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, 21 December 2015

After the election of Jeremy Corbyn – Where next for the Labour Party?

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party so shortly after the defeat in the general elections of May 2015 came for many as a surprise. The electoral campaign had not been too far to the left, as Blairites tried to claim immediately after the elections. Party members' and supporters' verdict was that it had not been left and anti-austerity enough. In this post, I will reflect on the chances of Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell of bringing about significant change in Britain.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Is migration from Central and Eastern Europe really an opportunity for trade unions to demand higher wages? Evidence from the Romanian health sector.

The social failures of the eastward enlargement of the European Union can hardly be ignored anymore. Instead of becoming part of welfare capitalism, Central and Eastern European workers’ hopes in a better life were betrayed and social rights have been undermined. In turn, workers, left without industrial and political channels to voice their social concerns, have reacted by leaving their countries en masse (Meardi 2012). Nevertheless, several industrial relations scholars predicted that the balance of class power would soon shift again in workers’ favour, due to the labour shortages in sending countries caused by “workers voting with their feet” (ibid.). Some scholars even saw in the massif exit of CEE workers an opportunity for CEE unions to win higher wages (Kaminska and Kahancová, 2011). By focusing on the distributional aspect of wage policies adopted by two competing Romanian trade unions in the healthcare sector, a recent study by Sabina Stan and Roland Erne published by the European Journal of Industrial Relations challenges the assumption of a virtuous link between migration, labour shortages and collective wage increases.