The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Fragmenting labour: Temporary agency workers in German manufacturing.

The increasing reliance on temporary agency workers by large German manufacturers has changed industrial relations, reported Hajo Holst, Associate Professor at the University of Jena, to the transnational labour project at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo. Large car manufacturers, for example, have used temporary agency workers to secure short-term profits and to bypass statutory dismissal protection. Trade unions and workers, on the other hand, have increasingly come under pressure as a result.

Friday, 18 October 2013

This is just a beginning: Gezi resistance and the legitimacy crisis of the AKP government!

Last summer, Turkey has witnessed an unprecedented social mobilisation, maybe the most significant and intensive one in the post-1980 military coup period. Between the 28 and 30 of May, a group of environmentalists, who were camped in the Gezi Park to prevent the destruction of the park for the re-construction of the 18th century Ottoman Taksim Barracks, were violently evicted by the police. While the activists were beaten and tear gassed, their tents and equipment were burned by the officials. This sparked a massive outrage and paved the way to the subsequent demonstrations and clashes with the police forces that lasted for almost four months. In this guest post, Ertan Erol assesses the wider implications of this moment of social mobilisation in Turkey.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Coordinating collective wage bargaining: a way of transnational solidarity in Europe?

Roland Erne is currently a research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo, where he is part of the project on Globalization and the Possibility of Transnational Actors – The Case of Trade Unions. The purpose of his subproject is to investigate different case studies of translational labour in order to move to a conceptual understanding of the circumstances under which transnational solidarity is possible. In this guest post, he reviews in this respect the book Le salaire, un enjeu pour l’euro-syndicalisme. Histoire de la coordination des nĂ©gotiations collectives nationales (Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 2011) by Anne Dufresne.

Monday, 7 October 2013

What future for Social Democracy?

On 9 September 2013, a red-green alliance led by the social democratic Labour Party lost the Norwegian general elections. Only two weeks later, the German Social Democrats (SPD) only came a poor second with just over 25 per cent of the votes in their country’s general elections. Even if it ends up as thefor junior partner in a grand coalition, the clear winner was the centre-right Christian Democratic Party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, which missed only narrowly an absolute majority in parliament. In this post, I will assess the general situation of social democratic parties in industrialised countries and speculate about their potential future role.