefania Marino 2*
1UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, Coventry, 2University of Manchester,
Manchester, United Kingdom
Abstract: The response by trade unions to the question of migration
has become a critical issue in the study of industrial relations. This
represents an important turnaround in the research agendas in
Industrial Relations. This paper develops an analysis of how the
trade union movement has understood and responded to the chal)
lenge of social inclusion and migration within three European con)
The paper builds on the insights of two sets of work in relation to
comparative Industrial Relations. The first is the work of Penninx,
Roosblad and Wrench, who have developed specific frameworks for
understanding union responses to migration in terms of how union
responses to migration have varied and why. The second set of
work focuses on wider debates on the more complex impact and
interplay of regulatory context and internal union structures and
processes on the development of union responses (see the union
revitalization and contextualised comparison literature in Industrial
Relations). These bodies of work are central contributions that have
been largely overlooked in the mainstream IR and migration de)
This paper will add insights from in)depth empirical research look)
ing at the way different union movements have responded to mi)
gration and how the issues are understood. The paper and presen)
tation is based on qualitative research in the form of interviews and
observation in three different countries (the Netherlands, Spain and
the United Kingdom) including the European Union policy making
levels over a three year period. It also involves an element of action
research. This has allowed the researchers to access a range of
actors and issues within the debate on the union response to mi)
The paper will add that a major factor is not just the structural and
regulatory environment but the way class, solidarity and race are
understood and referenced within the different cases. The paper
will show how issues of union politics must be understood along)
side the broader impact of structure. This brings a more sensitive
aspect to the debate and raises issues of union identity not solely
migrant need and identity.
Matthias Klemm 1, Clemens Kraetsch 1, Jan Weyand1
(GERMANY), erlangen, Germany
Abstract: The EWC as a newly built institution of European work)
place representation attracts considerable scientific interest. Still,
the contemporary and future development of the institution is
anything but clear. Many studies show that the impact of EWCs on
the effectiveness of workers interest representation in Europe
seems to rest in the ability to use it as a source of information and
cooperation in order to strengthen local workplace representation
in European production networks. Therefore not management in)
formation as such, but reciprocal accessibility to workplace repre)
sentatives and their knowledge (and social capital) is most im)
portant for the functioning of EWCs. The question arises, then, how
culture matters in the communication between members of the
EWC which are rooted in diverging national and interest represen)
tation cultures. In the following sections we investigate the ways
how these cultures pattern the social relations between national
workplace representatives in EWCs. Our analysis concentrates on
two crucial aspects: the national embededness of representatives
strategies of action and intercultural communication in internation)
al meetings. Our empirical material stems from a research project
funded by the Hans Boeckler Stiftung and deals specifically with the
cooperation between Western German representatives and Central
Eastern Europe representatives in three companies in the automo)
tive and the automotive supplier industry. Our research shows that
hindrances in fostering international cooperation not only lie in the
enforced competition between national production sites but also in
the diverging auto) and heterotypfications which are used in inter)
national communication and which stem form diverging cultures
(and institutions) of workplace representation. Assuming that in)
ternational meetings would automatically improve intercultural
understanding is misleading: In the course of sporadic international
contacts problematic imputations can also be stabilized and may
lead to distrust. In turn, distrust decreases the liability of infor)
mation circulating in the communication between workplace repre)
sentatives and puts calls for transnational solidarity into question.
Sophie Rosenbohm1
1Faculty of Social Science, Chair of Sociology / Organization, Migra)
tion, Participation, RUHR)UNIVERSITY BOCHUM, Bochum, Germany
Abstract: Since 2004 it is possible to establish a European Company
(Societas Europaea, SE) in the European Economic Area (EEA). The
question about the employee involvement plays an important role
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Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
because the EU legislation defines that a SE may not be registered
before employee representatives and the company s management
have tried to reach an agreement on employee involvement. For
the last years there has been a dynamic development as the num)
ber of SEs has steadily increased. By December 2010 around 700
European Companies had been established – although just 171
companies can be classified as so called normal SEs which are both
economically active and have employees. Among them are some
big European companies such as BASF, Allianz and MAN. All in all,
negotiated forms of employee involvement are empirically im)
portant, as they are already effective for more than a hundred
thousand of employees in the EEA.
The paper examines for the normal SEs what types of arrangements
the employee representatives and the management made up and
thereby analyzes what kind of European forms of industrial rela)
tions are evolving. It focuses thereby on the question whether the
involvement procedures differ from those, which had existed be)
fore the SE was established. Based on considerations of the negoti)
ated order approach and the path dependence theory it is argued
that there are four different types of developments that differ re)
garding their involvement scope and their degree of change: The
first type is characterized by path stabilization, which is combined
with a higher participation degree because the existing participa)
tion forms are mainly preserved. The second type is also character)
ized by path stabilization but it is combined with a lower participa)
tion degree because participation forms hadn’t have existed neither
before nor after the SE establishment. The third type is character)
ized by a path switch, which leads to a higher degree of participa)
tion because entirely new participation forms are established. A
path switch also characterizes the fourth type but in this case it
leads to a lower degree of participation because existing participa)
tion forms are taken back. Based on a document analysis and case
studies it is explored how these types fit the empirical cases and
how they possibly vary with corporate characteristics like size, sec)
tor or ownership structure.
Carsten Stroby Jensen1
1Department of Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN, Copen)
hagen, Denmark
Abstract: In this article we will focus on analysing employers, their
forms of organization and their influence in relation to develop)
ments in national employment relations systems. We will mainly
focus on the private parts of the labour market I Denmark. The
analysis has an double aim. Firstly we will focus on the forms of
organization among business and employers. We will identify and
analyse characteristics about employers forms of organizations with
respect to their organizational forms (e.g. domaine representation),
their participation in collective bargaining etc. Secondly we will try
to identify how and why emloyers and theis associations have tried
to influence the development of national employment relations
systems. The article focus especially in Denmark but compare Den)
mark to other European countries. has a comparative starting point
looking on forms of organization in two European countries. In the
emplyment relation literature there is quite a comprehensive de)
bate about the character of the different national employment
relation systems and about the possibility to identify more general)
ized models of employment relations (Ebbinghaus 1999, Commis)
sion of the European Community 2004). Establishing an employers
assocition can been seen as a result of companies and employers
interests in dealing with types of problems that are common for
them. Employers associations are the solution to a problem or a
field of problems that can not be solved by a single company or by
the sungle employer, where collective action are more succesfull
than individual action. Employers organise in an employers associa)
tion becaues they expect to safeguard their interest through mem)
bership. Employers associations are in the employment relation
literature often analysed through an optic focusing on the relation
between collective and individual interests and forms of action
(Traxler et al. 2001, Traxler 2004, Croucher et al. 2006). This means
that theories dealing with free)rider problems (Olson 1965) often
plays an important role when the formation and action of employ)
ers associations are understood. Employers associations are in this
respect seen as organisations that should be able to provide the
single company or the single employer with goods and services they
se as attractive goods or services.
Paulo Martins Fernandes 1, Antonio Jose Almeida 1, Joao Pedro Cor)
1Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Re, THE ESCE
Abstract: Labour relations in Portugal have been marked by a set of
blocks resulting from the change in the balance of power between
capital and labor. These blocks, one of the most significant has
been associated with low degree of effectiveness of instruments for
regulating collective bargaining has long exceeded the practices of
human resource management policies adopted by companies and
"tolerated" by society. It has passed a certain inability of the actors
of collective bargaining in (re) construct a new compromise be)
tween capital and labor, which opened the way for a package of
reforms, more or less consensual, the legal framework that regu)
lates the system of labor relations, which aimed at increasing de)
centralization of bargaining levels.
In this context, as part of an ongoing research project, called the
reinvention of negotiation and collective representation of employ)
ees in Portugal, to present some results achieved by the develop)
ment of the contents of collective bargaining in the automotive
sector and the articulation of such content to the negotiation en)
terprise level translated into what some authors have called the
internal business agreements.
Keywords: labor relations, collective bargaining, human resource
management, internal agreements.
Marina Pessoa Henriques 1, Antonio Casimiro Ferreira 2, Andreia
Santos 2
1University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, 2Centre for Social Stud)
ies, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
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Abstract: This paper explain the coordination dynamics between
the different socio)legal spaces and levels in the production and
application of labour law, specifically the result of how the ILO has
contributed to the settlement of labour law and labour relations in
Portugal. It also seeks to understand the extent to which the ILO
normativity is experienced at the national level. At same time seeks
the analysis of the Portuguese labour law and the Portuguese la)
bour relations systems process of consolidation and transfor)
mation, contextualised by the international trends of human rights
promotion and labour governance.
In fact, the dynamics of labour law projected on broad concepts
such as social dialogue, concept of worker and employment rela)
tionship comprise the normative background of ILO conventions
and recommendations as guidelines. The ILO guidelines have been
increasingly challenged by labour market forces that appeal to a
(re)contractualisation of the labour relations and redefinition of the
labour functions and their rights. There have been internal changes
occurring in the ILO with impacts on their guidance activity to
Member States, constituting the concept of decent work, a norma)
tive platform gauged through the mechanisms of conventions
adoption, of regular monitoring and special monitoring. In the cur)
rent context of crisis, the ILO labour paradigm provides a frame)
work for guiding the global world of work, less studied than the
European Social Model paradigm.
The capture of its influence requires a broad approach to the inter)
action between legal spaces locally, nationally and globally. We
privilege a pluralistic conception of law which emphasizes the di)
versity of social actors producing and implementing the labour law.
This analytical option is justified by the nature of the regulatory
mechanisms of international labour standards effectiveness in
Member States. This effectiveness is based on the International
Labour Code monitoring and in their interactions with national
actors and institutions: labour courts, administration work and
social partners.
Marco Giesselmann1
Abstract: Since the middle of the 90s, the labour market regime in
Germany has undergone incremental changes; these changes have
led to a departure from the conservative regime towards a conver)
gence with the liberal model. As a result, the labour market frame)
works in Germany and Great Britain by now exhibit strong similari)
Whilst in Great Britain the implementation of liberal ideals in the
early 80s was carried out against a background of weakening trade
unions, in Germany the wage bargaining system s framework re)
mained relatively stable. The degree of trade union bargaining
power therefore constitutes the central difference between the
two countries, nowadays.
In turn, this differentiation has an influential effect on individual
labour market results: analyses on the basis of harmonized versions
of the BHPS and the GSOEP (2003 – 2006) reveal that in Germany
workers on the periphery of the labour market (both entrants and
re)entrants) are particularly affected by poverty, while in Great
Britain especially older workers live in precarious economic condi)
The causes behind the observed country)specific patterns of in)
work poverty are accounted for by taking the rationality of trade
unions into consideration. This predicts that trade unions provide
insiders positions on the labour market with boundaries, thereby
constituting a powerful closure device and protecting especially
persons with high seniority from market forces. As most obvious
expression of variations in union bargaining power between GER
and GB strong differences in the system of labour protection are
Carlos Jesus Fernandez Rodriguez 1, Miguel Martinez Lucio 2*
2People, Management and Organisations, Manchester Business
School, Manchester, United Kingdom
Abstract: This paper is intended to understand the complex issues
that underpin this debate on free labour markets and job)
dismissal that has become very important in this context of the
current economic crisis. Irrespective of economic debates and their
nuances, the paper focuses on the way related debates are shaped
and how it structures discussions about industrial relations, the
labour market and even the economy. This contribution discusses
this in the context of Spain where the debate has become a touch)
stone of national concern and external images of the country. Re)
gardless of differences that exist on the substantive issues on flexi)
bility and dismissal, the free dismissal discourse is vital for defining
the way policy is prescribed, constructed and constrained in the
case of Spain. This forces us to understand the underlying politics
and issues around which employers and academics shape policy
and politics. Issues and themes within labour markets are con)
structed in specific regulatory contexts and specific issues of identi)
ty and the political valence different issues possess in the different
national settings (Locke and Thelen, 1995). They are also the sub)
ject of broader ideological and political influences that lead to a
perpetuation of myths about the economy and national systems.
