EWERC and FairWRC

Social dialogue during the economic crisis

Project summary

Against the background of a profound economic crisis in Europe, wide-ranging labour market reforms transformed the national systems of collective bargaining in a number of EU Member States. The comparative research project sought to understand how the crisis-driven policy reforms translated into changes in collective bargaining in manufacturing. Themes included:

  • The effects of the reforms for the process and content of collective bargaining at the national, industry and company level.
  • Employer and trade union responses to the new regulatory framework and the implications for the outcomes of collective bargaining on issues such as wages, employment conditions and gender equality.
  • The comparison of the reforms, their respective effect and social partners’ strategies for EU and national policy-making as well as cross-national learning and knowledge exchange for social partners?

The seven-country comparative study consisted of primary and secondary data in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. Fieldwork included interviews with social and regulatory actors in terms of social dialogue and collective bargaining arrangements. The case studies illuminate the challenges and strategies of social partners at sectoral and company levels as well as the likely outcomes for employees.

The significant policy interest of this project was its potential for contributing to addressing the employment and social dimensions of national and EU priorities relating to the response to and exit from the crisis.

Publications

Joint regulation and labour market policy in Europe during the crisis: comparative project report. Aristea Koukiadaki, Isabel Tavora and Miguel Martinez Lucio 2014

Labour market policy and joint regulation in Greece during the crisis: the case of manufacturing. Aristea Koukiadaki and Chara Kokkinou 2014

The reform of joint regulation and labour market policy during the current crisis: the Republic of Ireland. Tony Dundon and Eugene Hickland 2014

The reform of joint regulation and labour market policy during the current crisis: Portugal. Isabel Tavora and Pilar Gonzalez 2014

Austerity and collective bargaining in Romania. Aurora Trif 2014

Social Dialogue during the economic crisis: the impact of industrial relations reforms on collective bargaining in the manufacturing sector: Slovenia. Miroslav Stanojevic and Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrcela 2014

The reform of collective bargaining in the Spanish manufacturing sector with reference to the metal and chemical sectors: legacies and risks in the reform of regulation since 2008. Carlos J Fernandez Rodriguez, Rafael Ibanez Rojo and Miguel Martinez Lucio 2014

Joint regulation and labour market policy in Europe during the crisis. Aristea Koukiadaki, Isabel Tavora and Miguel Martinez Lucio 2016

Public sector pay, procurement and inequalities

This comparative project is investigating the nature of public sector pay reforms during the current period of fiscal austerity and seeks to understand in particular the challenges facing social partners, the associated strategies of procurement and the combined effects on patterns of wage and employment inequalities. It hopes to extend current knowledge by focusing on the specific roles of social partners in a context of rapidly changing government policy.

Questions driving the project include:
•    What are the varied public sector pay reforms underway in different countries and how are these shaped by the particular national model of public sector pay?
•    What are the responses of social partners and have there been changes in social dialogue processes?
•    Has government use of public sector procurement changed and with what effects on employment conditions?
•    What are the combined effects of pay reforms and procurement strategies on wage and employment inequalities?

During 2011 and 2012 the project is comparing the experiences of five European countries – France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and the UK – and is putting together an original database of both quantitative and qualitative data. Fieldwork includes interviews with social partner representatives at the national and European levels, as well as a detailed case-study investigation of pay and procurement issues in local government. Secondary data illuminate the patterns of pay reforms, pay settlements and wage and employment inequalities for the period 2006-2011.

There is a very strong policy interest at member state and EU levels regarding the character and effects of ongoing public sector pay reforms and procurement strategies. It is hoped this proposed project will disseminate new knowledge of how to improve the integral processes of social dialogue in the European region. A major conference in Brussels on 22-23 November 2012 will disseminate the main findings of the project and debate the implications for government policy social partners’ strategies.

Publications
Public sector pay and procurement in Europe during the crisis: the challenges facing local government and the prospects for segmentation, inequalities and social dialogue. Damian Grimshaw, Jill Rubery and Stefania Marino,.2012

The effects of pay reforms and procurement strategies on wage and employment inequalities in France’s public sector. Florence Audier, Maya Bacache, Pierre Courtioux, Jerome Gautie. 2012

The public sector pay system and public procurement in Germany, national report. Gerhard Bosch, Leila Mesaros, Gabi Schilling and Claudia Weinkopf.  2012

Public sector pay and procurement in Hungary, national report. Erzsebet Berki, Laszlo Neumann, Mark Edeleni and Kitti Varadovics. 2012

Public sector pay and procurement in Europe during the crisis: the challenges facing local government and the prospects for segmentation, inequalities and social dialogue. Comparative report – executive summary. Damian Grimshaw, Jill Rubery and Stefania Marino, 2012

The effects of pay reforms and procurement strategies on wage and employment inequalities in the public sector: the case of France. Executive summary. Florence Audier, Maya Bacache, Pierre Courtioux, Jerome Gautie, 2012

The public sector pay system and public procurement on wage and employment inequalities in the public sector: the case of Germany. Executive report. Gerhard Bosch, Leila Mesaros, Gabi Schilling and Claudia Weinkopf. 2012

Public sector pay and procurement in Hungary, Executive summary. Erzsebet Berki, Laszlo Neumann, Mark Edeleni and Kitti Varadovics. 2012

The effects of pay reforms and procurement strategies on wage and employment inequalities in the public sector: the case of Sweden. Executive summary. Dominique Anxo and Thomas Ericson. 2012

Public sector pay and procurement in the UK during the crisis: contested process of levelling down jobs and pay. Executive summary. Damian Grimshaw, Stefania Marino and Jill Rubery. 2012

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue

Project summary

This research explored how innovative forms of social dialogue in different regulatory contexts can reduce the precariousness of employment and thereby promote more inclusive labour markets. It engaged with representatives of trade unions and employer bodies in six European countries – Denmark, France, Germany, Slovenia, Spain and the UK.

