The rise of the dual labour market: fighting precarious employment in the new member states through industrial relations

The EU accession and the economic crisis led to the rise of non-standard, precarious employment forms across the new Member States in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Despite the importance of the phenomenon of precarious employment, little evidence is available on the strategies of social partners to address the rise of the dual labour market, in which the importance of precarious employment forms increases.

toy figure of man with outstretched arm on map of Europe

To fill this gap, this project explored how the strategies of employers and trade unions across 10 EU Member States represent the interest of non-standard and vulnerable groups in precarious employment forms in the labour market; and how the needs of these groups are addressed in the process of collective bargaining and other initiatives by the social partners.

This project investigated precarious employment in 10 countries with various institutional arrangements, namely:

(a)   neo-liberal: Latvia, Lithuania and Romania;

(b)   embedded liberal: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia;

(c)   neo-corporatist: Slovenia and Croatia;

(d)   Mediterranean market economy: Greece.

In each country, the study focused on sectoral developments in four predominantly private sectors (metal, retail, construction and temporary agency work) and the healthcare sector, which is largely part of the public sector. The project was funded by the European Commission in 2015-2016.

Project team members

  • Marta Kahancova
  • Aristea Koukiadaki
  • Aurora Trif

Further information