The European Migrant Workers Union: Union Organizing Through Labour Transnationalism, 2015 Cornell University
The European Migrant Workers Union: Union Organizing Through Labour Transnationalism, Ian Greer, Zinovijus Ciupijus, Nathan Lillie
Despite the presence of hyper-mobile migrant workers in the European Union, there is very little research on transnational union organizing efforts. This paper examines the European Migrant Workers Union (EMWU), which signalled a shift by the German union Industriegewerkschaft Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG BAU) in its approach to migrant workers away from national protectionism and toward transnational organizing. The EMWU, however, failed to thrive as an organization, primarily because of decisions by other unions to reject the transnational approach and instead to defend existing jurisdictions. We argue that this inaction constitutes a setback for union reassertion of control over markets and for ...
Social Movement Unionism And Social Partnership In Germany: The Case Of Hamburg’S Hospitals, 2015 Cornell University
Social Movement Unionism And Social Partnership In Germany: The Case Of Hamburg’S Hospitals, Ian Greer
This paper traces the emergence of social movement unionism in Hamburg, Germany, as labor’s channels of influence have broken down and economic pressures have intensified. Trade unionists have responded to the privatization of the municipal hospitals by mobilizing members and building coalitions around issues beyond their members’ immediate interests, including democracy and public service quality. Although the loss of union influence has facilitated social movement unionism, in East Germany economic crisis has had a demobilizing effect.
The Industrial Determinants Of Transnational Solidarity: Global Interunion Politics In Three Sectors, 2015 Pennsylvania State University
The Industrial Determinants Of Transnational Solidarity: Global Interunion Politics In Three Sectors, Mark Anner, Ian Greer, Marco Hauptmeier, Nathan Lillie, Nik Winchester
This article compares forms of labour transnationalism in three industrial sectors: motor manufacturing, maritime shipping and clothing and textile manufacturing. In each case, unions engage in very different transnational activities to reassert control over labour markets and competition. As institutions of transnational cooperation deepen, unions continue to struggle with competitive tensions (worker to worker and union to union) which vary from one industry to another.
Automobile Workers Strikes, 2015 Cornell University
Automobile Workers Strikes, Ian Greer
Automobile workers' strikes occurred in essentially four eras: the lost strikes by the industry's craft unions in the early twentieth century, the dramatic sit-down victories of the 1930s, the mixture of wildcat and authorized strikes during the postwar economic boom from the 1940s through the 1970s, and the decline of strikes that accompanied the policy of "jointness' between company and union after J9S0. Autoworkers' strike strategies reflected, in part, the particular structure of the industry, which took shape in the 1920s. Auto production is a complex process of interdependent operations to produce parts and assemble vehicles, each containing tens ...
Business Union Vs. Business Union? Understanding The Split In The Us Labour Movement, 2015 Cornell University
Business Union Vs. Business Union? Understanding The Split In The Us Labour Movement, Ian Greer
In summer 2005, the trade union movement formalised its split into two rival confederations. The split was precipitated by the 2001 disaffiliation of the carpenters’ union, the Republican electoral victory of 2004, and the decline in union membership. Seven unions, accounting for forty per cent of the membership of the AFL-CIO formed Change to Win as a response to that federation’s ineffectiveness. This article concludes that the split may lead to new techniques for campaigning, but that it will not affect the fortunes or the social vision of the trade union movement.
Labor And Urban Crisis In Buffalo, New York: Building A High Road Infrastructure, 2015 Cornell University
Labor And Urban Crisis In Buffalo, New York: Building A High Road Infrastructure, Ian Greer, Lou Jean Fleron
With inequality growing and competitive market forces on the march, can unions play a constructive role in solving the problems of capitalist economic development? Should they try? In this study of coalition building in Buffalo, New York we find that regular procedures of problem solving involving multiple coalition partners – what we call a high-road social infrastructure – have developed in the city. We discuss the progression of union approaches to economic development, including in-plant and regional labor-management partnership, community coalitions and the creation of labor-led nonprofit organizations. In response to long-term economic and social crisis, a group of union leaders has ...
