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The Europeanization of Industrial Relations in the Service Sector

Problems and Perspectives in a Heterogeneous Field

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Stefan Rüb and Hans-Wolfgang Platzer

The service sector has not always received the attention it merits in industrial relations research when set against its enormous economic significance. One factor in this is certainly the highly diverse nature of services. Research attention has also lagged behind long-standing processes of transnationalization undertaken by service sector companies and the challenges these pose for policy and practice in the field of employment relations. This study by Stefan Rüb and Hans-Wolfgang Platzer represents a pioneering effort to remedy this gap. Through six named company case studies, Rüb and Platzer explore the scope and background for transnational employee relations conflicts and the mechanisms that have emerged to resolve and anticipate these, highlighting the complex relationships between employee representatives, management and trade unions.
The choice of case studies aims to capture a broad range of service sector employment, in terms of both working conditions and employment relations arrangements. As well as covering a number of key sectors, the choice of home countries of the selected firms also aims to capture the impact of national influences for the main industrial relations models in Europe. Overall, the study offers insights into the complexities of the Europeanization of company-level industrial relations in a dynamic field now also confronted by the convulsions unleashed by the Eurozone crisis.
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Global and European Trade Union Federations

A Handbook and Analysis of Transnational Trade Union Organizations and Policies- Translated by Pete Burgess

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Hans-Wolfgang Platzer and Torsten Müller

The continuing advance of globalization, together with deepening European integration, has increased the significance of the transnational level of trade union organization and action. This study offers a comprehensive overview of the development, structure, and policies of global and European trade union federations to serve as a reference work on all the key trade union movements operating globally and in Europe. It presents an in-depth analysis of the challenges facing these organizations and their strategic and policy responses.
As a handbook, this volume provides extensive and systematically presented data on transnational sectoral trade union federations. Applying an analogous structure in the presentation of both global and European levels, the study features extensive organizational profiles, portraits, and overviews. This empirical material serves to reveal recent innovations in cross-border policy instruments and strategic approaches since the 1990s. The changing profiles of international trade unions – as measured against a set of functional criteria drawn from political science – and key developments in transnational trade union activity since the start of the new century are also investigated.
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Stephan Rüb, Hans-Wolfgang Platzer and Torsten Müller

Over the past decade, European company-level employment regulation has emerged: European Works Councils (EWCs) and trade unions have begun to negotiate company-level collective agreements which have a far-reaching impact across borders on issues as diverse as company restructuring, health and safety, and profit-sharing. The negotiating parties have thus begun to fill the gap left by low levels of regulation and little formal structure, necessarily leading them to also bargain about the negotiating process itself.
This study is the first to provide a detailed analysis of the process of negotiating European company-level agreements based on ten company case studies as well as a quantitative study of European company-level bargaining in the metalworking industry. The study provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging order of European company-level industrial relations and the strategies and assessments of the key actors, with a particular focus on the emergence of a new and dynamic interplay between EWCs and trade unions at the national and European levels. The findings are also placed in the wider context of political science research into European integration and thus contribute to European governance debates that go beyond the employment and industrial relations field.