This myth making is important in any discussion on politics and
Oleksii Shestakovskyi1
Abstract: The paper deals with temporary labour migration of
Ukrainian workers abroad in relation to social structure.
Empirical base embraces national monitoring surveys “Ukrainian
society” (in 2002–2010) and European Social Survey (in 2005–
The data reaffirm stably sizeable scale of labor migration from
Ukraine during the last decade.
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The connections with population, settlement and (to some extent)
employment indicators permit to conclude the following. General
structural conditions that favor Ukrainian labor migration include
(but not limited to): the lack of possibilities for desirable employ)
ment at the area, and lesser attachment to a domicile by various
reasons. A level of material welfare seems to be not so definitive.
Having a labor migration experience is associated with higher indi)
ces of the objective and subjective welfare as well as with higher
estimation of the own social position. However there is an overall
trend for the associations to decrease in strength. The connections
between an experience of labor migration and employment grow
down also. All these circumstances may be an evidence that influ)
ence of labor migration on the social inequality in Ukraine reduced
during the preceding period of stable development.
Beside it, there are two additional findings that are important for
the discussion about the labour migration: its apparent institution)
alization and high readiness to protests among past and prospec)
tive migrants.
In the end some considerations are suggested concerning further
tendencies for Ukrainians labor migration and their impact on so)
ciety in the context of “turbulent times” that both European coun)
tries and Ukraine go through.
Rolle Alho1
1Department of Social Policy, UNIVERSITY OF TURKU, Helsinki, Fin)
land, Finland
Abstract: It is often stated that the position of trade unions vis)a)vis
immigration and immigrants is ambivalent. On one hand, unions
worldwide have expressed solidarity with migrant workers, defend)
ed their labour and social rights, and made efforts towards their
societal inclusion. On the other hand, unions have seen immigra)
tion as an external threat creating competition for jobs, and have
therefore used exclusive strategies towards immigration.
This paper argues that Finnish trade unions have adopted both
inclusive and exclusive strategies towards immigration and immi)
grants. I have analysed the union strategies from Walter Korpi s
(1978) power/resources/perspective. In the context of immigration,
Finnish trade unions try to maintain their power resources by advo)
cating restrictions on labour immigration. However, as regards im=
migrants, there is an aim to include immigrants in unions in order
to increase membership and prevent social dumping by the use of
immigrant workers. This paper forms part of my PhD thesis.
Richard Hyman 1, 2*
1LSE, London, United Kingdom, 2EROB, LSE, London, United King)
Abstract: On 24 November 2009 the European Commission pub)
lished its consultation paper on the EU 2020 strategy, with a dead)
line for responses of 15 January 2010. This timetable was widely
criticised, and differed markedly from the four months allowed for
consultation on the Green Paper Modernising Labour Law to Meet
the Challenges of the 21st Century in 2006)07.
In the event, responses were submitted by 16 national and 11 su)
pranational trade union organisations, with a few others from un)
ion)related bodies and from national bipartite or tripartite bodies
as well as the EESC. This may be contrasted with the replies from 49
national and 14 supranational trade union bodies to the Green
Paper consultation.
Union reactions were without exception critical. Key common
themes were the lack of analysis of the reasons that the Lisbon
strategy failed to achieve it tasks (the Commission published its
own assessment only after the close of the consultation), the pre)
dominant emphasis on restraint in public finances, and the more
general subordination of social to economic priorities. While most
responses were brief, some were detailed and sharper in tone than
the 6)page ETUC document (which contrasted with its 31)page re)
sponse to the Green Paper).
My contribution will compare and contrast national and EU)level
trade union arguments, and will also discuss some of the reasons
for limited trade union participation in the consultation, which may
indicate growing alienation from the whole EU policy)making pro)
Elodie BETHOUX 1, Roland ERNE 2*
CACHAN, France, 2School of Business, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
Abstract: Due to the Maastricht Treaty European employers and
workers organizations have acquired official status allowing them
to play a substantial role in the drafting and implementing of rules
in the social policy area. But the list of issues addressed in the Eu)
ropean social dialogue remains limited. The European Single Mar)
ket, the EMU and the EU enlargement also triggered significant
transformations of company structures and labour markets. The
performance of European IR actors hardly matches the increased
salience of these new challenges. This reflects the difficulties to
reach a consensus between organized capital and labour across an
increasing number of EU member states, as well as difficulties of EU
interest organisations to represent and mobilise their rank)and)file
in relation to European issues. Hence the development of European
institutions and rules, with the increased complexity of European IR
since the enlargement, raises new questions about the articulation
between European, national and workplace levels.
Our paper aims at developing a comparative analysis of the rela)
tionships between national unions and developments at EU level in
the Irish and French cases. To which extent are national TU mem)
bers and activists aware of and interested in European labour is)
sues? Which positions and strategies do they take? What resources
do they have regarding European issues? What kind of relationships
do national players have with the European social partners?
These questions are of particular interest in relation to Ireland and
France: the French Referendum on the EU Constitution and the
Irish Referenda on the Lisbon Treaty revealed a cleavage between
the recommendations of union leaders and the voting behaviour of
386 Abstract Book
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French and Irish workers, as well as conflicting positions inside na)
tional union movements.
The positions of the national unions are captured by a systematic
analysis of the union and the general press in France and Ireland.
The collection of all articles published during the referendum de)
bates in the 2 countries provide the base for a lexical analysis using
the Alceste software. Our analysis proceeds in two steps: 1) deter)
mining the salience of worker and TU issues in the general referen)
dum debates in the 2 countries; 2) analysing and comparing the
worker and TU related articles in the Irish corpus and in the French
corpus in the light of our research questions.
Catherine Casey1
1School of Management, UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER, Leicester, Unit)
ed Kingdom
Abstract: In the midst of the recalibration of employment relations
in liberalizing European Union countries over recent decades there
has been heightened policy interest in increasing learning, educa)
tion and skill levels among the workforce and in organizations. A
policy and academic literature on learning organizations and di)
verse practical interventions in organizations and workplaces pur)
sues accomplishment of knowledge)rich, continuously learning and
innovating organizations. The policy and business pursuit of organi)
zational learning has gained mixed reception in critical sociological
studies of work, labour markets and industrial relations. Critics note
that an earlier, mid)20th century labour movement and trade union
interest in worker education and skill development, which sought
diverse objectives for worker education including advancement of
industrial and organizational democracy and improved quality of
work, has been marginalized. The predominant interest in organiza)
tional and workplace learning in the early 21st century appears es)
sentially aligned with techno)economic imperatives for competi)
tiveness and restored managerial elite agendas in organizations.
Those managerial interests currently circumscribe and delimit the
horizon for organizational, workplace, and workers learning. A
widely observed deterioration in industrial relations and in the
quality of work and workers lives now confronts institutions of
European industrial relations.
This paper proposes that a renewed, critical exploration of organi)
zational learning and worker education offers potential for social
application in organizational practices and industrial relations. It
proposes that the 2008 crisis of capitalism opens opportunity for
revitalized discussions of learning in organizations, including in
trade union organizations. A more comprehensive and critical ap)
proach has practical potential for effective intervention in regard to
crucial issues of quality, representation and negotiation. A re)
mobilization of organizational and worker learning may generate
improved work practices and more effective trade unions, and ex)
tend in reach to a regeneration of institutions of societal democrat)
ic citizenship and civilized economic organization.
Margherita Sabrina Perra 1, Francesca Congiu 2*
RELATIONS, Cagliari, Italy
Abstract: The paper will draw on one of the central ideas put for)
ward by current critical studies on capitalism and, in particular, on
the methods and strategies adopted by capitalist systems to over)
come national and international crisis. Since the beginning of the
Eighties the international economic system has brought about im)
portant changes in labour relations with enormous consequences
for both developed and developing countries. Labour conditions in
standard wage employment are progressively worsening, in a “race
to the bottom” trend, in terms of income redistribution, workers
rights and workers interests representation. Scholars define this
process as an increasing “proletarianization”, which is characterized
by the tendency towards occupational deskilling. This is true, more
specifically, for European economic systems. On the contrary, China
is both experiencing a process of rapid industrialization, highly de)
pendent on foreign capital and cheap local labour. However, part of
the literature is currently emphasizing how China is succeeding at
absorbing more and more active labour force in regular industrial
employment, improving standard working conditions and emanci)
pating trade unions and their political representative role. Actually,
this still is an open question and lies at the core of the current de)
bate on China s ascendancy as a “new development paradigm”. The
paper will address the issue of the role of the State in industrial
relations drastic transformation in the context of the last thirty
years neoliberalism from a socio)political perspective. The main
question to be addressed will be the role played by political institu)
tions in the new social conflicts due to the reconfiguration of labour
relations and whether the form of government (democratic or non)
democratic) still makes the difference.
There will be two interconnected levels of analysis: an historical
and sociological level and a comparative one. Indeed we aim at
underling these trends by drawing a comparison between manufac)
turing industrial workers in Europe and China. By looking at legisla)
tion choices, industrial policies, working conditions changes emerg)
ing by data provided by the European Office of Statistics (Eurostat)
and the National Bureau of Statistics of RPC, the paper aims at look)
ing for convergences and differentiations between the two areas.
Christopher Kollmeyer1
1Department of Sociology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scot)
land, United Kingdom
Abstract: Why do some workers join trade unions and others do
not? Previous research focuses on institutional, economic, and de)
mographic accounts to explain variations in trade union
participation across individuals, countries, and historic periods.
These accounts, however, fail
to consider how the habits, practices, and values of workers shape
their decisions to join trade unions. Drawing on theories of social
capital and attitudinal change, it is hypothesized that variations in
civic and political engagement, as well political and cultural values,
help explain who joins trade unions. This hypothesis is tested with
select data from the World Value Survey. Results from binary lo)
gistic regression models indicate that individual)level variation in
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trade union participation positively correlates with civic and politi)
cal participation, with left)leaning political views, but not with the
post)materialist values. The article concludes by discussing the re)
search s limitations and its potential for shedding new light on
questions surrounding organized labour s changing fortunes.
Vasiliy Anikin 1, 2*
1Department of Socioeconomics and Social Policy, HIGHER SCHOOL
OF ECONOMICS (MOSCOW), 2Center for Comprehensive Social
Studies, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Mos)
cow, Russian Federation
Abstract: Phenomenon of work despite the apparent patency of the
word indeed has somewhat complicated social ground related to
the cultural context of the way the term is used. It is common for
many researches to set off work and labor (Grint, 2005), work and
its absence (Friedmann and Havighurst, 1954.) or consider dialecti)
cal accord of work and non)work (Riesman et al., 1950) under
which work becomes even a form of leisure time.
I suspect work in a sociological tradition as activities which people
do for a wage (Watson 2008).
The paper deals with the analysis of roles work plays in contempo)
rary life of Russians. The case considered to be interesting due to its
reference to a theory of work in transition societies that moreover
suffer from negative crises effects. On a cross)sectional national
data (2009) the variety of subjective aspects of work (such as orien)
tation to work, intrinsic and extrinsic values of work, attitudes in
the job, job motivations and job satisfaction) is studied in the con)
text of structural logic – primary from the point of professions, job
power and decision)making on job, social services and different
types of recourses.
The main findings of the research are the following:
1. Work plays a somewhat important role in shaping the life chanc)
es of Russians although this is not fully realized by the majority of
the population.
2. There is an offset of these affects – specific social relations be)
tween staff and management legitimizing the abundance of intrin)
sic job satisfaction at a lack of extrinsic one.
3. The prepotency of instrumental orientations to work is rather
predicted by relations of exploitation then by simple division of
labor on manual and non)manual categories and hence considered
to be explained by different job motivations.
