Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no.3 1999, page 47-58.
English resume

Ideology and the Changing Regulation of the Labour Market

A British Perspective

Peter Seglow

The article attempts to explain the paradox that while the strength and influence of organised labour is declining and collective bargaining is becoming less and less important in setting pay and conditions, in many respects the position of employed workers in the labour market has improved and is continuing to do so.

The author analyses the ideological shift from collectivism to liberalism and individualism. It was strongly promoted by the British governments between 1979 and 1997, but also by other governments and social forces. He points out that although the increased power given to the market has weakened trade unionism, it appears that new rights, achieved mainly at the European Union level, has pulled in the opposite direction.

In Britain and other countries where collective bargaining has lost ground trade unions will have to redefine their field of activity. One important task is to secure that the legal rights of workers are actually enforced at workplace level and that legal cases are taken up if rights are violated. Another is pressure group activity at the European level aimed at the continuing extension of workers' rights.

Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv

(Journal for Working Life)




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