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- PublicationTrade 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
- PublicationProfessionals 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