Here arises the theoretical point concerned with established use of
the notion work . Such implications took it to evaluate this term for
transitional societies. Moreover author supposes the analysis of
work complimented with respect to the socio)economic re)
strictions will produce somewhat valuable frame to comprehend
other transitions.
Andranik Tangian1
Dusseldorf, Germany
Abstract: Thepaper presents a macroeconomic analysis of flexicuri)
ty with regard to the current economic crisis. Flexicurity is the Eu)
ropean labour market policy aimed at compensating the ongoing
flexibilization of employment relations (deregulation of labour mar)
kets) by means of advantages in social security. The analysis is per)
formed with four composite indicators based on statistical figures
for 25 countries. These composite indicators are flexibility, security,
gravity of macroeconomic situation by 2010 and aggravation of
macroeconomic situation in 2008–2010. The latter indicator is used
to separate the pure effect of the crisis from previous develop)
ments. The indicator of flexibility covers both institutional and fac)
tual aspects, the security indicator includes social expenditure and
benefit pay)offs, while the gravity of the macroeconomic situation
is expressed in terms of output gap, public debt, size of bailout
package and unemployment rate. It is shown with statistical cer)
tainty that a high degree of flexibility is not advantageous. Both the
gravity of the situation by 2010 and the aggravation of the situation
during the crisis in 2008–2010 depend significantly on flexibility. A
possible explanation is that flexibility encourages firms to indulge in
more risky market behaviour, given that potential losses can be
recovered through restructurings with trouble)free labour adjust)
ments. Restructurings require credit, making firms more sensitive
to failures in the financial sector. When a crisis occurs, both eco)
nomic losses for firms and labour adjustments take place on a mas)
sive scale, aggravating both the economic and the social situation
(increase in the output gap and in unemployment). Flexibility)
security combinations are not advantageous either, although the
pure effect of the crisis is softened if social security is generous. The
conclusion is that a better alternative to flexicurity would be a nor)
malization of employment relations; in other words, low flexibility,
which also would result in less social security expenditure.
The closing discussion argues that the flexibilization of employment
relations and the crisis both stem from the same root: financial
liberalization is the background cause of both phenomena, render)
ing them dependent on one another.
Heather Connolly 1, Ralph Darlington 2
1UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, Coventry, 2University of Salford, Sal)
ford, United Kingdom
Abstract: This paper compares union responses to austerity
measures in France and Britain. Using a contextualised comparison
approach this paper compares the responses of British and French
unions to recent austerity measures. We look at the different insti)
tutional sticking points that have emerged in both countries. In the
contextualised comparison approach the issues that generate the
most intense conflicts are those which are so bound up with tradi)
tional trade union identities that their renegotiation sets in motion
a much deeper and fundamental re)evaluation of labour s project
within a given institutional setting. Whilst the paper will look at
union responses more generally the analysis will concentrate trade
unions adopting a more radical politicised unionism.
In France there has been widespread action against government
reforms towards the retirement age. The French industrial relations
system – alongside traditions of militancy and mobilisation – facili)
tates such a response. In contrast the British system of industrial
388 Abstract Book
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relations constrains coordinated union responses against austerity
measures and this has led to a more fragmented response to the
public spending cuts. This also reflects trade union identities in
Britain, which have tended towards more bread and butter issues
in employment relations. Despite the different nature of union
responses more generally some radical unions in both countries
display similar features of combining industrial militancy with a
highly political/ideological edge.
This paper is exploratory and draws on the authors previous empir)
ical work on unions in France and Britain, alongside secondary
sources. The paper will also draw on primary research as part of a
British Academy funded project to compare trade unions in France
and Britain which began in September 2010. The research has
mainly been conducted in the railway sector in France and Britain,
where trade unions have been at the centre of building militant
resistance over a number of years prior to the current challenges.
Kevin Doogan1
1School for Policy Studies, UNIVERISTY OF BRISTOL, Bristol, United
Abstract: The Great Recession is the most significant downturn to
assail capitalism in eighty years. It is a global recession, but its im)
pact is also highly differentiated and distinctive in its labour market
effects. When comparing the recession in the UK with the reces)
sions of 1991 and 1980 the decline in output has been faster and
more precipitous in the current crisis but the rise in unemployment
has been slower and the proportion out of work (at around 8%) less
than in previous downturns. This is not simply a lagged response to
the recession but an outcome of the evolution of the crisis through
different phases from a financial crisis to an economic crisis then to
a fiscal crisis and sovereign debt crisis. More specifically it reveals
how the impact of the bailout of the banks has been transposed to
the public sector and has emerged as an austerity regime ushering
in an unprecedented and prolonged period of welfare retrench)
ment. The implications of new patterns of public expenditure de)
mands particular attention because the public sector labour market
has its own dynamics, planning cycles and patterns of adjustment.
That is why the issues are not confined to public sector job losses,
but also focus on the raising of the retirement age, pension reform,
pay freezes and job downgrading. How these services are to be
funded is critical but also potentially explosive as is the case with
the student protest against tuition fees. This paper will explore the
impact of austerity on the public sector labour market and explore
the new sources of insecurity facing the public service workforce as
well as the possibilities for resistance.
John Kelly 1, Kerstin Hamann 2, Alison Johnston 3
1management, BIRKBECK, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, London, United
Kingdom, 2political science, university of central florida, orlando,
United States, 3European Institute, London School of Economics,
London, United Kingdom
Abstract: The number of general strikes against governments in
Western Europe since 1980 has been increasing. Between 1980 and
1989, trade unions staged 18 general strikes, 26 in the following
decade, and 28 between 2000 and 2006. The rise in general strikes
is noteworthy because it has coincided with a sharp decline in the
level of strike activity against employers. Moreover, whilst many
general strikes have been called in strike prone countries such as
Greece and Italy, they have also been called in countries with his)
torically low levels of strike action, such as Austria and Luxembourg.
Finally the rise in general strikes has also coincided with the re)
emergence of social pacts between governments, unions and em)
ployers, and these forms of union inclusion might have been ex)
pected to reduce the level of anti)government protests.
Our research explores three questions: how do we explain the ris)
ing number of general strikes? How do we account for variation
between countries? And how successful are unions in obtaining
concessions from governments? We use data for 16 Western Euro)
pean countries (EU 15 plus Norway) between 1980 and 2006. As
general strikes are directed against governments rather than em)
ployers, we argue conventional strike theories are of little value.
We focus instead on the political context and hypothesize that gen)
eral strikes are a response to union exclusion from government
policy formation and that rightist governments and strong govern)
ments will also generate higher levels of general strikes. We expect
government concessions to unions will be influenced by govern)
mental strength, party composition of the government and the
degree of trade union unity.
We constructed our own dataset containing data on general strikes,
social pacts, legislation, the strength and composition of govern)
ments as well as a series of economic and institutional controls.
Analysis using a one)way fixed effects logit model provides support)
ive evidence for our hypotheses. The likelihood that unions will call
a general strike is significantly higher when unions are excluded
from policymaking by conservative governments with a large vote
share and when unions wield authority over their affiliates. We also
found that concessions to unions are most likely to come from cen)
trist governments compared to more left or more right wing gov)
Marieke Born 1, Agnes Akkerman 2, Rene Torenvlied 3, 4
1Political Science, RADBOUD UNIVERSITY NIJMEGEN, 2Radboud
University, Nijmegen, 3University of Groningen, Groningen,
4Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Abstract: This paper aims to explain worker participation in indus)
trial conflict when workers receive conflicting information from
different sources in their network. Participation in collective action
and the mobilization of participants has been a subject of study for
decades. The main explanatory variable in this research up to now
is social identification. Individuals tend to rely on what others like
me do. Remarkably, theory mostly focuses on the influence of so)
cial movements or the unions, ignoring other groups that could
offer the worker information about the (potential) conflict, such as
the employer, colleagues and the media. In this paper, we offer an
additional explanation for participation in collective action such as
strikes: by including other groups as sources of information, we
investigate how (potentially conflicting) information from these
different groups is filtered. We argue that social identification is not
the only determinant filter of information and introduce trust, ex)
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pertise and proximity as explanatory variables. We investigate the
relationship between a) social identification and trust, b) expertise
and trust, and c) proximity and trust and test the hypothesis that
trust and social identification positively affect the influence a
source of information has on the decision to participate. We empir)
ically explore the influence of these factors on willingness to partic)
ipate, using survey data of 725 respondents, collected in 2010.
Alex Lehr1
1Political Sciences, RADBOUD UNIVERISTY NIJMEGEN, Nijmegen,
Abstract:/Recent developments in strike research have shifted the
focus of analyses from single firm)union bargaining pairs to influ)
ence patterns between separate bargaining pairs that sequentially
negotiate over collective agreements, with information spillovers
proposed as mechanism of influence. This paper aims to establish
when union and firm representatives are influenced by information
about collective bargaining in other firms. We argue that infor)
mation about the demands, offers, outcomes, costs of possible
strikes, workers willingness to strike and public opinion related to
collective bargaining in other firms influences the bargaining strat)
egies of union and firm representatives if these other firms are
perceived as similar and information sources are perceived to be
trustworthy. Furthermore, negotiators that face high uncertainty
about their bargaining positions and/or who s perceptions about
their bargaining positions strongly diverge from their bargaining
partners are expected to be influenced more strongly by infor)
mation about collective bargaining in other firms than those in low
uncertainty/low divergence bargaining situations. Standardized
survey data are collected among union and firm representatives
involved in a sample of collective agreements active between 2009
and 2011 in the Netherlands. A unique design of both union and
firm negotiators nested within the same contract allows for as)
sessments not only of negotiators perceptions of trustworthiness
of information sources and similarity of other firms to their own
firms, but also of the divergence of perceptions of bargaining posi)
tions between negotiators within the same bargaining pair.
Florian Pichler 1, Nadia Steiber 2
1Institute for Industrial Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, Vienna,
Austria, 2European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Abstract: How workers assess the quality of their jobs not only re)
flects individual evaluations but is also linked to institutional set)
tings and international developments. Drawing on scholarship from
across the social sciences, we investigate a series of interrelated
dimensions of perceived job quality, including intrinsic and extrinsic
rewards of work, job security, work intensity, working conditions
and the quality of workplace relationships. In addition to individual)
level correlates of perceived job quality, the available literature
suggests that institutional forces (e.g. employment systems and
industrial relations) or competitive forces (e.g. globalization and
technological change) shape subjective work experience. Yet, exist)
ing work mainly draws on international survey data for a single year
to test these contextual effects. This contribution takes the meth)
odologically more powerful approach of testing the predictive value
of institutional change on the evolution of job quality within coun)
tries. Using data from the International Social Survey Programme
covering 19 OECD countries over the period 1997)2005, we investi)
gate changes in perceived job quality over time and trends of polar)
ization within the gainfully employed population. We examine the
extent to which theories of Varieties of Capitalism , Power Re)
sources and Globalization help explain the variation and temporal
trends in perceived job quality. Results from two)step multilevel
models with country fixed effects underline the importance of dy)
namic models to identify institutional predictors of perceived job
quality. They confirm that institutional structures and global com)
petition do not go unnoticed by workers; yet, the relevance of dif)
ferent institutional components varies across the sub)dimensions of
perceived job quality.
Holger Lengfeld 1, Jochen Hirschle 2
1School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, UNIVERSITY OF
HAMBURG, Hamburg, 2Institute of Sociology, University of Hagen,
Hagen, Germany
Abstract: Since the mid)1990th, employee s worries about losing the
job have been increased in most OECD countries. Nevertheless,
remarkable differences between countries with regard to degree
and trends of perceived job insecurity are observable. These differ)
ences can only partially be explained by varying unemployment
rates. Therefore, research has well examined socio)demographic
determinants of the workforce, but results related to institutional
characteristics of a countries employment system, such as em)
ployment protection legislation and active labour market policies,
have been empirically and theoretically contradictory.