Vertical Disintegration And The Disorganisation Of German Industrial Relations, 2015 Cornell University
Vertical Disintegration And The Disorganisation Of German Industrial Relations, Virginia Doellgast, Ian Greer
Drawing on case studies from the telecommunications and auto industries, we argue that the vertical disintegration of major German employers is contributing to the disorganisation of Germany’s dual system of in-plant and sectoral negotiations. Subcontractors, subsidiaries, and temporary agencies often have no collective bargaining institutions, weaker firm-level agreements, or are covered by different sectoral agreements. As core employers move jobs to these firms, they introduce new organisational boundaries across the production chain and disrupt traditional bargaining structures. Worker representatives are developing new campaign approaches and using residual power at large firms to establish representation in new firms and sectors ...
Von Sozialen Bewegungen Lernen: Ein Impuls Fur Deutsche Gewerkschaften, 2015 Cornell University
Von Sozialen Bewegungen Lernen: Ein Impuls Fur Deutsche Gewerkschaften, Ian Greer
Wie konnen Gewerkschaften in einem gewandelten, neoliberalen Umfeld erfolgreich agieren? Die Privatisierung der stadtischen Kliniken in Hamburg - bei der seitens der Gewerkschaft sowohl der Weg der Kooperation wie der der Konfrontation beschritten wurde - gibt ein bemerkenswertes Beispiel fur den Wandel von Arbeitgeber- und Gewerkschaftsstrategien, Mit Anleihen bei sozialen Bewegungen konnen Gewerkschaften, so zeigt die Erfahrung, solche Konflikte nicht nur besser bestehen, sondern gestarkt aus ihnen hervorgehen.
Analysing Social Partnership: A Tool Of Union Revitalization?, 2015 University of Berlin
Analysing Social Partnership: A Tool Of Union Revitalization?, Michael Fichter, Ian Greer
[Excerpt] Recently, much has been written about social partnership. Especially in Europe, the spread of national social pacts, the introduction of tripartite institutions to the Central and Eastern European accession countries, and the implementation of the Social Dialogue in the European Union have created a new interest in the effects and effectiveness of such arrangements. In the United States, the meaning of labour-management partnership is developing further, as revitalized unions of service and construction workers have applied this instrument to extend and consolidate gains (Mills 2001; WAI 2002). This chapter focuses on one issue among many with regard to social ...
Labor And Regional Development In The U.S.A.: Building A High Road Infrastructure In Buffalo, New York, Ian Greer, Lou Jean Fleron
[Excerpt] In a country where worker representatives lack broadly institutionalized roles as "social partners," how can they play a constructive role in solving the problems of regional development? In Buffalo, New York, regularized, labor-inclusive procedures of problem solving involving multiple coalition partners – what we call a high-road social infrastructure – has emerged. Socially engaged researchers and educators have played a role in spreading lessons and organizing dialogue. Despite the emergence of regional cooperation, however, successful development politics are hampered by many of the same problems seen in European regions, including uncertainty about the best union strategy, hostility from business and political ...
Industrial Relations, Migration, And Neoliberal Politics: The Case Of The European Construction Sector, 2015 University of Helsinki
Industrial Relations, Migration, And Neoliberal Politics: The Case Of The European Construction Sector, Nathan Lillie, Ian Greer
Transnational politics and labor markets are undermining national industrial relations systems in Europe. This article examines the construction industry, where the internationalization of the labor market has gone especially far. To test hypotheses about differences between “national systems,” the authors examine the United Kingdom, Finland, and Germany, alongside European-level policy making. Regardless of overall national institutional framework, employers seek to avoid industrial relations rules, while unions attempt to relocalize labor relations. Both use shop-floor, national, and European power resources. The authors argue that comparative industrial relations should take seriously the connection between action at the national and transnational levels.
The Wagner Model And International Freedom Of Association Standards, 2015 Cornell University
The Wagner Model And International Freedom Of Association Standards, Lance A. Compa
Lance A Compa
[Excerpt] I first met Pierre Verge just before beginning my service with the NAFTA labour commission in 1995. Not long after that, Pierre Verge and my own labour law professor at Yale in 1972, Clyde Summers, jointly wrote a penetrating evaluation of the first years of the NAFTA labour side accord, which still serves as the best single analysis of that seminal but flawed instrument linking labour standards and a trade agreement (Summers, Verge and Medina, 1998; Verge, 1999; Verge, 2002). Since then, my understanding of international labour standards and how they relate to labour law in North America has ...
Working Through The Past: Labor And Authoritorian Legacies In Comparative Perspective, 2015 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Working Through The Past: Labor And Authoritorian Legacies In Comparative Perspective, Teri L. Caraway (Ed.), Maria Lorena Cook (Ed.), Stephen Crowley (Ed.)
