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EU industrial relations v. national industrial relations

Comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives

Mia Rönnmar

Klüwer Law International 2008, 358 s.
Bogomtale fra forlaget.

The relationship between the national and international has been central in the debate on the impact of globalisation on national patterns of employment relations. While some industrial relations researchers in recent years have put forward evidence not of convergence, but rather of continuing national diversity in employment relations, others see a complex power-sharing interplay emerging for which Europe is the laboratory. This ground-breaking book asks: Do EU or European industrial relations exist? What characterises EU industrial relations and their development? What are the differences between EU industrial relations and national industrial relations?

Twelve outstanding authorities from seven countries discuss the theme from a variety of perspectives. Originally presented at an international and interdisciplinary research workshop held at the Faculty of Law at Lund University in November 2007, the essays probe a range of highly topical and important legal and industrial relations issues and developments, including the implications of the epochal and much-debated Laval and Viking cases from the European Court of Justice. The focus is on the EU dimension of industrial relations, common to the Member States, and not on comparative European industrial relations.

The authors raise and discuss such crucial issues as the following:

  • the power relationship and interactions between the social partners within the framework of the social dialogue;
  • growing problems of posting of workers, low wage competition, and ‘social dumping’;
  • approaches to creating an EU legal framework for transnational collective agreements;
  • the right to take industrial action in order to achieve collective agreements;
  • the fundamental asymmetry between the scope of action of players in companies and territories affected by restructurings;
  • information, consultation and worker participation;
  • potential benefits of increased tripartite co-operation between the social partners and governments;
  • compatibility of the Swedish or Nordic system with the four freedoms and its eligibility as a European model; and
  • issues of private international law arising from collective actions with transnational implications.

An appendix includes relevant EC legislation and the ECJ opinions in Laval and Viking. EU Industrial Relations vs National Industrial Relations explores an emerging and still inchoate realm of law that is heavily fraught with implications for the near future of social relations, not only in Europe but worldwide. Labour lawyers and policymakers will greatly appreciate its precise stocktaking, its insightful analysis, and its well-informed recommendations on how to proceed in the realm of practical law.

Table of contents


Notes on Contributors. Preface. Introduction: EU Industrial Relations vs National Industrial Relations – Conflict, Interplay or Harmony? M. Rönnmar. Part I. EU Industrial Relations: National, Comparative and Global Perspectives. Are National Industrial Relations Regimes Becoming Institutionally Incomplete? N. Wailes. Information, Consultation and Worker Participation – An Aspect of EU Industrial Relations: From the Swedish Point of View; M. Rönnmar. EU vs National Industrial Relations: The Slovenian Perspective; P. Končar. Part II. EU Industrial Relations: Social Dialogue, Transnational Labour Regulation and Corporate Restructuring. Regulating Temporary Agency Work: On the Interplay between EU Level, National Level and Different Industrial Relations Traditions; K. Ahlberg. Transnational Collective Labour Agreements in Europe and at European Level – Further Readings of Article 139 EC; D. Schiek. Swedish Trade Unions and European Sector-Level Industrial Relations – Goals and Strategies; S. Murhem. Toward a New Approach of Corporate Restructurings: Consequences for Social Actors; M.-A. Moreau. Part III. EU Industrial Relations: Free Movement of Services, Industrial Action and Challenges to National Labour Law and Industrial Relations. Employment Rights, Free Movement under the EC Treaty and the Services Directive; C. Barnard. The Free Movement of Services and the Right to Industrial Action in Swedish Law – In the Light of the Laval Case; Ö. Edström . If Vaxholm Were in Holland: Interest Conflicts and EU Labour Law in a Comparative Perspective; T. van Peijpe. National Industrial Relations vs Private International Law – A Swedish Perspective; J. Malmberg, C.-M. Jonsson. Appendices: Treaty establishing the European Community (consolidated text), Official Journal C 325 of 24 December 2002. Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services, Official Journal L 18 of 21 January 1997, pp. 1–6. Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the international market, Official Journal L 376 of 27 December 2006, pp. 36–68. Judgement of the European Court of Justice Laval un Partneri Ltd v. Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet, Case C-341/05 [2007] ECR I-000. Judgement of the European Court of Justice International Transport Workers’ Federation v. Viking Line ABP, Case C-438/05 [2007] ECR I-000. Table of cases from the European Court of Justice. Index.