In our paper we suggest a more complex explanation of interna)
tional differences in perceived job insecurity. Based on social psy)
chological appraisal theory, transaction cost and varieties of capital)
ism (VoC) approaches, we first argue that a high level of employ)
ment protection legislation (EPL) may reduce workers cognitive
perceptions of the probability to lose the actual job, but increases
long)term related affective worries to become re)employed after a
possible dismissal. In liberal market economies (LME), characterized
by low EPL, job transitions are more frequently to occur, so em)
ployees have developed coping strategies to deal with dismissals
and to find a new job. Additionally, LME s vocational training sys)
tems provide generalized skills which are easier to transfer across
firms compared with coordinated market economies (CMEs). Be)
cause the latter are characterized by a higher degree of firm)
specific skills, a high level of EPL protects from short)term dismissal
but decreases the chance of re)employment on the long run. Sec)
ondly, and independently from EPL)effect, active labour market
policies (LMP) typical for CME s positively influence the outcome of
the appraisal process of anticipated job loss by ameliorating its
perceived material consequences and by strengthening the work)
ers self)efficacy.
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Empirically, we test these assumptions by analyzing ISSP 2005 data
including 20 countries. Descriptive analyses and multi)level regres)
sions show that affective worries can be traced back to higher EPL
and lower LMP levels. In contrast, higher levels of EPL and LMP do
not reduce cognitive perceptions of job insecurity.
Timo Anttila 1, Tomi Oinas 1, Armi Hartikainen 1, Jouko Natti 2
1Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of
Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, 2Department of Social Research, University of
Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Abstract: Global competition, technological change and intensifica)
tion of work are common developments throughout industrial
world. Growing comparative research literature tries to discern
differences between countries production regimes or welfare state
institutions in mediating the pressures of global competition. The
presumption is that there are differences between national political
and historical compromises on industrial relations and production
systems and between societal institutions such as family systems,
educational systems and security systems. Thus, policies vary and
particular national institutional conditions mediate globalization s
Job quality is a multi)dimensional phenomenon, which touches on a
broad set of individual job and workers characteristics. Central
methodological choice in assessing overall job quality is to decide
whether to use multidimensional approach with variety of
measures or to ask job holder to provide a general or global as)
sessment on his/her job. This study follows the tradition of multi)
dimensional approach to job quality. We employ both objective and
subjective measures of job quality dimensions, which can be found
in recent and most central contributions in the literature on job
Empirical analyses are based on the fourth wave of the European
Working Conditions Surveys (EWCS) collected in 1995, 2000 and
2005. The country)level data for latest survey (2010) is obtained
through EWCS Survey Mapping Tool. All analyses are based on
country)level data. In contrast to many earlier studies, in which the
typologies of country clusters (regimes) are taken as a starting point
of job quality analysis, we use a data)driven approach (hierarchical
cluster analysis) that seeks similarities among European countries in
regard of job quality dimensions.
The analysis of trends in the development of key job quality indica)
tors shows that current assumptions about the impact of globaliza)
tion on job quality and the decline in the significance of the nation
state may be exaggerated. The preliminary empirical findings show
that within Europe there are considerable variations between re)
gimes both with respect to overall levels of job quality and with
respect to women s and men s job quality, and thus, the implica)
tions of the economic processes are not likely to be similar across
capitalist societies.
Kirsten Thommes 1, Agnes Akkerman 1, Rene Torenvlied 2
1Nijmegen School of Management, RADBOUD UNIVERSITY
NIJMEGEN, Nijmegen, 2Department of Sociology, Utrecht Universi)
ty, Utrecht, Netherlands
Abstract:/The long)term consequences of strikes
Teamwork in organizations is rather the norm than the exception,
and the manner of collaboration in teams is highly relevant for indi)
vidual well)being as well as for organizational productivity. Two
main concepts in order to describe the manner of collaboration in
teams are conflict and cohesion.
One major event and challenge for teams is collective conflict like
strikes. Past research confirms the impact of strikes on organiza)
tional productivity and psychological health and job satisfaction
during the conflict. But up till now, there is no research on the long
term consequences of strikes for the social relations at work. Our
paper aims at filling this research gap by addressing to questions:
(1) During a conflict, fault)lines may arise between individuals in a
team because some members participate to the strike and others
refuse. The strike)breakers do not have income)loss during the
strike whilst profiting from what the strike yields (e.g. higher wages,
more holidays). This misbalance between contribution and conflict
in times of strike may enhance conflicts in teams and may lower
cohesion. In our paper we develop a theoretical model on the ef)
fects of a strike on cohesion and conflict in teams and its conse)
quent effects on individual well)being and organizational productiv)
(2) However, the long)term consequences of strikes for cohesion
and conflict in teams will probably differ according to individual s,
team s and situational characteristics. Therefore the degree of co)
hesion and conflict in a team will not solely depend on fault)lines in
teams because of past strikes, but also, for example on social iden)
tity (individual level), shared norms (team level) and the severity of
the conflict, such as the duration of the strike (situational charac)
teristic). Thus, the second aim of the paper is the development of a
theoretical model that is able to explain the effect of such factors
on the differences in the long)term consequences of strikes.
Resulting from the discussion of both research questions we will
develop propositions that can be tested empirically and thus im)
prove our understanding of industrial conflicts. Additionally, we will
provide first empirical evidence for our propositions.
Fermin Arellano Morlas1
1Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF ZARAGOZA, Zaragoza, Spain
Abstract: Within the processes of conformity in the workplace we
encounter the extreme pressure to which vitcims of workplace
harrasment are submitted by both the aggressor and the group
they belong to. The acceptance of a framework of conformity in an
organisation creates the environment nessesary for the aggressors
On the basis of several cases of workplace harassment tested
through trial and error and specialised literature we can get an
overview of the problem which can be divided into five aspects.
These aspects are: psychological, economic, social, cultural and
moral, and are useful to delve into the complexity of the processes
of conformity within workplace harassment.
The center around which these five aspects revolve is the formation
and use of stereotypes, attack mechanisms used by the harasser
which seek to disable the defenses of the victim, undermining their
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position in the company and limiting the avenues available to the
victim. These stereotypes are designed to stigmatize the victim,
creating a perception that they are, in some way, a threat to the
group and the company. This constitutes the justification of the
actions and treatment the agressor and, in certain cases, the group
have perpetrated against the victim.
The end result will be setting the company as a whole against the
victim, ultimately leading to the expulsion of the victim from the
organization. Finally, as a conclusion, acts normally considered so)
cially reprehesible become justified when they occur within the
confines of the company, which opens a debate on the company s
social responsibility.
Ralph Fevre1
1Cardiff School of Social Sciences, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY, Cardiff,
United Kingdom
Abstract: This paper reports on the analysis of two surveys: the
(British) Fair Treatment at Work Survey and the British Workplace
Behaviour Survey. Of all the different types of negative behaviour
employees might encounter, it is being unreasonably treated
(mostly by managers or supervisors) that they say has the most
affect on them. Employees expect fairness and rationality at work
and are offended by their absence. Although unreasonable treat)
ment may sometimes be traced to the failings of a particular man)
ager, the survey data also suggest that the amount of fairness and
rationality on offer varies quite considerably between different
workplaces. In part, such consequences are a result of structural
factors. Unreasonable treatment is more likely if the nature of work
has changed, or is changing, or if people have less control over their
work or the pace of their work has increased. It is also the case that
employees are more likely to say they have been unreasonably
treated if the pace of their work is too intense. But there are im)
portant cultural factors too, most notably a strong correlation be)
tween experiencing unreasonable treatment and feeling the organ)
isation s goals are not compatible with the employees moral princi)
ples. This correlation may also hold in respect of a range of other
workplace issues including problems with employment rights. We
conclude by proposing that workplaces with such a nexus of differ)
ent problems might best be theorized as demoralized .
Pasi Juhani Pyoria1
1School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNIVERSITY OF
TAMPERE, Tampere, Finland
Abstract: The aim of the paper is to assess the contradictory work
situation of Finnish knowledge workers from the point of view of
their organizational environment as well as individual well)being.
The paper draws on the findings of a recent member survey by the
Pro union. Pro represents employees who work in specialist, super)
visory and managerial positions in the economic and financial as
well as technical and information sectors of the economy. The sur)
vey material, collected in 2009 amidst the financial crisis, is of par)
ticular interest, because it allows for a comparison of IT)experts
with other white)collar knowledge workers. Although the survey
represents members of a single union, in many respects it provides
the most comprehensive account on Finnish knowledge workers
available. The survey results highlight the anxieties that IT)experts
and other knowledge workers experienced during the financial
crisis. In 2009, as a consequence of the economic turmoil, Finland s
GDP dropped by 8.2 % and the rate of unemployment rose from 6.4
% in 2008 to 8.2 % in 2009 (adjusted for seasonal variations). Alt)
hough unemployment didn t hit Pro members particularly hard, IT)
experts felt that their labour market position is precarious. The
survey also highlights many other uncertainties that plague Finnish
IT)experts. IT)experts share little trust in their organizations (includ)
ing management) and they must cope with high productivity pres)
sures. Although this is not seen in the prevalence of diagnosed oc)
cupational diseases, anxiety and fatigue are somewhat more com)
mon among IT)experts than among the rest of the survey popula)
tion. The results lead to the following provocative question: should
we finally dispel the myth of the empowered middle)class
knowledge worker?
Tiina Saari 1, Pasi Pyoria1
1School of Social Sciences an Humanities, UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE,
Tampere, Finland
Abstract: In this study, we ask how the pursuit of firm) level produc)
tivity and organizational commitment are connected in the context
of knowledge work. The topic is of particular relevance during the
time of economic recession when work organizations success is a
balancing act between downsizing and retaining key employees.
The research material consists of 17 thematic interviews represent)
ing employees and managers in two Finnish knowledge)intensive
firms: an R&D department at a global manufacturing enterprise and
a call center in a telecommunications company. The material is
analysed by the methods of content analysis.
Preliminary results show that economic uncertainty clearly affects
employees organizational commitment in both firms. The employ)
ees feel uncertain about the future of their labour market position
and fear that productivity increases are sought for at the expense
of employee well)being.
There are also vast differences between the organizations regarding
autonomy and control that may affect individual commitment. In
the R&D department, the content of work is rewarding and the
workers have a high level of autonomy. Employees also think that
they can contribute to the success of their organization. In the call
center the situation is quite an opposite and the work process is
best described as Tayloristic. What is common for both firms, how)
ever, is that fair management and good community spirit seems to
improve organizational commitment.
The study is a part of the Academy of Finland project Successful
Organizations and Employee Well)being in Knowledge)intensive
Jean Cushen 1, Paul Thompson 2
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1School of Management, QUEEN S UNIVERSITY BELFAST, Belfast,
2Department of Human Resource Management, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Abstract: This paper explores the emerging insecurity in the
knowledge workplace,the consequences for the knowledge em)
ployment relationship and practices associated with Human Re)
source Management (HRM). It is axiomatic in mainstream man)
agement literatures that if a company articulates and implements
perceived HRM best practice, it will or is highly likely to secure the
commitment of its employees and resultant productivity benefits.
This paper challenges much of the aforementioned assumptions.
Drawing on an in)depth ethnography of a leading global knowledge)
intensive firm, this paper explores the relationship between the
current financial insecurity, HRM, commitment, work and employ)
ment relations. In examining the context and content of best prac)
tice HR in a leading)edge company, we offer a more complex,
grounded picture of the intent and outcome of such practices in the
current economic climate. This incorporates a close look at financial
forces, work structures and the associated incentive and reward
systems, integrating an understanding of how managerial, HR and
labour actors navigate the conditions and constraints of the em)
ployment system. In a time of labour market and job insecurity this
paper challenges the salience given to soft, normative controls as
explanations of workplace outcomes and employee behaviour.
