Social Conditions

Working the phones – undercover in a call centre

Jamie Woodcock of the LSE recalls  his experience of working undercover in a UK call centre, which provides a window into a workplace dictated by control and surveillance

For the purpose of  my new book, Working the Phones, I spent six months  undercover in a UK call centre . The focus of the research was to understand questions of control […]

Europe, Brexit, Skills and Immigration

Steve Coulter argues that failures in the UK’s training system, coupled with employers’ demand for low-wage labour from Europe, produced the toxic fissures in society that fueled the vote for Brexit. These fissures will not go away after the UK leaves the EU and will have to be addressed someday

The UK’s vote for ‘Brexit’ from the European Union last […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights: Bridging the gaps or falling short?

The European Pillar of Social Rights: Bridging the gaps or falling short?

Zane Rasnača of the the European Trade Union Institute, in the second of our blog posts on the Social Pillar, suggests a few ways in which the EPSR could move beyond soft law to become something more hard-hitting and effective

The events surrounding the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) are approaching a conclusion, with an agreement in the Council […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

Philippe Pochet of the European Trade Union Institute has some advice for the European Union as it mounts one of its periodic attempts to recast the Social Union. He urges the EU to rebalance social and economic concerns by mounting an ambitious social programme The ambition and the potential role of the European Pillar of Social Rights in the development […]

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    The results of Italy’s 2012 labour-market reforms – no solution to unemployment

The results of Italy’s 2012 labour-market reforms – no solution to unemployment

Gabriele Piazza and Martin Myant of the European Trade Union Institute criticise recent labour market reforms in Italy which aim to tackle unemployment by cutting protection for workers on permanent contracts. There is no evidence that this works, and Italy would be better off addressing structural problems in the Italian economy

In June 2012 Italy introduced a package of labour-market […]

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    Why should ‘the German pensioner’ care about bailing out Greece?’

Why should ‘the German pensioner’ care about bailing out Greece?’

Yiannis Korkovelos argues that there are advantages for creditor countries in keeping Greece in the eurozone; while Greece, in turn, should bring forward courageous reforms with Mr Tsipras having the opportunity to be remembered as a moderniser After more than 17 hours of negotiations, white smoke has come out of the EU Summit. The marathon summit has resulted in a […]

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The leader of the leftist Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, listens to a question during a televised press conference on January 23, 2015 at the Zappion Hall in Athens. Greeks vote on January 25 in a general election for the second time in three years, with radical leftists Syriza leading the polls with a promise to renegotiate the international bailout that has imposed five years of austerity on the country.   AFP PHOTO/LOUISA GOULIAMAKIGallery

    Tsipras to Germany: German Taxpayers are not paying for Greek Pensions

Tsipras to Germany: German Taxpayers are not paying for Greek Pensions

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, has rebuffed suggestions that bailout money going to Greece is being spent on pensions and salaries. In a comment piece for the German news magazine, Der Tagesspiegel (read it here in English on the EurActiv blog), Tsipras says that the assumption that Germany is paying for the wages and pensions of the Greek […]

Why Cameron is wrong on the ‘cost’ of migrants

Tim Vlandas of Reading University attacks David Cameron’s pre-election focus on the ‘cost’ of migrants The Prime Minister is at it again. Saddened by the rise of immigration above ‘the tens of thousands’ promised, David Cameron proposed new curbs on EU immigrants’ access to UK benefits in a recent speech. This proposal is unlikely to be feasible given current EU […]

Juncker and the European Social Model: Is a revival in prospect?

Leticia Díez Sánchez examines the new EU President’s pledge to look at the social impact of economic reform The election of Jean-Claude Juncker has with no doubt been part of a package-deal between (mostly) pro-European parties. A deal that secures institutional stability and defies the Eurosceptic rise experienced in the last European Parliament elections. Most accounts on whether Juncker is a good fit […]

Lessons on jobs from developing countries

Steve Coulter of the LSE highlights ILO research showing that countries with sound labour market policies grow faster – unfortunately, this does not seem to apply to Europe An interesting report came out recently from the International Labour Organization, highlighting the importance of high quality jobs in boosting growth and tackling inequality. Although primarily about developing countries, ‘Developing with Jobs’, […]