In recent years, the European Court of Justice has extended the scope of the four fundamental freedoms to politically and economically highly sensitive areas such as the right to strike and the regulation of working conditions of posted workers. Dr. Daniel Seikel (WSI) analyses the domestic impact of two of the most controversial judgments – Laval and Rüffert – in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, concluding that the ECJ's case law has shifted the balance of power between labour and capital in the domestic arenas in favour of business.
The volume offers a labour perspective on wage-setting institutions, collective bargaining and economic development. Sixteen country chapters, eight on Asia and eight on Europe, focus in particular on the role and effectiveness of minimum wages in the context of national trends in income inequality, economic development, and social security.
Atypical forms of employment are also widespread in the public sector but are all in all less precarious than in the private sector. In the public sector, the percentage of low-wage earners is considerably lower than in the private one, as the coverage rates of collective agreement (at over 90 per cent) are high. Moreover, employees with atypical forms of employment have better opportunities for further training in the public than in the private sector.
Since the Financial Crisis in 2008 Germany has performed better than most of its neighbouring countries. What makes Germany so special that nobel prize winner Krugman called it a miracle, and is this sustainable? And what do neighbours think about Germany? The book consists of two parts. Part one shows Germany seen by some authors of the Variety of Capitalism literature hosted in the US, and by Germans themselves. Part two shows Germany in the eyes of its European neighbours.
The advocates of modern western democracy promote the viewpoint that the class division of the society is becoming outdated. Andranik Tangian (WSI) attempts to disprove this statement analyzing the official party positions on 38 policy issues of 28 German parties who participated in the 2013 federal election. The author concludes that neither the left-right characterization of parties nor the class opposition perspective is outdated.
In a contribution for the Global Labor Column Thorsten Schulten (WSI) discusses current deficits of the new statutory minimum wage in Germany and makes concrete proposals for a better implementation.
This study focuses on describing and analyzing the concrete initiatives taken by trade unions and employers to combat precarious employment in construction, commercial cleaning, hospitals and temporary agency work. It is based on an evaluation of recent data, research literature and policy documents as well as a number of interviews with experts from all four sectors. The study is also part of a wider European project called Bargaining for Social Rights at Sector Level (BARSORIS) which include studies from seven European countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and the UK).
Dr. Yvonne Lott (WSI) investigates the relations between women's and men's flexibility and autonomy in working time and two central work outcomes: overtime and income. Findings point to gendered costs and benefits of working time flexibility and autonomy: Flexible working time and working time autonomy are associated with an increase of overtime and income - but only for men. Women in fulltime positions who also increase their time investment with working time autonomy and employee-oriented flexibility to a similar extent, do not receive similar financial rewards.
In a contribution to a new book of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) edited by Steffen Lehndorff, Thorsten Schulten (WSI) and Torsten Müller (ETUI) analyse the influence of the new European Economic Governance on national wage developments and collective bargaining.
Maarten van Klaveren and Kea Tijdens (AIAS) discuss policy options available for the recovery of the Dutch economy, in particular questioning the logic of continuing with the current export-led growth and wage moderation path. The authors conclude that continuing the Dutch wage moderation tradition in current conditions would cause negative effects, not only on domestic demand but also on the country’s labour productivity and growth potential. Thus, there are good reasons to defend a wage-led strategy as a recovery option in the case of the Netherlands.
In a recent study published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Thorsten Schulten (WSI) summarises the current debate on a European Minimum Wage Policy and analyses its economic, political and institutional implications.
Dr. Thorsten Schulten (WSI) presents trends in German collective bargaining and their implications for wage developments and economic performance, concluding that the introduction of minimum wages and improved extension regulations may help to establish a more expansive and more solidaristic wage policy.
Thorsten Schulten and Reinhard Bispinck discuss long-term trends in German collective bargaining and its implications for the overall economic development.
What needs to be done to create a true Social Europe? In her recent article for Social Europe online, Professor Brigitte Unger (WSI Academic Director) highlights current deficits and summarizes that a Social Europe needs solidarity – which is much easier among more equals than among very unequals. Therefore, democratically legitimated generous spending programs financed by the culprits of the financial crisis – the financial markets — and by the very rich would be a first step in the right direction towards a Social Europe.
In his contribution to "The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations", Dr. Martin Behrens (WSI) looks into the dispute resolution mechanisms in German employment relations. The author investigates whether increasing economic pressure on companies in export-driven industries has undermined social partnership and whether traditional institutions for conflict resolution are still adequate to address workplace-related conflict in the future.
Dr. Yvonne Lott (WSI) examines the effect of working time flexibility and autonomy on time adequacy using EWCS data from 2010. Drawing on gender theory and welfare state theory, gender differences and the institutional contexts of the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands are taken into account. The study reveals that working time flexibility and autonomy are positively related to time adequacy for women. Men, however, tend to experience overtime and work intensification. In the Netherlands, employees profit most from working time autonomy.
WSI research covers issues of employment and institutional change in a globalising world, the quality of work as well as questions of redistribution and social security, industrial relations and collective bargaining policy. The work of the WSI is organised in five research areas:
WSI studies empirically draw on a number of unique surveys, data collections and documentations. Tables, analyses and graphs in professional quality layout are available for free download via online web portals. more...
Information on WSI members of staff and WSI guests and their fields of expertise
"WSI-Mitteilungen" is a scientific journal providing up-to-date information on the results of research on current issues of relevance to trade unions.