Drawing on the labour process tradition the paper develops a multi)
dimensional understanding of structures of influence and of com)
mitment, distinguishing between financial, normative and work
structures that interact in distinctive ways on the experiences and
expectations of employees. The paper demonstrates that, contrary
to mainstream and critical scholarship, knowledge workers can be
uncommitted, angry and high performing at the same time.
Mirella Baglioni 1, 1, 2*, Volker Telljohann 2, Francesco Garibaldo 2
1Economics, UNIVERSITY OF PARMA, Parma, 2IRES, IRES Emilia Ro)
magna, Bologna, Italy
Abstract: The crisis of the new millennium is challenging economies
and societies and thus is affecting consolidated modes of socio)
economic governance, although in a different degree across differ)
ent countries. The theoretical approach of path dependency situ)
ates the social action within the past learning process, a perspective
that can fail to capture some innovative practices that take place at
the level of the social actors in response to challenges gradually
taking place in their economic and political environment. Changes
have taken place over the years and have modified the content and
the procedures of collective bargaining and the modes of organising
collective interests. Adaptation is the result of multiple inputs com)
ing from the market but also from inside of collective associations
that may respond in various ways to their membership.
For this reason we propose an analysis of the changes experienced
by the sector of automotive. The aim of a comparison between
Germany and Italy is to debate the role of the socio economic insti)
tutions – as collective bargaining – in adapting to management
strategic choices.
The identity of interest associations (trade unions and employers)
changes as a result of competitive pressure coming from outside
but also in response to membership demands and their bargaining
strategy is gradually shaped by this change.
The paper intends to analyse the changing strategies of collective
bargaining in Italy and Germany. To this end we will concentrate on
automotive and briefly summarize the main variables affecting
sector labour relations in the last decade.
Following Streeck s approach of historical institutionalism we in)
tend to explore the role of collective bargaining in national socio)
economic regulation.
The paper is organised as follows:
1) The automotive sector in the very recent years: Europe.
2) The relevant facts: reorganisation analysed as a strategic choice.
3) The process of communication and the opening of negotiations
with the employees representatives.
4) The object and the scope of negotiations: pay and working condi)
tions. The nature of changes: temporary concessions bargaining or
unilateral regulation?
The final part of the paper will propose a discussion on the changes
and adaptations of labour relations.
Isabel da Costa 1, Udo Rehfeldt 2
1CNRS)IDHE, Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan, Cachan, 2IRES
(Institut de recherches economques et sociales), Noisy le Grand,
Abstract: The 1994 EWC Directive sets a clear connection between
transnational restructuring and EWCs and requires that companies
inform and consult representatives of the employees affected by
their decisions. Surprisingly however comparative analysis on re)
structuring in Europe concludes that EWCs play only a minor role in
restructuring situations. Yet, some studies, including ours, show
that since 2000 there has been a growing number of transnational
agreements on restructuring signed by EWCs. We will present an
inventory of those agreements, concentrating on those which we
consider as the core agreements on restructuring, i.e. those which
set concrete and substantive rules for the management of specific
restructuring cases at the European level. These agreements direct)
ly address employment issues and have an impact on economic
management decisions. They include not only principles or proce)
dures, but substantive and practical rules about issues such as job
security, work organization or the choice of products and produc)
tion sites. Collective and individual guarantees are designed to mit)
igate the effects of specific restructuring plans. They generally pro)
vide: guarantees against plant closures and for the maintenance of
employment; guarantees for the employees transferred, including
similar employment conditions and rights (wages, seniority, pen)
sions etc.); measures to avoid forced redundancies (early retire)
ment, voluntary severance, etc.); and procedural rules about the
consultation of the representatives of employees and the monitor)
ing the agreement.
We will discuss the factors which might explain why a majority of
these agreements have occurred in the automobile sector. Our
main focus will be the importance of trade union coordination.
Finally we will discuss two major issues which remain open. The
first is the legal status of these agreements in the absence of Euro)
pean legislation on the matter. The second is the clarification of the
respective roles of the EWCs, the unions and the European federa)
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tions which have signed these agreements. The recent revision of
the EWC directive in May 2009 has left both these issues un)
Axel Hauser)Ditz 1, Valentina Mahlmeyer 1, Ludger Pries1
1LS Soziologie/Organisation, Migration, Mitbestimmung, RUHR)
Abstract: For more than a decade the European automotive supply
industry has been in a process of a deep structural change. Due to
(1) growing competitive pressure within the industry, (2) high de)
pendence on the automobile manufacturers (OEMs), (3) substantial
reorganisation of supplier)OEM)relations and (4) rapid innovation
cycles the industry has seen a major consolidation. Internal restruc)
turings and cross)border relocations of production characterise this
industrial sector. Mass redundancies and plant closures in some of
the Western European high wage countries go hand in hand with
business expansion in Eastern Europe. The recent economic crisis
may accelerate the ongoing restructuring processes. Moreover, the
electrification of the powertrain will have profound effects too. It
will create demand for certain product groups while reducing de)
mand for others. This, in turn, will lead to a complex internal com)
petition inside the country/division)matrix of large suppliers.
The article examines the response of the employee side to these
developments. More specifically, it investigates the role of EWCs in
restructuring processes and analyses the conditions under which
EWCs can function as effective bodies of cross)border interest and
labour regulation.
Drawing on a typology of internationalisation of companies, the
article first attempts to characterise the internationalisation strate)
gy of selected first tier automotive suppliers: Do supplier compa)
nies differ in their approach to shift production to low cost coun)
tries? If so, is this a question of product groups/sub markets, of the
companies home country institutions or a result of the company)
specific corporate governance?
Second, the article analyses the role of the EWCs in coordinating
employee response to cross)border restructurings and production
relocations: How effective is the coordination of employee repre)
sentatives inside EWCs? To what extent do interests of the home
country locations dominate these bodies?
Third, the article tries to identify systematic causes for effective or
ineffective coordination of EWC activities and the ability to some)
how influence the outcome of cross)border restructurings. It is
argued that compared to their counterparts of the OEMs, EWCs of
large suppliers additionally have to cope with the organisational
complexity of their companies, which tends to impede the emer)
gence of effective coordination mechanisms.
Anna Gogoleva1
1department of management, HIGHER SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS,
Moscow, Russian Federation
Abstract: This paper presents the results of the study made in 2008
on 80 enterprises in Russia. The main research question of this pa)
per is the work)related values of Russian workers and specialists
(1210 workers and 663 specialists were questioned). Two main
dimensions of this type of values are studied: qualification and
democratic style of management.
The data analysis shows that value of qualification is not wide)
spread among Russian employees, this combines with low degree
of involvement in training or educational programs on the enter)
prises, low influence of criteria of high qualification in recruitment
and promotion decisions.
Concerning values of employees to democratic style of manage)
ment, the results showed that there is high level of consent to
manager s authoritarian actions like ignoring interests of employees
in decision)making, using personal loyalty and obedience as criteria
of promotion etc. The organizational environment in such cases
contains a considerable degree of informal relations and low securi)
ty for employees.
Sibel Kalaycıoğlu 1, Fatma Umut Beşpinar 1, Cağatay Topal1
Abstract: This study examines processes of establishing work men)
talities, the conflict between different work mentalities, different
negotiation and consent mechanisms developed by workers and
employers in two different production units of the same textile
factory in two different cities. This study is based on the interviews
conducted with employers, managers and workers in İstanbul and
Corum (an economically undeveloped small size city in Central Ana)
tolia) in 2010.
With the influence of economic crisis of 2000s and increasing state
promotions to support the economic and industrial development of
small cities in Turkey, the production of a textile factory which
mainly produces goods for export, has shifted from Istanbul to
Corum. The production unit designs and produces the models of
prototype shirts for foreign market designed in Istanbul and serial
manufacturing realized in Corum. Workers in these two production
units in two cities have different level and types of knowledge, ex)
perience and skill. The expectations of the employers related to
production process are determined by the skill and production level
of the workers who are employed in the model factory head unit in
Istanbul. Findings of the research show that workers coming from
different social and cultural backgrounds develop different reac)
tions and strategies toward work mentality constructed by the em)
ployer. These reactions and strategies show differences from une)
qual negotiation to forced consent.
In summary, the differences between the skill levels and work men)
talities of workers stemming from the characteristics of labor mar)
kets of two cities diversify workers negotiation powers and strate)
gies on the one hand, influence employers perceptions and expec)
tations with respect to production process on the other, thereby
determine the dynamics of the relations between the employer and
the workers in the production units of the same company within
two different cities.
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Teemu Turunen1
1Department of Social Research, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI, Helsinki,
Abstract: Employment and organisational commitment are widely
endorsed as goals for labour market policy and organisations. The
main question posed in this paper is whether employment and
organisational commitment of Finnish employees differ from these
commitments in other European countries. The pace of economic
modernisation in post)war Finland has been quite unique and rapid
in a European context. Thus, whether Finnish employees currently
diverge from their European counterparts in countries in which
modernisation has often taken place at an earlier point in history
could reveal important insights into an area in which there have
been few studies. The question will be examined by using data from
the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), Work Orientation
Module III, collected in 2005−2006, i.e. before the current econom)
ic crisis. The paper uses data from 17 European countries and takes
account of several individual)level determinants of employment
and organisational commitment in the researched countries. Data
will mainly be analysed by a general linear model procedure. By
using a general linear model procedure, one can conduct both a
regression analysis and an analysis of variance.
Martin Seeliger1
1Fakultat fur Sozialwissenschaft, RUHR)UNIVERSITAT BOCHUM,
Bochum, Germany
Abstract: Between 2008 and 2010 the world financial crisis has
undoubtedly been the central impact, shaping the social reality of
business models and labour regulation in the international automo)
tive industry.
In developing a detailed perspective on the economic and social
impact of the crisis, different reaction)patterns can be identified,
depending on the particular national context, in which these im)
pacts need to be dealt with. To analyze the frame of opportunities
and restrictions shaping the policies of management and workers´
representatives, a system of country)specific institutions becomes
apparent as the focal point of a sociological perspective
As the core)object of the presentation, empirical findings about
(attempts of) the introduction of short)time work into the produc)
tion system of a German car)manufacturer, operating in South Afri)
ca, will be discussed against the background of the specific institu)
tional setting of the two countries. As has been pointed out, short)
time work turned out to be a well)directed instrument to react to
the unstable economic situation of the crisis in Germany. At the
same time, the introduction of short)time work generally met with
a refusal of the South African workers. Drawing on interview)
footage collected in the course of field work in both countries, light
will be shed on the question of the introduction of working)time
accounts. Here, the specific constellation of negotiation comes into
play, which with unions, management and works council/shop
stewards includes three groups on each side, whose impact on in)
ner)company coordination may cause organizational blockades.
By highlighting these new challenges to the cross)border coordina)
tion of interest representation in multinational companies, the
analysis of the complex interplay of institutional contexts and the
concrete negotiations within a transnational context will become
transparent as a viable tool for international sociology.
Joanna Karmowska 1, Phil James1
1Management and Organisational Studies, OXFORD BROOKES
UNIVERSITY, Oxford, United Kingdom
Abstract: Trade union membership and organisation in Britain has
fallen substantially over the last three decades (Barrat, 2009; Wad)
dington, 2003). At the same time there has been in recent years a
large influx of migrant workers to the UK working in occupations
that have been traditionally difficult to organise. Against these
backcloths, an important strand of contemporary academic debate
about trade union revival has centred on the potential value of
unions collaborating with community groups as a route to renewed
membership growth.
Systematic British based evidence to support this course of action is
very limited. That which does exist suggests that the establishment
of collaborations with community groups can be problematic be)
cause of tensions arising from clashes of values and objectives, and
differing views of how decision)making power within them should
be distributed (Wills, 2002; Parker, 2002).
The present paper draws on the findings obtained from a compara)
tive cross cultural study of Filipino, Latino and Polish community
groups in London to explore their experiences of, and attitudes
towards, engagement and collaboration with unions and the factors
that have shaped them.
