Trade unions and the sovereign power of the state. A comparative analysis of employer offensives in the Danish and Irish public sectors

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Title: Trade unions and the sovereign power of the state. A comparative analysis of employer offensives in the Danish and Irish public sectors
Authors: Szabó, Imre
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9410
Date: 1-May-2018
Abstract: 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.
Funding Details: European Commission Horizon 2020
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage
Copyright (published version): 2018 the Author
Keywords: Bargaining disputes;Legislation;Public sector;Sovereign power;State
DOI: 10.1177/1024258918762077
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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