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Guy Mundlak

The freedom of association is enshrined in international conventions and state constitutions, and it has triumphed in many statutes and judicial decisions around the world. Association in the labour context can be viewed as yet another fulfilment of the general freedom to associate, as are the association of shareholders, political party members, social clubs or social movements. However, it is also regarded as a unique right that constitutes a central pillar for governing the labour market; a right intended to achieve goals such as equality, emancipation and dignity. Within the domains of this interpretation, it has been argued that the logic of association on labour’s side is different from that on capital’s side (Offe and Wiesenthal 1980). This book goes further, to argue there are two distinct logics of association on labour’s side, and as the title suggests – two logics of trade union representation. The one logic is that of workers coming together, acting to fight for their rights. The other logic is that of trade unions and employers’ associations, sometimes together with high-ranking officials of the state, negotiating labour market conditions. In both logics, membership is essential for the status, functioning and efficacy of the trade union. This is the unifying feature of both logics, singling out trade unions from other forms of association with similar objectives. Hence, the pivotal reference for understanding that the two logics of labour’s collective action is centred on membership. However, membership and its derivative traits – democracy, accountability, power and legitimacy – work in different ways.

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Organizing Matters

Two Logics of Trade Union Representation

Guy Mundlak

Organizing Matters demonstrates the interplay between two distinct logics of labour’s collective action: on the one hand, workers coming together, usually at their place of work, entrusting the union to represent their interests and, on the other hand, social bargaining in which the trade union constructs labour’s interests from the top down. The book investigates the tensions and potential complementarities between the two logics through the combination of a strong theoretical framework and an extensive qualitative case study of trade union organizing and recruitment in four countries – Austria, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands. These countries still utilize social-wide bargaining but find it necessary to draw and develop strategies transposed from Anglo-American countries in response to continuously declining membership.
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Edited by Jeff Kenner, Izabela Florczak and Marta Otto

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Precarious Work

The Challenge for Labour Law in Europe

Edited by Jeff Kenner, Izabela Florczak and Marta Otto

This discerning book provides a wide-ranging comparative analysis of the legal and social policy challenges posed by the spread of different forms of precarious work in Europe, with various social models in force and a growing ‘gig economy’ workforce. It not only considers the theoretical foundations of the concept of precarious work, but also offers invaluable insight into the potential methods of addressing this phenomenon through labour regulation and case law at EU and national level.
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Edited by Jeff Kenner, Izabela Florczak and Marta Otto

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Mies Westerveld and Marius Olivier

What attempts have been made to extend social security coverage to informal workers? What types of regulatory and normative frameworks are needed in countries with developed systems of labour law and social insurance? And what can we learn from attempts to make or keep social security all inclusive? In this book, in addition to the introductory cross-cutting chapters, academics from countries with systems of social security at different levels of development reflected on such questions, using their own scientific or national affiliation as starting point. In this last chapter we look at commonalities and we look at the question of whether the analyses and exemplary reports – that were presented under the heading ‘thematic’, ‘regional’ and ‘country case studies’ – provide inspiration for future steps.

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Edited by Mies Westerveld and Marius Olivier

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Social Security Outside the Realm of the Employment Contract

Informal Work and Employee-like Workers

Edited by Mies Westerveld and Marius Olivier

All over the world countries face the challenge of inadequate social security coverage for workers without an employment contact. In countries of the global south, this phenomenon is a natural consequence of large informal economies. Countries in the global north increasingly witness the same issue, due to growing labour market flexibility (flex contracts, dependent self-employment, digitization of labour). In this book authors from both hemispheres exchange insights, experiments and practices with the intention of finding better ways to deal with the social security challenges facing workers.
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Maarten van Klaveren and Kea Tijdens

This chapter aims to assess the size of informal employment from a gender perspective, focusing on industries with large shares of women workers and based on evidence from 14 countries. In these countries informal work was predominantly found in the agricultural sector. With a decreasing share of agriculture in total employment and a stable share of women, in the 2000s women’s informal employment decreased overall. The (further) shift of employment out of agriculture may be crucial for reducing vulnerable employment. However, in most countries this shift only partly translates into less vulnerable and higher value added activities, in particular in view of the characteristics of employment in commerce. The authors note that the lack of employment data on agriculture in national statistics hampers insight in the constraints for women of this major transformation, notably in terms of infrastructural provisions and basic services needed.