The paper comprises four main sections. The first focuses on exist)
ing debates about the objectives and nature of union involvement
with community groups, as well as the factors that act to facilitate
and hinder it. The next two then detail the methodology of the
study and its findings. Lastly, the key conclusions emerging from
these findings will be drawn together and their theoretical and
policy implications discussed.
Manu Mus 1, Steven Lannoo 1, Carl Devos1
1political science, GHENT UNIVERSITY, 9000, ghent, Belgium
Abstract: Industrial relations are under pressure, due to external
factors (economic and financial crises) but also internal factors (in)
flation, unemployment). In order to ease these forms of pressure a
manifold of consultation mechanism are introduced. The Belgian
industrial relations are regulated by a highly institutionalized collec)
tive bargaining system. Belgium, home country of the Ghent sys)
tem, has got a long tradition of social pacting. Every two years, the
signing of an overall central agreement in the Group of Ten )an
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informal assembly consisting of representatives of trade unions and
employers organisations) initiates a hierarchical sequence of nego)
tiations at lower levels, resulting in intersectoral, sectoral and firm)
level collective agreements.
The last negotiations for a central agreement (2011)2012) failed
however, due to a refusal of the unions rank)and)file. Union mem)
bers felt misunderstood and blew on the whistle on the union lead)
ers by rejecting the draft agreement. The relationship between the
central)level actors and the rank)and)file was affected. The so
called vertical coordination had failed and the legitimacy of the
union came highly under pressure. Questions arose to which extent
the unions top were still (interest) representatives of the unions
bottom. But how does the future of unions as interest representa)
tives look? Is there indeed a difference between the rank)and)file
and the unions leaders?
In this empirical paper we present the results of a survey held
among Belgian union members and union leaders, based on a sam)
ple of approximately 10.000 union members. Among the variety of
issues, the relationship between the rank)and)file and union lead)
ers is discussed. We treat the issue of legitimacy and representation
(do members still recognize themselves in unions?) and seek for
differences in the vision and attitude concerning several aspects of
economic democracy, syndical action and social security. The
members motives for membership were inquired in common with
what the unions priorities should be.
The wide range of questions enclosed in this survey will allow us to
elaborate on the future role of unions as interest representatives
after a crisis context.
Valeriu Frunzaru1
1Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, NUPSPA, Bucha)
rest, Romania
Abstract: The balanced participation of the employer and employ)
ees in the workplace health and safety committees should raise the
awareness and the involvement of both parts in health and safety)
related issues. Nevertheless, according to the Eurostat, Romania
ranked 4th among the EU27 regarding deadly work accidents in
2005 and severe work accidents in 2007 per 100 000 employees.
In this paper I present the findings of a qualitative research analys)
ing the general performance of health and safety committees work
in Romania. The findings are used to suggest recommendations for
strengthening the organisational and operational capacity of work)
place health and safety committees.
I conducted 18 in)depth interviews with members of the commit)
tees and with employees and managers from two Romanian com)
panies from the chemical sector, having a high risk for the employ)
ees and the community. The analysis shows that there is a gap be)
tween reality and the spirit or the letter of the law. Employees are
not informed about this committee, employees representatives are
not properly elected and they do not act according to their rights
and duties. Moreover the employers are not open to a balanced
Following the general findings, recommendations could be made
for three main dimensions: 1. informing employees about the exist)
ence of the committee; 2. training employees to become potential
employees representatives in workplace health and safety commit)
tees; and 3. improving communication within workplace health and
safety committees, as well as between this institution and the em)
ployees, the union, the management, the labour inspection author)
ity, and other health and safety)related institutions.
Franz Clement1
1REPREM, CEPS:INSTEAD, Differdange, Luxembourg
Abstract:/A new law has been introduced in 2008: “the single sta)
tus”. One of the pivotal objectives of the single status for wage
earners in the private sector consists in the abolition of all existing
differences, within Luxembourg s social legislation, between blue
collar and white collar workers in the private sector. The introduc)
tion of the single status has led to the reorganization of some insti)
tutions: this included the merging of the Chamber of labor, repre)
senting blue)collar workers, and the Luxembourg Union of private
sector employees, representing private sector white)collar workers.
The social elections of November 12th 2008 were the first occasion
when the new criteria for representativeness were applied to the
new Chamber of wage earners.
In the aftermath of the elections, the new union representation has
been transformed into a real political divide between majority and
opposition. The entente that preceded the elections between the
two most representative unions has been blown and led to some
extent to the explosion of the union of the great unions.
A totally different aspect of representation of workers is worth
considering. In Luxembourg, since 1985, the number of cross)
border workers from Belgium, France and Germany has increased.
These phenomena are likely to augment in the future if we were to
believe the forecasts of the National statistical institute of Luxem)
bourg, the Statec. Briefly, it seems to us that in addition to the old
divide that results from the coexistence of ideological unions, Lux)
embourg will increasingly witness the presence of two different
worlds: cross)border workers and resident workers. The figures of
the most recent social elections organized in 2003 and 2008 indi)
cate that the number of these cross)border workers taking part in
the election process has been very limited. This would be in the
medium term a serious problem in the representation of salaried
workers working in Luxembourg.
However, the answers that could be given to these problems will
have to be preceded by a real and inevitable debate on what is
widely called the national sovereignty. Would Luxembourgers in)
deed be ready to abandon a part of their national sovereignty un)
der the pretext of the internationalization of the employment mar)
ket in their country?
Ulke Veersma 1, Erik Poutsma 2, Paul Ligthart 2
1business school, UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH, London, United
Kingdom, 2Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University,
Nijmegen, Netherlands
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Abstract: Over the last decades we have witnessed profound
changes in institutions, especially in systems of collective bargaining
and other elements of employment relations based on the notion
of solidarity in the Fordist society. In most of the more stringently
regulated national systems of collective bargaining, like Germany
and the Scandinavian countries, changes took place towards the
decentralization of collective bargaining. Alongside with these
changes in processes of collective bargaining, also the contents of
pay systems changed towards a more fragmented and individual)
ized system of wages (cfr. Traxler, et al. 2008). There is more widely
a common trend towards enterprise bargaining where both the
contents and processes change.
Profit sharing, stock bonuses and employee shares, also labeled
financial participaton (FP), are being viewed as part of this trend to
establish payment at the company level. This leads us to the ques)
tion, until what extent financial participation is just a management
tool, of control and to promote organisational objectives and flexi)
bility of capital – with a new type of investors –, or whether this
could be viewed as an expression of a new logic of post)Fordism
with a substantial new quality of employment relations.
For the research we applied a triangulation of methods, which also
includes the analysis of a longitudinal dataset. We analysed CRANET
data, a set of several waves of comparable representative surveys
in the selected European countries in order to trace developments
across countries (1999, 2003, 2008). This period also includes dra)
matic economic developments. We try to explain differences be)
tween countries by looking at country studies for which interviews
were carried out with leading experts from trade unions, employer
federations and government bodies. Explanations of differences
will also be backed up by specific features of FP and regulations
which may be very specific for certain countries.
Raluca Aura Balasoiu1
Abstract: Organizational and occupational commitments have been
studied on various professional groups and in different organiza)
tional settings. Nevertheless there are few studies concerned with
both organizational and occupational commitment in the higher
education institutions and none concerning Romania. The paper
aims to comparatively explore, in the context of the new education
law applied this year, the organizational and occupational commit)
ments in the public, private and military higher education institu)
tions in Romania. The empirical analysis is informed by the organi)
zational and occupational commitment studies (scales) developed
by Meyer and Allen (1991, 1993). The relation between occupa)
tional and organizational commitment, the differences between the
types of commitments and the factors influencing each type of
commitment (affective, normative and continuance) are examined.
Data from a national survey from 2011 on Romanian universities
are used in the analysis.
Bernd Brandl1
1Industrial Sociology, UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, Vienna, Austria
Abstract: Recent debates on social pacts have focused on the pre)
requisites for their emergence, whereas questions of their effec)
tiveness have receded into the background. For this reason system)
atic analyses of the effectiveness of pacts in terms of their alleged
function, i.e. enhancing economic performance, are missing. The
aim of this article is to assess the economic impact of pacts. As
most pacts refer to incomes policy, the assessment of the economic
impact of pacts will concentrate on a comparison of the perfor)
mance of pacts with alternative governance mechanisms for in)
comes policies, i.e. alternative pay)setting modes. The findings from
time)series cross)sectional analyses on basis of data for 20 coun)
tries from 1980 to 2003 show that pacts offer no superior economic
performance as compared to other forms of coordination. In con)
trast to the frequently positive connotations associated with pacts
the article concludes that pacts are no superior means of improving
economic performance.
Ricardo Gaspar Muller 1, Lawrence Silva Pereira1
1Sociology and Political Science, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SANTA
CATARINA (UFSC), Florianopolis, Brazil
Abstract: The paper discusses aspects of the changes which have
been taking place in the world of work in Brazilian society – espe)
cially the phenomena known as flexibilization and/or deregulation –
and their connection with employment relations and existing legal
safeguards. It is based upon a case study carried out between June
2007 and June 2009 in the Distribution Centre of the big corpora)
tion Lojas Renner (Renner/ Stores), in Florianopolis, Brazil, and re)
cently merged with JCPenney. For this purpose ex)employees of the
company were interviewed and legal proceedings relating to em)
ployment were also analyzed – in particular, a Public Civil Action
concerned with the demands submitted by employees and the local
community complaining about the working conditions of all sub)
contracted employees. Our concern for this subject arose from the
contradictions between the constant court cases involving em)
ployment relations and the recent spawning of several discourses in
favour of the flexibilization of Brazilian labour legislation, working
conditions and employment relations. These discourses usually
express actual tensions in social relations and are associated to
modern forms of management which may create new kinds of jobs.
The flexibilization theme pictures current labour legislation as an
element which sustains a sort of economical backwardness , one of
the alleged causes of the supposed lack of competitiveness of Bra)
zilian production at an international level and, at the same time, as
responsible for the increase of so)called informality. In this sense,
over the last decade, many legal alterations were made to the so)
cial and legal safeguards of work relations in Brazil. Often analyses
about deregulation of labour and social rights focus on the capital)
ist society, the globalized market or the role of State. After all, with)
in the corporate world, a great deal of attention is focused on mar)
ket share and stimulating a type of management committed to
competitiveness and profitability, carried out by the speed of
events in a globalized economy. Flexibilization has been the basis of
the arguments offered by those representing capital, presented as
the (only) set of alternatives for solving structural problems within
the world of work. Thus, the need to think about the consequences
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of the process of flexibilization of the norms which run employment
relations. These issues guided this research.
Ulke Veersma 1, MARIA PAPANIKOU1
1business school, UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH, London, United
Abstract: Safety and the incidence of (near)) accidents are most
crucial on a day)to)day basis for operating in the airline industry. As
long as humans are involved with operations in an organisation,
accidents or near accidents will happen. Important factors contrib)
uting to safety are the technology in use and organisational aspects.
The structuring and functioning of organisations is again dependent
on strategies of airlines. The deregulation and privatisation of air)
lines, and also other socioeconomic factors affect strategies of air)
lines; while the economic recession, a more intense competition
and an increased customer orientation or expansion of the market
share create conditions affecting flight safety.
The research presented in this paper, which will be carried out at in
a number of case studies, focuses on safety, the potential for inter)
vention with accidents or near accidents and the determinants of
safety. Most of the factors looked at are at the organisational level,
where the interaction between humans and technology and, above
all, the interaction and division of labour between employees may
have a critical impact. Airlines spend a lot of effort and money on
training, which may be part of the conditions for a high)skilled,
highly motivated and committed workforce. Also other aspects of
employment relations will be looked at as possibly impacting the
optimisation of safety.
Such factors are closely linked with the type of airlines: legacy air)
lines and low cost carriers (LCC). Cost cutting, initially adopted by
LCCs thereby differentiating them from the traditional national flag
carriers, seems now to have become a common denominator.
