Trade Unions

European Works Councils at a turning point

Romuald Jagodziński of the European Trade Union Institute is critical of a recent revamp of the legislative framework for European Works Councils. He argues that implementation of the new rules has ‘castrated’ the Directive’s potential to produce positive change and calls on the Commission to try again

In 2009 European Works Councils (EWCs), the main institution of transnational information and […]

Reforming UK labour regulation in or outside the EU would be hard work

Steve Coulter of the LSE outlines discussions during the recent session on labour markets of the LSE’s Commission on Britain in Europe, a major evidence-led inquiry looking at Britain’s future in the European Union in the light of the approaching referendum. The session featured employers, unions and policy analysts and discussed whether EU-inspired employment legislation helped or hindered employers […]

European Works Councils: progress and a long road ahead

Stan De Spiegelaere and Romek Jagodzinski of the European Trade Union Institute give a progress report on European Works Councils. Although EWCs continue to grow, they suffer from a lack of resources and more of third of them lack training rights in their agreements. Both sides – management and workers need to work together to make them more effective.

In […]

Poking the Beehive: the UK Conservative’s Trade Union Bill

Steve Coulter of the London School of Economics argues that the British Conservatives’ new Trade Union Bill is more about politics than ‘repairing’ the UK’s generally good industrial relations This week the government published a Trade Union Bill that’s already being dubbed the most far-reaching change to industrial relations since, well, the heyday of the last majority Conservative government in […]

The Paradox of the ‘German Model’

Steffen Lehndorff of the University of Duisberg-Essen criticises the presentation of Germany as offering an ideal ‘model for Europe’. Instead, its labour market reforms in the early 2000s allowed it to export deflation to the rest of Europe, with disastrous consequences Paul Krugman recently stated that, ‘if you try to identify countries whose policies were way out of line before […]

Italian unions and Renzi’s Jobs Act: opposition and new proposals

Chiara Benassi of the Max Planck Institute in Cologne and Niccolo Durazzi of the LSE respond to critiques of their blog post on November 18th, in which they refuted claims that Italian trade unions are the main obstacle to reform in the country In response to our earlier article which appeared on the EUROPP and NETUF blogs, Giovannini and Maselli […]

Matteo Renzi must work with Italian trade unions rather than against them if he is serious about reforming Italy’s labour market

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has made reforming the Italian labour market a priority for his government. Chiara Benassi and Niccolo Durazzi assess the argument that Italy’s trade unions are an obstacle to reforms on the basis that they support only their core membership, rather than a broader agenda which includes ‘atypical’ workers such as agency staff. They argue that […]

Flexploitation: the case of the 2012 Spanish Labour Market reform

Ronald Janssen of the European Trade Union Confederation argues against the idea that the solution to unemployment lies in more flexible working practices, pointing out that precarious jobs make for a precarious recovery. Last month the informal EPSCO Council met in Athens to discuss, amongst others, the link between structural reforms and a job rich recovery. They would do well to […]

A ‘Precariat Charter’

Professor Guy Standing of SOAS, University of London, writes that what we have witnessed in recent decades is not simply an increase in inequality, but also the emergence of a new globalised class structure. A key component of this is ‘The Precariat’: a new class comprising those who lack economic security and stable occupational identities, which has systematically been deprived of some of the fundamental […]

When will Europe recover?

Martin Myant, ETUI The European Union has performed exceptionally badly in economic terms in comparison with the world as a whole since 2008. The ETUI’s publication Benchmarking Working Europe 2014 poses the question of whether we are not half way through a wasted decade. The first half has been lost already and current policies promise little more than slow growth […]