Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Why Do some Labour Alliances Succeed in Politicizing Europe across Borders? A Comparison of the Right2Water and Fair Transport European Citizens' Initiatives
    Under what conditions can organized labour successfully politicize the European integration process across borders? To answer this question, we compare the European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs) of two European trade union federations: EPSU’s successful Right2Water ECI and ETF’s unsuccessful Fair Transport ECI. Our comparison reveals that actor-centred factors matter – namely, unions’ ability to create broad coalitions. Successful transnational labour campaigns, however, also depend on structural conditions, namely, the prevailing mode of EU integration pressures faced by unions at a given time. Whereas the Right2Water ECI pre-emptively countered commodification attempts by the European Commission in water services, the Fair Transport ECI attempted to ensure fair working conditions after most of the transport sector had been liberalized. Vertical EU integration attempts that commodify public services are thus more likely to generate successful transnational counter-movements than the horizontal integration pressures on wages and working conditions that followed earlier successful EU liberalization drives.
      80Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Trade unions and the sovereign power of the state. A comparative analysis of employer offensives in the Danish and Irish public sectors
    (Sage, 2018-05-01)
    The changing composition of trade unions has far-reaching consequences for the relationship between unions and the polity. In particular, the concentration of trade union membership in the public sector – a process that has been taking place in most EU countries – implies a shift away from collective agreements towards legislation as the dominant way of managing employment relations. Pluralist models of collective bargaining assume a neutral, mediating role of the state, but in the public sector the state by definition acts as an employer as well. The state is equipped with the sovereign power to circumvent traditional bargaining agreements and force its will upon trade unions through legislation. The article investigates major bargaining disputes in Europe after 2008, focusing on two countries (Ireland and Denmark) that have different political environments and that, although affected differently by the financial crisis, underwent similar government interventions in labour relations. The findings suggest that a shift towards legislation is a tendency that affects all types of industrial relations systems.
      529Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Professionals on the road to contention: Social movement unionism in healthcare labour disputes across Europe
    (Sage, 2020-02-28)
    The recent upsurge in healthcare labour disputes across Europe signals a shift in the attitude of public service professionals towards contentious politics. However, the analysis of these events so far has neglected the specific dilemmas of contention among professionals. To fill this gap, the article builds on social movements theory and claims that to achieve success, professional organizations adjust the protest repertoire of the labour movement along the three dimensions of targeting, framing and coordination. As an alternative to mass strikes, the targeted use of the protest repertoire minimizes the costs and maximizes the visibility of collective action. Framing around service quality links wage demands to wider justification themes that resonate with the public. Coordination across groups with different skill levels strengthens the effect of both targeting and framing. A comparative study of four healthcare campaigns in four countries (Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland) confirms the key role that these dimensions play.
      327Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Healthcare Reforms and Fiscal Discipline in Europe: Responsibility or Responsiveness?
    This paper asks how governments across Europe have responded to the dilemma between financial responsibility and political responsiveness against the background of heightened fiscal pressure. Focusing on the domestic politics of healthcare reforms in four contrasted cases (England, France, Hungary, and Ireland), we investigate how governments frame and legitimize these reforms. We find that references to input legitimacy vary greatly according to prevailing values of governments and party politics in the respective national realms. With regard to output legitimacy, efficiency and financial sustainability tend to prevail over concerns related to quality in those countries that are more affected by debt. Across all cases, governments rely on an instrumentalist conception of throughput legitimacy, meaning that they use consultation with different stakeholders as a way to prevent adverse politicization and to support their framing of the reforms.
      302Scopus© Citations 4