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Greek Labour Relations in Transition in a Global Context

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Dimosthenis Daskalakis

The book investigates Greek industrial relations in a global context at different periods. Combining sociological, institutional, political and social aspects, it discusses industrial relations from statism that prevailed up to the ‘80s, to policies after the early ‘90s requesting modernisation and democratic neocorporatism. It also analyzes the dramatic overthrow of the institutional and real balance in the labour market after the conclusion of the Memorandum with the E.U. and I.M.F. and the great recession of the last six years.
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Chapter 3: Trade Unionism in the Modern Changing Environment

Extract

As time of the first appearance of the collective type of formations of employees and the various forms of trade union action, including bargaining, could be considered the middle of last century – with the only possible exception of Great Britain where industrialization preceded chronologically. The large industrial plant that gradually replaced the craft production resulted in large population inflow to urban centres, where there were such facilities. The development of mass production structures in those units generated oversupply of jobs to which much of the workforce flowed, which overwhelmed urban centres. Furthermore, employment of a large number of employees in a common workplace – and dealing with these related problems – had as a result their collective organization so they could vindicate better employment conditions from a less disadvantaged position (Ntasios, 1991a, pp. 17–18).

The revolutionary events that unfolded in almost all Europe in 1848, both dealing the ringleaders of those events as conspirators and the influence of ideas of liberalism, led almost one after the other the European states to impose restrictions on the freedom of association of both employees and employers that had been in effect for decades and were removed in the late 19th century (Karakatsanis, 1985).

Nowadays, trade union freedom (Aliprantis, 1979 p. 523, and esp. ft 4) is considered as part of freedom of association (Giugni, 1983, p. 11; Mitsou, 1981, pp. 6–7), and it is not – as the latter – general right of every social group. More specifically, trade unionism (Goutos,...

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