Maria Lorena Cook
[Excerpt] Democratization in the developing and post-communist world has yielded limited gains for labor. Explanations for this phenomenon have focused on the effect of economic crisis and globalization on the capacities of unions to become influential political actors and to secure policies that benefit their members. In contrast, the contributors to Working through the Past highlight the critical role that authoritarian legacies play in shaping labor politics in new democracies, providing the first cross-regional analysis of the impact of authoritarianism on labor, focusing on East and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Legacies from the predemocratic era shape labor ...
Convergence In Industrial Relations Institutions: The Emerging Anglo-American Model?, 2015 Cornell University
Convergence In Industrial Relations Institutions: The Emerging Anglo-American Model?, Alexander Colvin, Owen Darbishire
At the outset of the Thatcher/Reagan era, the employment and labor law systems across six Anglo- American countries could be divided into three pairings: the Wagner Act model of the United States and Canada; the Voluntarist system of collective bargaining and strong unions in the United Kingdom and Ireland; and the highly centralized, legalistic Award systems of Australia and New Zealand. The authors argue that there has been growing convergence in two major areas: First, of labor law toward a private ordering of employment relations in which terms and conditions of work and employment are primarily determined at the ...
Innovation In Isolation: Labor-Management Partnerships In The United States, 2015 Radcliffe Public Policy Institute
Innovation In Isolation: Labor-Management Partnerships In The United States, Kirsten S. Wever, Rosemary Batt, Saul Rubinstein
In the United States, as in other advanced industrial countries, worker participation in management has taken on increasing importance, placing pressures on employers and unions to change how they deal with employees/members, and with each other. This paper examines two of the most impressive cases in the U.S.: the partnerships between General Motors (G.M.) and the United Autoworkers union (U.A W.) at Saturn and between BellSouth and the Communication Workers union (C.W.A.). We outline the evolution and the basic features of these innovations, as well as highlighting certain ongoing problems. These problems, we argue ...
Review: John S. Ahlquist And Margaret Levi, 'In The Interest Of Others: Organizations And Social Activism" (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2013), Rowan Cahill
Review of the comparative study of trade union organizational behaviour by John S. Ahlquist and Margaret Levi, 'In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism" (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2013), which involves a target group of US and Australian trade unions.
Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, 2015 Cornell University
Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla
Eli D Friedman
In this introduction to the special issue ‘Changing work, labour and employment relations in China’, we argue that China is taking an experimental and decentralized approach to the development of new labor relations frameworks. Particular political constraints in China prevent interest aggregation among workers, as the central state sees this as posing a risk to social stability. Firms and local governments have been given a degree of space to experiment with different arrangements, as long as the categorical ban on independent unions is not violated. The consequence has been an increasingly differentiated labor relations landscape, with significant variation by region ...
Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, 2015 Cornell University
Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman
Eli D Friedman
How do post-socialist unions respond to market crisis? And what are the implications of this response for labor representation? Drawing on literature on post-socialist labor and union democracy, I argue that economic crisis affects not just labor – capital and labor – state relations, but also the relationship between union representatives and workers. Such a dynamic is highlighted by an empirical account of the divergent activities of workers and All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) unions in China following the economic crisis of 2008. While the union responded to mass unemployment with an administrative and policy-oriented strategy, workers took to the streets ...
Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, 2015 Cornell University
Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli Friedman
Eli D Friedman
Is there a labour movement in China? This contribution argues that China does not have a labour movement, but that contestation between workers, state and capital is best characterized as a form of ‘alienated politics’. Widespread worker resistance is highly effective at the level of the firm be-cause of its ability to inflict losses on capital and disrupt public order. But authoritarian politics in China prevent workers from formulating political demands. Despite the spectacular repressive capacity of the state, the central government has in fact responded to highly localized resistance by passing generally pro-labour legislation over the past decade. The ...
Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, 2015 Cornell University
Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman
Eli D Friedman
Why is it that in the nearly 10 years since the Chinese central government began making symbolic and material moves towards class compromise that labor unrest has expanded greatly? In this article I reconfigure Karl Polanyi's theory of the countermovement to account for recent developments in Chinese labor politics. Specifically, I argue that countermovements must be broken down into two constituent but intertwined "moments": the insurgent moment that consists of spontaneous resistance to the market, and the institutional moment, when class compromise is established in the economic and political spheres. In China, the transition from insurgency to institutionalization has ...