Drawing on a comparative analysis of experiences in six European countries, the project investigated the challenges facing governments, unions and employers of ‘protective gaps’ in regulation, representation and enforcement. Such gaps risk reinforcing the spread of precarious working conditions among both flexible and standard forms of employment, potentially creating new forms of labour market dualism.
The project drew on original case study research to explore what social partners can do to reverse trends towards dualism and foster inclusiveness and, more broadly, to understand how industrial relations systems in diverse sector and country contexts are adapting to changing employment conditions.

The findings from across the six countries were presented at the closing conference on 24th and 25th November 2016 in Brussels.

Publications

Reports

Reducing precarious work: Protective gaps and the role of social dialogue in Europe. Damian Grimshaw, Mat Johnson, Jill Rubery and Arjan Keizer 2016

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue: the case of Denmark. Stine Rasmussen, Bjarke Refsund, Ole H. Sørensen and Trine P. Larsen 2016

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue: the case of France. Cathel Kornig, Nathalie Louit-Martinod, Philippe Méhaut 2016

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue: the case of Germany. Karen Jaehrling, Inez Wagner, Claudia Weinkopf 2016

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue: the case of Slovenia. Miroljub Ignjatović, Aleksandra Kanjou Mrčela 2016

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue: the case of Spain. Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo, Fernando Pinto Hernandez 2016

Reducing precarious work in Europe through social dialogue: the case of the UK. Damian Grimshaw, Mat Johnson, Arjan Keizer, Jill Rubery 2016

Reducing precarious work through social dialogue: An analysis of ‘protective gaps’ facing people at work in the UK

Reducing Precarious Work: Protective Gaps and the Role of Social Dialogue in Europe, A comparative research briefing in English

Reducing Precarious Work: Les écarts de protection et le rôle du dialogue social en Europe, a comparative research briefing in French

Reducing Precarious Work: Schutzlücken und die Rolle des sozialen Dialogs in Europa, a comparative research briefing in German

Minimum wage systems

Project summary

This project investigated the complex relationships between collective bargaining and diverse country systems for setting minimum wages.

Existing studies highlighted the substantial variation in systems for setting minimum wages across the EU, including use of statutory provision or collective bargaining, use of single or multiple rates and differences in trends in the relative level of the minimum wage. The project focused on the specific roles of social partner organisations (employers and unions) in shaping minimum wage systems. Through collaboration with a sample of trade unions and employers, the project drew up recommendations for social dialogue policy and practice.

Five countries were investigated:

  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Hungary
  • the UK

Minimum wage systems and changing industrial relations in Europe: comparative report, October 2010, Grimshaw and Rubery.

Migration and trade unions

Project: Migration and Trade Union responses: An analysis of the UK in a comparative perspective

The current economic crisis, the consequent rise of unemployment and the limitation of welfare resources in many Western European countries is resulting in the worsening of working and living conditions of a significant part of the EU citizenship. The raise of low-skilled immigration towards such countries is increasingly perceived as a ‘threat’ for the host society. Conflicts and differences between national and migrant workers are becoming increasingly manifest, not only in the labour arena but also in the wider society. Discriminatory sentiments and episodes of violence concerning ethnic minorities are spreading. In the researcher’s view, the responses of the social actors to the interplay between migration and employment in the host countries will be important in shaping the future of Europe’s social fabric. Among such actors, trade unions play an important role not only because immigration is primarily linked to labour but also because many conflicts occur in the labour arena both at the individual and collective level.

This project aims at analyzing trade union responses to immigration, immigration policies and a broad range of migrant workers, and at understanding the trade unions’ (actual and potential) role in the economic and social integration of immigrants. Furthermore, it focuses on the trade union’s role in mediating conflicting interests between national and migrant workers.

The research develops a comparative international perspective by looking at a national context particularly affected by recent immigration (UK) and expanding on a previous comparative study on Italy and the Netherlands carried out by the applicant in her doctoral research. The aim of the comparison is a) to highlight differences in trade unions’ formal debates, actions and outcomes related to the inclusion of migrant workers across the three countries and b) to point out explanatory variables and mechanisms for observed differences.

Principal Investigator: Dr Stefania Marino

Funding body: ESRC

 

EGGSIE

Awaiting content

EGGE

EGGE: The Austrian NAP 2000 from a Gender Perspective

EGGE: The Austrian NAP 2001 from a Gender Perspective

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Austria (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Belgium (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Denmark (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Spain (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Finland (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: France (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Greece (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Ireland (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Italy (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Luxemburg (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Netherlands (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Portugal (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: Sweden (2002)

EGGE: Supplementary information regarding policies to promote gender equality and employment: UK (2002)

The adjusted gender pay gap

Awaiting content