In terms of safety, as Reason (1991) also claims, employee com)
mitment is one of the major forces influencing safety. Gillen & Ga)
dos (2008) suggest that pilots are employees with substantial bar)
gaining power compared to other professions and they most of
their skills are a scarce resource and only limited transferable.
However, the standardisation of fleets as a cost cutting tool creates
experts on the aircraft type with possibly a lower level of discretion.
Thus, employment relations are affected by business models
emerging or, rather, adopted by airlines, where various external
factors may impact (recession, competition and heightened danger
of terrorism), while the reaction to this, the incumbents strategies,
directly impact the preconditions for safety.
Ines Zapf1
Abstract: The German labour market has been affected by the fi)
nancial and economic crisis less dramatically than widely suspected.
Although the Gross Domestic Product decreased 4.7 per cent in
2009, the total number of employees remained widely stable. This
labour market stability can be explained largely by the increased
working time flexibility of establishments and by the structural
change of the economy.
Establishments which were affected by the crisis could react in
different ways and increase their internal and/or external flexibility.
In Germany, establishments widely implemented their internal
flexibility through a reduction in the weekly working hours, short)
time work, a reduction of overtime hours and/or formerly accumu)
lated credit hours on working time accounts. The working time
calculations of the Research Group “Working Time and Labour
Market” at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) show that
the annual working time of employees decreased altogether 41.3
hours per employee ()3.1%) in 2009. Short)time work contributed
to this decrease 13.4 hours, the reduction in the weekly working
hours 10.1 hours and the reduction of formerly accumulated credit
hours on working time accounts 7.0 hours. These results are also
integrated in the national accounts of the German Federal Statisti)
cal Office.
Besides those macroeconomic results, the paper analyses the re)
duction of formerly accumulated credit hours as an instrument to
increase internal flexibility of establishments from a microeconomic
point of view. The analysis is based on the work council survey of
the Institute of Social and Economic Research in the Hans Bockler
Foundation in 2009. The results show that in advance of the crisis
employees had accumulated a high amount of credit hours on
working time accounts. During the crisis the accumulated credit
hours were reduced on average by about 45 hours per employee in
establishments that were affected by the crisis. Working time ac)
counts were not restricted to small groups of employess. In most of
the establishments more than 60 percent of the employees re)
duced accumulated credit hours. In some cases employees even
accumulated debit hours.
As the industrial sector has been affected much more by the finan)
cial and economic crisis than the service sector, the results vary
between those sectors.
Stefano Poli1
1Di.S.A.)Dipartimento di Scienze Antropologiche, UNIVERSITA DEGLI
STUDI DI GENOVA, Genova, Italy
Abstract: The paper, focusing on post)fordist consequences on
young adults conditions (Gosetti, 2004; Lo Verde, 2005), describes
a case study in Genoa, a northern Italy metropolitan context whose
labor market situation reflects quite paradigmatically the setting of
contemporary crisis, where job flexibility and salary instability re)
produce harder job and living situations especially for younger gen)
erations (Massa, 2004; Palumbo, Poli, & Torrigiani, 2007).
Following the Senian capability approach (Sen, 1973; 1999; Nuss)
baum, 2000), the research examines the individual conditions of
young adults in the local job market, by reconstructing their bio)
graphical paths and by exploring relations between work experi)
ences and life trajectories, in order to observe the effects on reali)
zation and achievement of adequate individual conditions of well
being and doing.
Through the combined use of secondary data analysis and the em)
pirical results of a quali)quantitative (Greene, Caracelli, & Graham,
1989; Cresswell, 2003) research strategy, the paper explores multi)
398 Abstract Book
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ple dimensions in a capability perspective: from the individual per)
ception of social status in terms of “expected” and “achieved” so)
cial conditions (reflecting the explicative dimension of an effective
functioning depending on personal status and individual expecta)
tions), to the individual definition of effective functioning and relat)
ed well being, as well as the availability of resources and eventual
transition factors that are potentially involved for such achieve)
ment. This refers not only to the available resources at individual or
household level, but also those set at the institutional level, consid)
ering welfare system, occupational policies and trade unions ac)
tions for younger people. Such combination of resources and func)
tioning composes a wider horizon reflecting not only individual
satisfaction and relevance for aspects like economical and occupa)
tional conditions, but extends to consuming possibilities as well to
family)life situations (like the chance/choice of setting up a family
or having children), consequently involving the overall individual
social projection, combining ambitions and desires of younger
adults toward their life experiences (Gosetti, 2004; Toscano, 2007).
Patrizio Di Nicola1
Abstract: Starting from the 1980s, and even more from the second
half of the next decade, flexibility was considered by many a neces)
sity and at the same time something inevitable because it was part
of the development of the new post)fordist economic, productive
and organizational system. Like a magic formula, flexibility was the
solution to all evils, capable of overcoming the difficulties of global
competition, increase employment and answering on time to mar)
ket instability.
In Italy, the introduction of flexibility in the labour market has
caused a deep redefinition of the regulations regarding demand
and offer of workforce. In this renewed ambit, the objective to
make the Italian labour market more fluid and permeable has been
followed introducing and regulating new flexible work contracts.
Unfortunely, this led many workers to became not only flexible, but
even precarious. Precarity is a social)economic condition of ex)
treme weakness, which increases during periods of economic
downturn, like the one the world is experimenting right now. Peo)
ple with precarious work contracts, in addition to being the lowest
paid and the first candidates to unemployment, are also those with
the worst system of social protection.
The essay is divided in three parts: in the first we briefly reconstruct
the history of the legislation that led Italy, in the past 20 years, to
have a large market of flexible and atypical work; in the second part
we quantify the amount of precarious workers and their (poor)
condition of social protection; in the last part we try to estimate the
impact that the critical years 2009)2010 had on these workers.
Ludger Pries 1, Martin Seeliger1
1Fakultat fur Sozialwissenschaft, Ruhr)Universitat, Bochum, Germa)
Abstract: Strategies of German Carmakers to cope with the impact
of the financial crisis
As indicated by the huge public attention in the media and under)
lined by recent scientific publications, between 2008 and 2010 the
world financial crisis has undoubtedly been the central impact,
shaping the social reality of business models and labour regulation
all across the globe. Since the automotive industry does not stand
out as an exception in this matter, different ways of steering
through the turbulences caused by the economic crisis have been
established by the various car)manufacturers.
In our presentation we would like to comparatively highlight the
strategies of coping with the economic and social impact of the
crisis, pursued by two major German carmakers – Volkswagen and
BMW. By differentiating company policies into the four dimensions
company structure and profit strategy (1), the product structure
and (international) market strategy (2), the production system (3),
and the labour relations and work policy (4), we would like to give
an overview about the initiatives taken by the companies to over)
come the economic hardships induced by the crisis. Drawing on the
analysis of extensive footage of recent developments in the two
companies, a summary of the major trends will serve as the basis
for the second goal of the presentation.
We will argue that the basis for this comparatively successful way
to overcome the crisis, taken by the German automotive industry,
can only be understood by drawing on a complex interplay between
institutional factors and a dialogic constellation of labour regula)
tion. Based on an understanding of companies as natural systems
subjected to permanent negotiation between the status groups
involved (in our case these are: unions, management, works coun)
cils) this interplay constitutes the praxis of the typical German
model of workers´ participation.
Irina Olimpieva1
1Social Studies of the Economy, CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT SOCIAL
RESEARCH, St.Petersburg, Russian Federation
Abstract: Formally, Russia compares well with other countries in
terms of trade union membership; there is a relatively high union
density (58%), and the number of collective agreements concluded
at the enterprises is very high. However, unions have almost no
influence when it comes to advocating labor rights and changes in
the labor policy. Besides, the anti)union Labor Code adopted in
2002 has considerably restricted labor union rights in protecting the
interests of employees in the collective bargaining process and
made it almost impossible for unions to strike legally.
Trade unions in Russia are divided into two continuously warring
camps: the official unions, affiliated with the Soviet)legacy Federa)
tion of Independent Trade Unions (FNPR) and the so)called free or
alternative labour unions, which are independent from FNPR. Free
unions differ from official unions in many respects, including their
conflict)based ideology, methods of labor mobilization, economic
resources, and forms of membership and leadership, among others.
Although the official labor unions dominate the organized labor
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scene, free labor movement has expanded considerably in recent
years. This growing clout is reflected not only in the increasing
numbers and durations of labor protest actions, but also in the
institutional strengthening of free labor unions and their growing
consolidation at different levels.
The paper seeks to answer the question, how does the coexistence
of the competing types of labour unions affect the labour relations
system in Russia. It will analyze the differences between two types
of Russian labour unions as different modes of labour interest rep)
resentation in the existing institutional system of social partnership.
It will consider recent trends in the development of different labour
unions camps, relationships between them, and their interactions
with the main economic and political institutions. The analysis will
consider different levels of interest representation (enterprise,
sectoral, regional and federal levels) with particular focus on the
enterprise level. The paper will use empirical data from the two
studies of labour unions (official and free) conducted in St. Peters)
burg and Leningradskaya region under the author s leadership in
Markus Hertwig1
1Institut for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ), UNIVERSITAT
DUISBURG)ESSEN, Duisburg, Germany
Abstract: For decades, research on firm level interest representa)
tion in Germany focussed on Works Councils (WCs), which are
based on the German Works Constitution Act ( Betriebsverfassung )
and were regarded to be the compelling model in German private
companies. Only in recent years, a number of surveys pointed out
that only about 10% of the companies in fact possess a WC, while in
a considerable share of companies collective employee representa)
tion is conducted by not legally based bodies. According to some
analysis, those non=statutory/ employee/ representation/ bodies/
(NSRs) exist in 10)19% of German private companies. It was as)
sumed that rationales to install an NSR are avoiding a WC, which is
often regarded as cost intensive or retarding company restructur)
ing, or the labour identities and preferences of qualified employees.
However, despite a number of quantitative surveys and case study
research in single industries (new economy), for a long time it was
still vague, how NSRs come into being, what they actually do and if
they benefit employee interest representation.
The contribution proposed analyses the NSRs / functions/ and/ out=
comes regarding employee interest representation. Based on case
study research in eight German small and medium sized enterpris)
es, it is argued that four/ differenttypes/ of NSRs can be distin)
guished. Only a part of those bodies can be regarded alternatives
compared to the WC)model. Another part comprises management
initiated and controlled NSRs. By installing those bodies manage)
ment, selectively, seeks to reduce complexity, improve decision
making processes, or prevent the election of a WC. It is demon)
strated that on the one hand, the interaction terms between man)
agement and NSRs differ from what is known about the interaction
of management and WCs. On the other hand, there is a lot of varia)
tion in the participation patterns of the different NSR)types and
their chances to influence company decisions in favour of employ)
Regarding the areas listed in the call, this paper might concern #4,
7, and 8.
Jan Czarzasty1
1Department of Economic Sociology, Warsaw School of Economics
(SGH), Warsaw, Poland
Abstract: The paper aims to investigate the patterns of labour and
employment relations in the segment of small and medium enter)
prises (SMEs) in Poland. That field of labour and employment rela)
tions has been frequently missing from the picture of industrial
relations as described in domestic as well as international literature
on the subject, due to the fact that in most cases the organized
labour representation has no legal grounds for existence in the
smallest entities (in order to start up a trade union at the enterprise
level at least 10 workers are required, while establishment of works
councils is only obligatory to employers with at least 50 staff). The
data from the recent survey research carried in early 2011 on the
sample of 600 enterprises allows catching a glimpse at the reality of
labour relations within the field where 95% of Polish business activ)
ities are placed.
Jason Heyes 1,1
1Business School, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, Birmingham, Unit)
ed Kingdom
Abstract: The economic crisis that commenced in 2008 caused Eu)
ropean labour markets to experience a substantial shock. A crisis
that initially affected the financial services sector rapidly became a
wider jobs crisis as firms shed workers, reduced their hiring activi)
ty or went out of business.
