Trade Union Rights at the Workplace
June 6, 2012
From the Publisher:
For employees, collective protection has never been more urgent. Everywhere, pressures resulting from worldwide competition and technical innovation are downgrading and relocating jobs, closing companies, and fuelling workers’ fears of less-than-secure working conditions, de-qualification, and job loss. More and more, trade unions confront the challenge of asserting their rights across borders. However, in order to establish the necessary preconditions for any transnational solidarity, it is necessary to define and clarify both what is distinctive and what is fundamental in the different legal frameworks affecting trade union activity. That is what this book sets out to do.
The essays presented here are an outcome of an international and comparative conference, organised and sponsored by the newly established Hugo Sinzheimer Institute of Labour Law (HSI), Frankfurt am Main, which took place in Frankfurt in January 2011 at the premises of IG Metall, the world’s largest trade union. The book offers an overview of trade union rights in each of seven industrial countries: Belgium, Hungary, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United States. A concluding chapter by Manfred Weiss (whose 70th birthday was honoured at the conference) notes the futility of a ‘harmonization’ approach, stressing rather a strategy of accepting variety which nevertheless embraces close cooperation. Issues covered include the following:
- direct and indirect recognition of the rights of the unions at the workplace;
- the right of access of trade union representatives not employed in the establishment;
- competition from non-unionized firms and low labour cost operations;
- new styles of management hostile to trade unions;
- employers’ use of the courts to prevent industrial action illegalized by new legislation;
- relations among trade unions, works councils, workers’ representatives, and employers’ organizations;
- the role of the union at a time of change of company ownership; and
- effects of public resistance to cuts in public services and to job losses.
Trade Union Rights at the Workplace, edited by Roger Blanpain. Alphen aan den Rijn : Kluwer Law International, 2012. 93 p. ISBN 9789041134608.
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