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Has European economic and market integration curtailed the autonomy of
national industrial relations actors and institutions? Or has it reinforced
their roles in securing much-needed economic adjustment? This important book
offers a deeply-informed comparative perspective on these questions, drawing
on empirical research on changing conditions within and beyond the EU. The
book builds on papers presented at the 8th European Regional Congress of the
International Industrial Relations Association, held in the UK in September
2007. The authors are leading academic authorities from Austria, Belgium,
Canada, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United
With detailed attention to such pervasive factors as the consequences of EU
enlargement, the shift from manufacturing to services, changes in the gender
composition and demographic profile of the labour force, and the growing
influence of multinational companies, the authors address such issues as the
• response of national employment regulatory traditions to globalization,
privatization, outsourcing and budgetary pressures;
• emergence of new forms of competitive advantage for both employers and
• impact of EU-mandated information and consultation mechanisms;
• possibility of international union action and transnational solidarity;
• ‘flexicurity’ and the changing demographics of the labour force;
• gender democracy in trade unions;
• trade union mergers;
• statutory minimum conditions as an alternative to collective bargaining;
• regulation or culture change to promote equality;
• treatment of posted and migrant workers within increasingly transnational
• growth in variable pay systems; and
• possible rebirth of vocational training systems and apprenticeships.
Offering in-depth comparative insights into the way in which national and
international systems of employment relations are evolving rapidly in the face
of cross-cutting pressures for change, this book illuminates a vastly complex
state of affairs. In practical terms, its many insights into how current
trends affect specific working conditions open the way to new initiatives in
developing and maintaining a just and equitable employment relations regime
for Europe and beyond.
Insights drawn from original empirical research into current labour relations
in the enlarged EU
Incisive expert analysis of current responses of employment relations systems
to such challenges as globalization and privatization
Assessment of potential comparative advantage for both employers and employees
resulting from cross-cutting pressures for change
Gain clear insight into current trends, both legal and managerial, affecting
trade union organizing, pay, and consultation mechanisms in European
employment relations systems
Understand the practical implications of national and EU regulation for
employees and trade unions
Develop effective arguments in numerous specific areas of employment law in
1. Challenges of European Employment Relations; L. Dickens.
2. Labour Law and Economic Development: Calibrating and Comparing
Regulatory Regimes; J. Armour, S. Deakin, P. Lele, M. Siems. 3.
UK Trade Unions and the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations;
M. Hall, S. Hutchinson, J. Parker, J. Purcell, M. Terry. 4. The
Role of European Works Councils in the Internationalization of the Labour
Movement; V. Pulignano. 5. Flexicurity and HRM for Older Workers
in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Belgium; T. Bredgaard, F.
Tros. 6. Strong Trade Unions Meet EEC Workers: Locating, Monitoring
and Organizing EEC Workers in the Danish Construction Sector; S.K.
Andersen, J.A. Hansen. 7. Gender: A Relevant Element of Management
Culture? Equal Opportunities between Diversity Management, Regulation and
‘Good Will’; A. Scheele. 8. Union Mergers and Gender
Democracy; A. McBride, J. Waddington. 9. Leadership for Change:
Making Gender Equality in the Newly Merged Danish Union 3F; L.L. Hansen.
10. How Far Can a Minimum Wage Compensate for the Decline in
Collective Bargaining? The Challenges Facing Germany and Britain; A.
Skarpelis, W. Brown. 11. The Management of Variable Pay in Banking:
Forms and Rationale in Four European Countries; J. Arrowsmith, H.
Nicolaisen, B. Bechter, R. Nonell. 12. Vocational Training
and its Links with Education and the Labour Market in Five Countries; G.
Bosch, J. Charest.