As the crisis gathered momentum, national governments were en)
couraged by the OECD and Euoropean Commission to prioritise
training)first active labour market policies so as to provide work)
ers with the skills that will be needed as the economy recovers
(OECD 2008). The emphasis placed on a training)first approach in
policy rhetoric stands in marked contrast to the tendency towards
workfare oriented activation measures that has been discernible
in the labour market policies of many EU member states over the
past two decades. This paper will examine whether the crisis has
resulted in a reversal of the latter tendency and whether national
governments have heeded EU and OECD advice to re)prioritise
train)first labour market measures.
The paper will examine experiences in a variety of EU member
states, but will focus in particular on Ireland, the Czech Republic,
Germany and the UK. The paper will draws on interviews conducted
with civil servants, employer organisations and trade unions in the
four countries. The paper will show that the emphasis placed on
training increased following the eruption of the crisis, with addi)
tional training opportunities being offered to the unemployed and,
in some countries, workers whose normal hours of work had been
reduced. However, the paper will also show that governments sim)
ultaneously sharpened the emphasis placed on workfare measures
and that this tendency is once more becoming dominant and fur)
400 Abstract Book
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ther entrenched as governments implement austerity measures.
This trend is widely observed in several European countries and
perhaps suggests a convergence of labour market policies despite
continuing differences in national labour market models. The paper
will conclude with some reflections on the European Commission s
flexicurity agenda.
Mei)Ling paulina Lin1
Abstract: Modern societies are characterized by rapidly changing
social and economic conditions, increasing openness, complexity
and uncertainty. People foresee the end of steady work, the neces)
sity of continuous effort, and widening inequality in wages. There is
rising job insecurity, discontinuous employment and the require)
ment to upgrade one s skills, a structural shift of the relationship
between education, training and employment that has generated
the contingent work)life course. This leads to a diversification of
types of employment with an increase of service jobs, self)
employment and contingent careers. Flexibilization of work and
working careers, the dissemination of information and communica)
tion technologies and the growing role of knowledge are increasing)
ly calling for flexible and transferable skills. Self)employment, part)
time, home)based work, and the precarious and low)productivity
employment in the informal sector, have expanded opportunities
for people participation in the labour force, but are characterized
by lack of security, lack of benefits and low income. There are wid)
ening income inequalities, worrying levels of unemployment and
inactivity and growing poverty. This poses a serious threat to social
stability and democracy. The paper analyzes in the attempts to
enhance the labor market participation of young people who en)
countered important problems in finding a sustainable job. The goal
is to promote research examining the interplay of work and wel)
fare, employment and unemployment. Paper should address ques)
tions such as the following: 1To what extent can changes in the
welfare state and the workplace be traced to trends in the political
economy, such as neoliberalism and marketization? 2To present a
picture in the light of demographic trends, changing work patterns,
creating and pursuing regional trends, labour market openings for
workforce mobility in Taiwan. 3To examine the importance of hu)
man capital as a comparative advantage in global competition. 4To
emphasize the importance of the role of TVET in facing the chal)
lenges posed by these global trends towards sustainable human
resource development. The author combines quantitative analysis
of a survey data set with qualitative analysis, and raises a number
of issues and recommendations on the dynamic interplay between
institutional changes, risk re)allocation, and social stratification in
the age of globalization.
Sofia Alexandra Cruz1
1Department of Social Sciences, FACULTY OF ECONOMICS, UNIVER)
SITY OF PORTO, Porto, Portugal
Abstract: This paper aim is to figure the changes in work and em)
ployment that the organizational context of the shopping centers is
making up, in particular concerning sales workers. Portugal s retail
is characterized by several and deep transformations by the effect
of the market s extension, the multiplication of retail s transactions
and the aggressive marketing. In what concerns these transfor)
mations, we consider the growth of shopping centers in the Portu)
guese landscape since 1980, in particular at Lisbon and Oporto s
Metropolitan Area, and the changing retail employment relations.
The new organizational retailing includes a lot of changes in retail
operations. The search for operating efficiencies and improved
methods of meeting customer needs have changed the operations
of leading corporate retailers. In fact, the number and the size of
the retailing spaces, the technology investment and the work ra)
tionalization have produced a considerable source of competitive)
The empirical support of this paper is the statistical data from the
Population Census (1991 and 2001), the Portuguese Classification
of Occupations (1994), and research findings from direct observa)
tion conducted in shopping centers and from 60 interviews with
sales workers among the 5 larger shopping centers (in terms of all
employees existing on it) located in the second biggest city of Por)
tugal (Porto), between 2007 and 2008.
The results highlight some important trends of retail employment
in the last two decades: feminization, juvenilization and part)time
hours involving sales workers. The results also allow the construc)
tion of a typology of sales workers considering their work status.
Dariusz Szklarczyk1
1Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Abstract: The evaluation of the present approaches and findings on
interest representation lead to several critical conclusions. While
there is common manner, especially in European tradition, to focus
on rather descriptive issues, there are definitely too few attempts
to create an analytical framework which could systemize quite a
rich collection of empirical data. Moreover, lack of adequate analyt)
ical tools makes it difficult to compare results of investigations even
if they are conducted within one country. The present system of
interest representation in Poland indicates essential differences in
interpretation of the very same reality. While some scholars say
that polish model of interest representation is pluralistic, others by
contrast define it as neocorporationist. One of the weakest points
in the current stage of research in the field is lack of combining two
complementary perspectives: micro (actor s perspective) and mac)
ro (system s perspective) in one research process.
The influence production process (IPP) (Lowery, Gray 2004) de)
scribes a full cycle of actions taken by interest groups. IPP is com)
posed of four stages. The first one – mobilization – investigates the
motives and conditions which mobilize people to organize their
collective action. The second deals with the struggle between
groups or organization in order to gain a position that allows to
affect public policies. The third describes various modes of pressure
on the government. The fourth one evaluates results of these ac)
tions and its multidirectional consequences. IPP framework allows
not only to describe single elements of a system as well as their
actions, but also explains the relationship between them.
Abstract Book 401

Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
The presentation will focus on the use of IPP s theoretical potential
in designing a research program for national)level interest repre)
sentation in Poland. Author will discuss the consecutive steps of
research process: conceptualization, creation of research questions
and hypotheses, the choice of a proper methodological approach.
All will be illustrated by his doctoral research thesis which raises a
question, whether and, if so, how is it possible to model interest
representation phenomena in Poland.

Vera Vratusa1
grade, Serbia
Abstract: This paper critically analyses the main limits of theoretical
framework based on the conceptual pair "industrial relations" and
"labor market institutions", to give adequate answers to challenges
to interest representation posed by present acute manifestation of
systemic crisis of destructive capitalist production of marketable
comodities for private profit. First, implicit assumption of this
framework's partisans that more or less market mediated "industrial
relations" are here to stay, confines the study of the cyclical
reapearing of "economic crises“ to descriptive typologisation
across nations of the more or less bureaucratised representation of
interests of private corporations, organised labor and the state.
Second, policy implication of this typologisation oriented research
strategy, confines the proposals what should be done, to reforms of
existing capitalist mode of production whose contradictions precisely
reproduce cyclical systemic crises and socially produced war
and ecological desasters.
This paper proposes alternative conceptual framework and
research strategy that would focus critical analysis of systemic
institutional changes necessary for the adequate representation and
realization of universalisible interest of the majority of modern wage
slaves and the reserve army of unemployed: overcoming of class
division of labor and free development of human capacities of all.
The main finding of this paper is that alternative theoretical framework
based on the conceptual pair "socialist relations“ and
"producers and consumers planning institutions“ enables
construction and implementation of non-capitalist answers to interest
representation: active participation of producers at the work place
and of consumers in the community in strategic decision making,
both directly or through revocable representatives at all levels of
Key words: industrial relations, labor market institutions, systemic
crisis of capital accumulation, socialist relations, producers and
consumers planning institutions
Aline Conchon1
Brussels, Belgium
Abstract: Assuming that the current economic crisis will lead to
changes in industrial relations [IR] systems the same way the 1970s
shocks altered post)war labour relations relies on a dunlopian con)
ception where the context determines and constrains actors inter)
actions. However, it has widely been demonstrated (e.g. by Kochan,
Katz and McKerzie) the existing interdependence and retroactive
effects between the context and IR players actions. Hence, a col)
lective regulation cannot emerge as a reflex reaction to the advent
of a new environmental data but also requires actors to invest this
contextual change. In other words, despite a significant change in
the economic environment, one could observe an absence of col)
lective regulation in a specific IR arena as long as actors do not con)
sider it as an opportunity to elaborate strategies aiming at produc)
ing or adapting rules. The most patent illustration of such inertia is
provided by the debates (not) taking place around the issue of
board)level employee representation [BLER], i.e. employee repre)
sentation on the board of directors or supervisory board of compa)
nies with a voting right.
Indeed, the following crisis)related developments could have been
expected to trigger the revival of this issue: shift of corporate gov)
ernance [CG] model to a more stakeholders) rather than share)
holders)oriented conception (at international, European and na)
tional levels); the rise of arguments supporting BLER as a competi)
tive advantage in the race to growth (statements by German politi)
cians, by external observers –e.g. Hill) and evidence)based scientific
findings –e.g. Vitols)). And yet, not only BLER raised no debate in
most European countries, but there were even attempts to weaken
existing rights (e.g. in Polish privatized companies).
In this paper, we will argue that reasons rests on the weak (lack of)
investment of the three main IR actors (opposition from employers,
no trade unions claim and when few, no take over from public au)
thorities). Several explanatory hypothesis will then be put forward:
the employers focus on HRM, information and consultation prac)
tices rather than participation ones to implement a stakeholder
approach; the reluctance of EU institutions to embark upon hard
legislation in the CG field by rather favouring enlightened self)
regulation; the more defensive than offensive position of trade
unions (e.g. by safeguarding or enforcing the implementation of
existing rights).
Rosa Nonell 1, Joaquim Molins 2, Ivan Mediana 3
1Universtiy of Barcelona, Barceloa, 2Policy Sciences, 3Policy Science,
UAB, Bellaterra, Spain
Abstract: European countries are facing economic crisis on very
different ways and obtain a varied types of performance results. In
this sense the achievement of social pacts can be a positive re)
sponse to the challenges.
The designed strategies differ in the countries according to the
organization of their internal markets (liberal, intermediate or co)
ordinated) and their institutional settings.The agreements allow
obtain consensus of the adjustment, identify the costs supported
by the actors and is a good instrument to establish the appropriate
The literature has focused its analysis on the study of the precondi)
tions to encourage the agreements,or the institutional organization
of the actors or the characteristics that institutionalize these
402 Abstract Book
Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Times
agreements. This paper tries to analyze, in first place, why govern)
ments in some countries are willing to share the design and devel)
opment of their economic policy and how the actors respond ac)
cording to their specific characteristics and their capacity to govern
their organization. The second question is study the institutional
conditions of the market in which such agreements have been de)
veloped and how could interpreted the performance.
The comparative analysis of the social partners in Spain, UK, Italy,
France, Holland, Austria, Norway and Germany will assess the insti)
tutional differences between liberal or coordinated economies in
the last thirty years.
The case studies are selected to compared countries with differents
degrees of cordination or not. The impact of these agreements on
economic and social development could not be measured only with
a uniform methodology and therefore results may differ from each
other.The research methodology has always reduced the variables
of the model to a set of standardized indicators that simplify the
comparison but not just defining the complexity of the actors and
their relationships in some specif institutional context.Our propose
is is to build quantitative and qualitative variables that reflect more
fully the differences between countries and the singularities of the
actors according to the economic and social rules and norms of the
Abstract Book, p. 403
Geneva 2011 / ESA 10th Conference / Social Relations in Turbulent Time,

ISBN 2-940386-18-8978-2-940386-18-5